I've been writing The Perspective for more than 10 years and in all this time, I don't think I've ever missed the Friday publication (except while on vacation), but in my own defense, I had a very good reason this week for the delay.
Having put 6 Abbott Way successfully into contract late last week, we randomly pulled the lucky winner of the GenZe 2.0 Scooter out of the stack of entrants on Friday afternoon and on Sunday (drum roll please ....) Ashley Reed (Winner, winner, chicken dinner!) and her darling beau picked up the scooter and drove it home. Or rather, he drove it home, while Ashley headed off to yoga class. (I love that her leggings match.)
"We're so excited," Ashley said. "I couldn't believe it when you called. We're gonna totally use this baby to zip to BART and to the gym. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she exclaimed while giving us both a warm hug. (You're very welcome.)
No, it's not every house that requires such "out-of-the-box" marketing, but in this case, 6 Abbott Way had a few unique challenges in terms of its location and it vertical nature, which meant that we had to work a little harder to help people find it - and find it they did. We knew once prospective Buyers viewed the home, this "smart" and stunning Contemporary would win over fans - and so it did - as did the scooter!
You came, you saw, you bid and that's what every Realtor hopes to achieve. (Thank you, thank you, thank you!)
It's worth mentioning "challenges" because while every Seller truly believes their house is better than anyone else's (and I'm not debating you), the truth is that some homes are simply easier to sell than others. This year, in particular, I represented several listings that presented specific objections, be it a busy street, LOTS of stairs to the front door, difficult layouts, vertical living, homes in need of major TLC, properties in remote locations . . . or the toughest challenge of all: unrealistic Seller expectations! (It's the nature of the beast.)
It's why when the Sellers of 6 Abbott Way said: "You knocked it out of the park, and we appreciate how hard you worked . . . ", it not only made our week, it made our year. (Thank you, thank you, thank you.) It's lovely to be acknowledged and Jill and I appreciate that both Sellers and Buyers put their faith and trust in us. As anyone knows who has ever bought or sold a home, these transitions are typically emotional journeys, and giving up control of the process to someone else is never easy, but the Sellers of 6 Abbott Way did and were well rewarded and that's always the end goal.
And now after an active fall season, Cliff and I head to New Zealand tonightto meet up briefly with our son, Tristan, who has spent his junior semester abroad in Dunedin. We'll tour Auckland together as a family for just a few days and then Tristan and a roommate will head to Vietnam for three weeks while Cliff and I return to the South Island for one outdoor adventure after another. I can't wait.
In my absence, my assistant (and twin sister) Jill Shortley, will hold down the fort. (Thank you, thank you, thank you.) When I return, I'll be ready to help any of you who are thinking that next spring would be an excellent time to sell. (You're right, it will be if this year is an accurate predictor of how dynamic our marketplace can be.)
But don't wait until the spring to call. . . savvy Sellers understand that it can take weeks to months to fully prepare a home for market. With rains about to set in, now might be an excellent time to rethink your garden and plant some trees in anticipation of a quick-spring sale.
Winter is also an excellent time to paint indoors, to clean out closets, to purge attics and basements, and to corner your college-age kids to help while home on winter break. In other words, "use this time wisely." Before you know it, the holidays will be behind us and you'll be scrambling to catch up to other homeowners who thought ahead and arranged dates on the busy calendars of their painters, the handyman, the stager, and their Realtor!
No worries though, you don't have to do this alone. After years of helping homeowners through this highly emotional and chaotic journey, overseeing everything from inspections to staging to negotiations, I've got it down and I'm happy to share ALL of my experience and knowledge with you. "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!" It's all part of the service we provide . . .
(How can I help you?)
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.