In the wake of the past two columns, we've explored the tensions between home sellers and buyers, which has been heightened by the recession. It's hardly scientific, but I've received more complaints from sellers about buyers, than the other way around. A few requests from sellers:
If you're a buyer and arrange to see a house, have the courtesy to show up. Don't force mom to race through the house cleaning, then wait in the Target parking lot for two hours with a toddler and the family beagle, for nothing.
Use the booties that some buyers provide, or take off your shoes. Or, for goodness' sake, at least wipe your feet. Don't track in mud that has to be cleaned up before the next showing.
I'd like to add a personal peeve: Don't call from the end of the driveway to request an immediate showing. Provide an hour's notice. Two hours is more polite. Thank you.
Home staging help
Those columns also prompted questions from readers about home staging, the growing craft of preparing interiors to appeal to potential buyers. Where can sellers learn more and find help?
Try the Charlotte chapter of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals.
The group maintains a Web site, northcarolinachapter.iahsp.com┬á. It provides a directory of members and services. You'll also find links to homes that have been staged, with lots of photos.
Coincidentally, members today were to finish staging the reception area at the Center of Hope on Spratt Street, the Salvation Army's shelter for women and kids. They cleaned, painted and updated furnishings.
Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I spotted a mouse race for a dark corner when I turned on the light in the garage the other night.
I bought a pair of traps at Lowe's, baited one with peanut butter, set it against one wall in the garage. The next morning - nothing. So I moved the trap and tried again.
The following morning - yes! - the trap had attracted a pest.
Actually, whole battalions of them. Ants. They were marching down the garage foundation in neat columns, and hauling off the peanut butter I'm not sure there ever was a blasted mouse.