"The boys and I are having a great time in Patagonia," Cliff's text message said. "Everything we've seen has been incredible."
I wish I could say the same.
Closer to home, our kitchen "tweak" has mushroomed into a much larger project than I originally anticipated . . . .
What started with a chance windfall of a nearly-new 60" double-oven Wolf Range (too good to pass up), quickly morphed into the realization that a larger range requires a larger venting hood, requiring the removal of some upper and lower cabinets, requiring HVAC rerouting, requiring a 220 amp outlet, requiring a new backsplash, requiring new crown molding . . . and so it goes.
Knee deep into construction (and dust!!!) and nowhere close to finishing before Cliff and the boys return home on Monday, my predicament reminds me of a favorite bedtime story our kids loved when they were young by Laura Neumeroff: If You Give a Moose a Muffin (he'll want some jam to go with it . . . ).
In other words, I've got a MOOSE on my hands.
Luckily, this isn't my first time wrangling moose. I've had LOTS of practice, not only on my own renovations, but on the hundreds of properties Jill, Sarah, Kate, and I have brought to market. While practice may not necessarily make perfect (settle for 95% and you'll be far happier), it's the clear understanding that we'll get through whatever lies ahead that keeps us all in the game, project after project (and we've had some challenges along the way).
Nowhere has this been more evident than at our newest listing at 155 Hagar Avenue in Piedmont, where we turned a fairly nondescript home into a striking Contemporary with unobstructed panoramic views. (We can't take responsibility for the views - they were always there - but it's so much more "wow" now that the personal items have been removed, and the oh-so-fabulous staging has given this home a new life.)
Is it all smoke and mirrors? No, not really. This house required a fair amount of attention because, like all houses, it had been lived in. Our contribution to giving it a facelift included reworking the entrance, removing a too-large built-in to make way for a luxurious primary suite, refinishing hardwood floors, building out closet space in the bedrooms, adding a barn door to the laundry area, wallpapering accent walls, hanging shelves, replacing the lighting throughout, painting the entire interior, carpeting the stairs, and much, MUCH more. But after the imprint of many talented individuals . . . (drumroll please), this cool perch is ready for market, and in a word - it's FABULOUS! (Don't miss it. Sarah will be there on Sunday.)
Meanwhile, we've got another crew working round the clock at a property on Crestmont that's set to come to market in a few weeks. This basic ranch house needed a new kitchen and two new bathrooms, a new deck, the replacement of some failing windows, the removal of an outdated aluminum awning, updated landscaping, and the opening of a wall to create a far more inviting floor plan . . . Amazingly, this work will be completed in the space of a few short months and a more current and inviting property will debut mid-March, just in time for the Spring Market. Stay Tuned!
That's teamwork, but it's also proactive planning, solution-oriented thinking, action-packed days (and weekends), not to mention willing Sellers who quickly (sometimes slowly) move into surrender. Please know we have your best interests at heart, AND that we bring years of experience to draw upon. (This is your cue to release the reins.) Yes, we ARE going to spend your dollars wisely, and it's an investment that's likely to pay you back multiple times over. In other words, trust the process.
The bottom line is that unless your home has undergone a significant and RECENT transformation, it's likely going to require a fair amount of work to compete in a marketplace where the vast majority of listings are prepped and polished prior to hitting the open market. That's where experienced Realtors® and their teams come into play. It's our job to help you look forward. By all means, cherish every memory you made in your lovely home, but allow us the opportunity to prepare it for a new generation of buyers. We (and by "we," I mean "you") need prospective Buyers to fall in love so that they are willing to hand over LARGE sums of money to become the next homeowner.
In short, embrace the MOOSE, AND the muffin, AND the jam. It's all part of the process. (We got this.)
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 750 humorous but always informative, essays on life and real estate.