Imagine only being requested to help a friend move one single box, give a high five, and get on with your Saturday. Wouldn’t that be nice? I mean. it’s always a Saturday isn’t it?
The same friend that would take a bullet for you will likely find an excuse not to help you move. Why? Because moving sucks and it’s usually disorganized as hell.
When someone imagines helping someone move they think of sweat, dusty boxes, two people arguing over the tetris like qualities of each box, garbage bags of crap you didn’t get packed in time, the caravan to the next house, the constant indecison of where each box goes to the point where you just say, “I’ll drop it here and let you guys figure it out, waiting for the random pizza, no plates, no toilet paper, and so on and so on. A bullet is much quicker than the ordeal of moving. And it always takes longer than anyone really guesses, and the truck is usually late.
It’s not that your friends don’t love you, it’s just that all of their experiences tell them this move will suuuuuuuuck.
So I have a new concept to reduce just about every detail of the suck that is helping friends move, the Moving Mob. It’s like a flash mob for moving and lasts about as long as a song. Promise your friends that they only have to move one item. You will give them a high five or a hug. This will depend on your personal relationship to them and their personal hygiene. They are under no obligation to fill a box or carry a garbage bag full of junk drawer stuff.
Rules for Moving Mob
- They only need to move one item.
- They do not have to move anything in a garbage bag.
- They do not have to pack anything.
- They will recieve one high five or hug.
- They can leave without guilt.
- Some people only have 15 minutes on the way somewhere else and they feel guily moving one box. You relieve them of that guilt
- They might move two boxes
- Some people will show up smiling knowing they can leave at anytime.
Possible flaws in the concept.
- You just gave someone an out who felt guilty enough to help the whole day.
- Organizing the first half is easier than timing the second half.
- The bigger the house the more people you need.
So that’s my concept and I will be trying it out Saturday (of course) May 25th. So email me, text me, twitter me, facebook me or call me if you want to participate in a grand experiment that will only take five minutes.
I’m not worried about Zillow and Trulia like some agents. Actually I’m all about open information, and that is what Zillow gives, to a point. But only up to a point, and that is how their product actually helps me.
One issue that agents have with Zillow is the Zestimate which Zillow’s estimate of the value of your home as a price range. From Zillow’s website:
Remember, the Zestimate is a starting point and does not consider all the market intricacies that can determine the actual price a house will sell for.
I had a friend who was going to list their home in about a month and they told me they had an appraisal. I was a bit shocked because appraisals cost $450 or more but I didn’t question it. When it came time to list they mentioned that they had another appraisal. At this point I asked some questions and found out they had been looking at Zillow. Zillow has become pervasive enough in the public that they believe that is the site to visit, because it is simple, quick, and they don’t have a Realtor trying to sell them services.
The benefit to the Zestimate is that they get an idea of what their price may be in a very casual way. This may stir them into selling and lead to me having a new listing.
Another way that Zillow has been inadvertently helping me lately is with their search feature. They don’t have every listed home in their search, and those homes on there don’t often have timely information, especially in this fast-paced market, as I have found when my girlfriend goes searching on there. I have two clients who like the Zillow app, they like it better than the Realtor.com app (one person called crap), and the other apps aren’t doing it for them. So they end up calling me to get the real, immediate information.
Zillow can’t replace an agent, and they don’t want to because they sell advertising to the agents. If figuring out prices were as easy as a Zestimate, than pricing homes would be just math. Therewouldn’t be a need to see the inside of a home if anyone thought it was just a math problem of square feet and bedrooms. So while agents are fighting sites like Zillow, I just learn as much as I can about the sites and technology, because my clients are using it and I need to speak their language, and I will be there when they are ready to move.
I can’t get too deep in the details of selling this home but we got four offers in two days. The pricing was not fun, which I will talk about when the deal is over.
My far the most interesting aspect of this is watching Jessie, my girlfriend. I get to watch her from a Realtor’s perspective and as someone involved in the transaction with her.
I learned recently that a doctors group did a study and found that only 20% of what a doctor tells his patient is remembered, at best. And I’ve found this to be very true.
The day the house went on the market we went apartment hunting but also stopped at a new construction development. We went to lunch and talked about if the house was right. I ended up explaining things that I had explained before. I thought she had understood the first time. I only got to explain these things again because I am with her while she is pondering. How many clients don’t know the answer to something and don’t call me? Or how many get the wrong idea in their head. I must have a plan to make sure the important pieces are understood.
We always talk about the stress and it is real. I didn’t sleep the night before it went up, she didn’t sleep well either. The week before was a lot of work and we were up to midnight that last night getting things ready. It is amazing the things you start to worry about and clean and move.
Until this deal is over the only things I can really talk about are the emotional factors. Once it’s over I can discuss more of the real estate side.
When I first got into real estate I remember being told, “You should buy and sell your own home every four years so you stay in touch with how tough the process can be mentally.” It is tough. It’s been reported that it can as stressful as a death in the family.
On Saturday we scrubbed the siding in the porch area which wasn’t fun. The way it is set, it traps breezes which is great during the summer, but when the door is closed it whips the air around leaving dust to build up on the sideing. We’ve done touch up paint all over, actually bought paint that was one shade off, returned it, replaced the doorbell, taken down unused hanging nails, and lots of other things.
Yesterday we got a U-haul storage pod that we pick up, load, and return. We put all of our extra stuff in there. It became real and Jessie started feeling anxious. It didn’t help that she dealt with U-haul, and they weren’t as helpful as they could have been. But those are just the start of the minor items that come up and accumulate.
Even though I have been doing this for 12 years, in the end, I won’t be pricing the house alone, I won’t make the final decision if I’m done with getting the house ready because I’m too close to it. This is one of the many valuable things a Realtor gives you, professional objectivity for your situation. I will have a few of my Realtor friends look at the house and give me their professional opinion, and then make the final decisions and price and fixes.
And the real stress hasn’t even started until that sign hits the ground. I will keep you updated on my perspective of being a seller and buyer as I go through this process.