SELLING YOUR HOUSE THEN AND NOW. PART 2. Photographers and inspectors
THEN. Once you listed with a realtor, he sent out a photographer to take a picture of your house. Or he said he did. I never saw anyone taking a photo, and the grainy black and white picture which appeared in the left-hand corner of the specs could have been any house on the block. If you squinted hard, you could make out a pitched roof against a grey sky. I suspect it was a stock photo of a suburban bungalow.
NOW. The photographer is an artiste. He puts in hours taking shots of the ex- and interior from breath-taking angles. The resulting photos are laid out in a glossy brochure and can be viewed on-line. When I first saw them, I thought the realtor had used the same old trick: stock photos. Of a palatial home. As it turned out, the artiste-photographer had me fooled. It WAS actually my home. After studying the images closely, I did recognize my couch and coffee table.
THEN. Potential buyers looked around the house and turned on the faucets and the lights. Some even ventured into the dimly lit basement and groped around, skirting piles of old and broken things to peer at the electrical board or kick the boiler, or whatever it was they did down there.
NOW. The realtor sends in an inspector whose principal qualification is a high degree of rhetorical skill. In his report he highlights what works in your house and in the most delicate terms hints at what might need improvement or replacement. He calls this report a “summary”. If you really want to know what’s going on, you need to pay him more. But in this overheated market, no one dares to put in an offer conditional on inspection or conditional on anything.
THEN. The For Sale sign stayed up for weeks and months. You despaired of keeping the house clean for potential viewing and wished you could keep the kids and the dog penned in the backyard.
NOW. Hordes of sales people, curious neighbours, and potential buyers trample through your house for two days, and that’s it. You sell to the highest bidder and wonder if you will have the stamina to go into a bidding war for another place. Maybe you should just rent?