Ingrid Singer taught me to whistle the summer before eighth grade; a talent which has proven infinitely more useful than when I learned how to blow smoke rings the summer before. (Thankfully, smoking never appealed to me the way whistling did.) Sitting on my parents front steps, on a warm June evening, Ingrid showed me exactly how she placed her thumb and ring finger together under her tongue to produce a loud enviable sound. Not some sweet, melodic, Broadway tune, but an ear-piercing, dog-calling, cab-stopping shrill; the kind of whistle that commands attention and makes others take notice.
Last week, a mother turned to me at my son's baseball game after a less than lady-like display and enviously said, "I've always wanted to do that. How do you whistle so well?"
Whistling didn't come easy at first. Sitting there with Ingird in our faded cut-offs and tank tops, bubble gum lip gloss at the ready, my first attempts were pathetic little wheezes compared to Ingrid's deep magnificent trumpet. Dang! She made it seem so easy and here I was, producing little more than spit. I spent most of that summer dizzy from lack of oxygen, but kept at it until by fall, I could whistle at the football games with the best of them (and still can).
Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I often whistle while I work. However, nowadays my whistling is more metaphorical. Today whistling is about creating an inviting and welcoming environment and getting agents and buyers alike to stand up and take notice! With a good amount of inventory from which to choose, buyers are pickier than ever. If I am not making them take notice of YOUR home, I am simply not doing my job well enough.
Making sure a sellers' home is memorable is both my goal and my responsibility as your REALTOR. Pricing your home to meet the current market value is YOUR part of the bargain. If we harmonize . . . together, we'll "whistle a happy tune - fa,la,la,la,la."
Remember, no one ever learned to whistle by watching others do it. It takes patience, practice and a certain amount of determination. (So does buying or selling a home.) It also takes skill. Not only can I command attention at this point in my career, I've also learned the nuance of the softer tune.
Still, it's the BIG whistle that continues to attract the most attention and one I'm not afraid to use as needed - especially when hailing a cab in New York City! (Thank you Ingrid.)
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 12 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.