I'm learning the hard way that puppies and gardens don't really mix. Not that I didn't have a sneaking suspicion before picking up this brown little bundle, it's just that when you know your home is about to be put on public display, you really want it to look its best.
So finding out that Riley's current, favorite activity seems to be pulling out the plants by the root ball(!) while vigorously shaking his head and wagging his tale, isn't the best development at this particular point in time. (Did I mention my home will be one of five featured in the CSL "Heart of the Home Tour" next week!?!)
Yesterday, I came downstairs to find that not only had Riley yanked up several young plants, but that he had proudly dragged them through the doggie door and onto the kitchen floor. (He's not even bothering to hide the evidence! Who lives with Cliff, a post-conviction attorney, and doesn't learn that much at least?)
Note to self: DON'T leave the puppy unattended in the garden!
With respect to Real Estate, there may be more "don'ts" than "do's" that spring to mind as I try to determine the best course of action over the next 10 days (then I promise to ease up, honey). I was reminded of this when I recently tracked down a potential home seller who lives down south, but inherited a fantastic family home here in Piedmont, worth a couple of million dollars. (Nice windfall.)
"I'd love to interview for your listing," I hopefully began . . . when she politely cut me off.
"Thank you, but we're working with an Agent from Fairfield."
"He says he has 'Internet presence'," the unknowing heir explained.
Respectfully, In this day and age, who doesn't?
With the emergence of Trulia, Redfin, Zillow, Realtor.com, Real Scout, and new aps like My Theo, the moment a house goes into the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), your listing is going to be mined by ALL of these sites and countless more. The most important component isn't that your Agent has 'Internet presence,' (although that's certainly critical); it's that your Agent has 'LOCAL' presence as each micro-market is specific to its area. Additionally, Agents have a tight network that includes sharing information about upcoming listings. Why work with an Agent who may not have easy access to our local MLS or one who's lockbox doesn't actually work in this territory? Truly, it makes no sense (or cents), nor does it serve your objectives well.
Moreover, there's no way an out-of-area Agent understands the community, the schools, the parks, and the culture our special little Hamlet encompasses the way an Agent who lives here does. Nor are they likely to know when the Brokers' Tours are held or how to get property placement on it. There's so much that makes NO sense about the decision to work out-of-area that I'm compelled to explain what you should avoid.
So here's what NOT to do.
Hey, I've got to get back to the garden now. Clearly, I have holes to fill. Geeze . . . what was I thinking? (And don't forget to buy your tickets for the CSL Home Tour. Information below.)
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Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.