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    Buying & Selling Misconceptions: The Time Waste



    “I don’t want to waste your time…”

    When I started out as a Realtor, I couldn’t believe how many times people would come to me and start out our conversation like this.

    “Hey Micaela, it’s Mike from down the street. Mary and I are thinking about selling our house soon, and when the time comes we would like to use you as our realtor. We don’t want to waste your time now, but –

    “Stop right there!” – That’s what I want to scream every time! And not in a bad way, but in a way that says: “By calling me now, you’re saving both our time later.”

    Buying and Selling Misconceptions

    Asking questions about homes and the local real estate market before you’re ready to commit to a move, whether it’s buying or selling, is NOT a waste of anyone’s time. Why? There’s a lot – A LOT – that goes into either of those processes. Selling? You want to make sure your home is presented in a way that appeals to the right buyer, ultimately selling for a higher price. Buying? There are ways to fix up that credit score and add more to your down payment, ultimately increasing your buying power. We’ll look at the buyer aspect of this later, but for now let’s take a look at the seller standpoint.


    This past October, I had what we call in the real estate world a “walk-in”*.

    *walk-in [wawk-in] noun : A rare occurrence in today’s day and age where someone actually walks in to a real estate office seeking real estate advice or services, opposed to scouting out real estate services online.

    If that doesn’t sound crazy to you – get your real estate license. It’s as crazy as someone scanning a winning lottery ticket, turning around and simply handing it to you with a smile that says, “Congratulations.” A.k.a., it’s gold.

    So, this walk-in from October – we’ll call him Christopher – lived down the street from our office in New City. I just so happened to be the only agent in our office that day (thank you, Corona), and the act of this man walking in was so exciting that both my managers came over to tell me there was a kind gentleman – that yup, just walked in! – looking for a real estate agent to talk with about selling his house.

    I met with Christopher on the spot, and we sat down in the meeting room in the office.

    Christopher heard that the real estate market was “hot” in the Hudson Valley right now – which it was and at the time of this writing still is – and so he and his partner were thinking about selling their house that had gotten “just too big” once the kids moved out.

    “We just aren’t sure if now is the right time for us,” he said, “the house needs some work.”

    We chatted for about 15-minutes. We went over the pros and cons of selling now, what he could expect to experience as a seller in this market, and all the other fun stuff that goes into the process. By the end of our conversation, I could tell he still had some unsteadiness about whether now was the time to list his house or not. I mean, why wouldn’t you list your house during a hot sellers market?

    Christopher, with some hesitation, looked at me and said, “I don’t want to waste your time, but would you mind taking a look at the house and letting us know what you think?”

    I smiled, stood up and said, “Gladly.”

    I followed Christopher to his house in New City. It was a sprawling corner lot, one that I’ve driven by probably hundreds of times, on one of my favorite roads in Rockland County. He showed me around the 2+ acre exterior of the property first, complete with an in-ground pool, quirky little tree house, and even a private fishing pond. The place was extraordinary. I followed him inside for a tour of the interior, which was to no surprise just as unique. Vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and beams, original hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows – the list goes on.

    We went all through the house and gathered back in the open-kitchen. Christopher told me about the little projects they were considering completing before listing the house (more on those misconceptions later). I looked around and in reality, they didn’t have to spend thousands and thousands on those projects. All they had to do was put some furniture in storage, do some decluttering and stage the house to tell more of its story.

    Christopher almost took a step back, “Are you sure?”

    What Christopher didn’t realize at the time of inviting me to walk through the house was that by having me come over months prior to listing their home, he was saving BOTH of us time – and ultimately, money. He didn’t have to do majority of the projects he thought he did. Yes, there were some that I said should be taken care of before listing the house. But some of the projects that would’ve easily cost a few thousand dollars (at least) really would not have made a big difference in his sale, and if the return wasn’t there then why do it? I gave Christopher a game-plan for him and his partner to tackle in the upcoming months to help get their home ready for sale. The pointers that I give any of my sellers are always geared towards one thing: Getting the highest possible sale price in the shortest amount of time.

    THE MISCONCEPTION: You’re wasting a realtor’s time by having them come over to your home months before you’re actually going to put it up for sale.

    THE REALITY: You’re saving it. Our expertise in staging, marketing, and overall knowledge of what today’s buyers are looking for in their next home should be taken into consideration before we list your house. Tackling items before buyers start to walk through the door will save a lot of time, money, and frustration down the road.

    Before I left, I turned around and asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, what made you walk in to our office today?”

    He smiled, shrugged and said, “I heard you guys were the best.”

    Thank you, Christopher Walk-In.


    Micaela Stanaland | Howard Hanna Rand Realty

    The #1 Brokerage in Rockland County

    c: (845) 596-9414

    268 S Main Street, New City, NY

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