Surprise Reunions & Hollywood Endings 🐰 – TBG Update 9/11

We closed a sale this week with the most awesome people on both sides. The day after close, the buyer called me from his new house. He went with his dad to walk through and check it all out, and on a whim before he left, he decided to go back and see the small basement that you enter through a trapdoor in the wood floor next to the kitchen. He climbed down the ladder and he found…..a big fat black and white bunny with huge floppy ears. I ran over to see for myself! I called the seller, who promptly came and collected his bunny. The seller’s bunny had been living outside, it ran away two months ago, and the seller hadn’t seen it since; what a miracle that the new buyer found the bunny in the basement just in time for the pet to move with the seller to his new home! I love happy Hollywood endings with surprise reunions and all!

Our new listing at 840 S Cloverdale feels straight out of a TV show, with its hedged white picket fence, colorful flower boxes, grassy front lawn & sprawling backyard. It’s the kind of house where you walk in the door and you smell fresh chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, you see a kid curled on the couch reading a book to the sound of the crackling wood in the fireplace in the living room, and the puppy is chasing a toy down the stairs. The adults are in the sophisticated master bedroom suite with their own fireplace, a sitting area beside it, and a luxurious marble master bathroom. The street is picture perfect – super quiet, central, and lined with well manicured pretty houses. The owners are pretty perfect too. I’m excited to start to show Sunday at 11 am!

One of the most interesting parts of working in real estate is witnessing and experiencing firsthand intense human emotions. Very often, selling a house is precipitated by a big life event – a parent’s death, a divorce, relocating for a job, getting older and deciding to move near the kids. Every person is different, but sometimes selling or buying a house because of a major life change is scary and emotional for people going through that transition in their lives. The house sale can get wrapped up in the transition and sometimes, like wires getting crossed, the emotions can cross and get all jumbled together. No doubt buying or selling a house can be stressful, but when a client is super stressed, it isn’t really the house sale but rather the emotions that come with the life change. Life transitions are legitimately emotionally hard and often overwhelming. It’s kind of an honor to shepherd people through those intense emotions just by caring and by letting them know that their real estate transaction is being handled expertly by a human who cares. I love my clients and it’s an honor to be there for their most vulnerable and human moments.

My pet peeve in life is when people do things to other people figuring they’ll never know, or by the time they know it will be too late because recourse against them will be difficult. For example, at a foundation inspection this week, an open trench was discovered under the house. The seller paid a plumber to dig a trench and replace the sewer line. The plumber didn’t do a complete job and he left some of the old sewer line, and he didn’t fill the trench he dug to replace the part of the sewer line that he changed. Our sweet painter of 10+ years crawled under the house in the middle of a heat wave, on Labor Day, with no AC down in the dirt and fumes, and he filled the trench for 6 hours!!!!! When inspectors climb on roofs, or squeeze into a crawl space or put a camera through a sewer or a chimney, and they find a problem that the seller has a receipt to show they recently paid to correct, that’s a sad moment. I wish we could all live in a world where we didn’t have to watch our backs and double check the people we pay to make sure they did what they represented on the invoice we paid. In the meantime, it’s super important to vet and to hire honest reliable service people and also to inspect what you expect of them.

More inventory is coming to market! Vendors who get properties ready for sale, like stagers and photographers, are booking weeks out because so many houses are getting prepared for sale. It will be interesting to see what effects, in any, the elections and the increased supply have on the real estate market. Right now there are still many buyers out looking for a house. As supply increases and buyers get the sense that more options and choices will be coming, buyers can choose to wait for something better to come along. Sellers who truly want to sell are smart to position their house on the market correctly. Considering the location and the condition, pricing a house at fair market value will get it sold for the best price in the shortest amount of time. The most popular question asked by sellers this week was how to get their house sold quickly. The answer is by putting in effort to get the house in top dollar condition and then pricing the house right so it gets proper attention from buyers while it’s still fresh and newer on the market.

We’re living in surreal times. The sun and moon are currently a red ball in the sky from raging fires. All of humanity is in masks and social distancing from a world-wide plague. Death Valley recorded a temperature of 130 degrees on August 16, the planet’s highest temperature in almost a century, and it was 121 degrees in nearby Woodland Hills on Labor Day. At several showings this week, prospective buyers asked if the recent rioters came close to the house. At a house I showed yesterday, there was a gentleman sleeping on the grass between the sidewalk and the curb in front of the house. And in the midst of all of that, a buyer walked into his new house and chanced upon a bunny in the basement.

Xoxoxoo,
Sheri Bienstock