One thing that is very clear, is that as some point in the very near future our work here on the house will be done and Amy and I will need to leave and fulfill other commitments. Before that time we need to have an arrangement with an trusted Realtor. I decided now is the time to interview some local professionals and show the house.
Grayling has two significant players in the real estate market; Century 21 and ReMax. We used Century 21 many years ago in Grayling and had a good experience so I called them first. The sweet girl answered the phone and I simply stated that I have a home to sell and would like to speak to somebody. She politely told me that she would connect me to Ken, one of their agents. After a couple minutes on hold Ken came on the line. Ken seemed very serious and monotone, but I explained I have a house to sell. He said "hold please". I thought it a little odd that he would ask me to hold after just connecting, and his manner of asking a bit crude, but since the line was now sounding very dead I simply waited. When he returned to the line he began asking various statistics about the home. Obviously he was filling in some form but not engaging in any kind of conversation. I finally asked, "why don't you come look at it yourself". Well today was rather busy, but he said he would try to fit me in. He asked for my name (finally) and I suggested he call me when he was ready to drive out. So that required that he ask for my phone number too. I hoped it wasn't too inconvenient.
Later that morning he called back, got the address, and made the drive. When he arrived he was exactly as he was on the phone. Somewhat of a feeling that I had interrupted his busy day to show him my old shack that wasn't worth his valuable time (okay, so I exaggerate slightly). He began to review the outbuildings and list the noticeable flaws… missing paint here, a damaged corner there, etc.
Then we proceed inside the house where the investigation continued. How old?, Was it professionally built?, condition of plumbing, heating, electrical, etc. As we wandered he managed to point out a number of flaws and explained that the market is very poor in Grayling and all over Michigan. It was doubtful that anything will sell soon. Now, I understand the market condition, but that was really depressing that he was rather sure this was a waste of my time and his. Now realize, that Amy and I have worked night and day for the past 8 weeks cleaning, scraping, fixing, patching, wiring, plumbing, replacing, painting, selling, throwing, and more. But this gentleman then asked if we planned to be fixing up the place anytime soon.
I didn’t physically throw him out of the house, honestly I was polite. But, it seemed undeniable that his time with me had run its course. He offered me his card, and a contract and I respectfully accepted the card while I explained that I would be calling ReMax also. It seemed evident to Amy and I that if we needed to leave here without a local Realtor we could show and sell the home from Florida more successfully than employing our new friend from Century 21.
cross that one off the list.
I went inside and called ReMax. Same line, I simply stated that I have a home to sell and would like to speak to somebody. Moments later Ashley answered the phone. “Good morning, how can I help you?” came a friendly sweet voice. I explained that I have a home I would like to sell, she asked where and I told her. “Great” she replied, “I have another house in that area and I was just on my way out there, do you mind if I come and look right now?” Her enthusiasm almost caught me off guard.
Now, I’m not new to sales, and I’ve probably even used that line myself. She wasn't on her way out here, but she was now! I didn’t care, I was just glad to know she wanted to jump in. When she arrived she was not a monotone, stiff figure. To the contrary. She could be described as the cheerleader of house sales. We wandered around the outside looking at all the garages, sheds and workshops as she commented about how this could be a “Man’s Dream”. What a perfect place for a guy who wants to tinker with cars, or wood, or anything. It even has a heated shop! How wonderful! Then we went inside where she immediately noticed the smell of fresh paint and new carpet. “It smells like a new house!” “How many bedrooms?, How many baths?.” “Three and a half baths!, that’s awesome!” as she threw her arms up waving her pompoms. (ok, exaggerating again). But she loved the house. “It has a craft room for the ladies!” “Not only is this a man’s paradise, this is a ladies paradise also”. She commented on the sewing/craft room, the large kitchen, the bright windows, etc. I don’t know if it was all a sales pitch, but I began to fall in love with the house! Maybe I should buy it.
She was aware of a slow economy, but people are still moving, still buying and we’re seeing lots of movement still. “Let’s get is listed and get it sold”.
Again, I’m in sales, I know a “closing line” when I hear one. But I couldn’t help but be amused and impressed with this young lady’s cheerleader performance. Amy and I quickly got caught up in the enthusiasm as well and began to appreciate our own work and the beauty of this house. Well, I had no intention of signing papers for a few more weeks. We really would like to sell this house ourselves, but it also was clear as crystal that this real-estate cheerleader was more enthusiastic than we are, more knowledgable of finance options, has access to more potential buyers and more aggressive than we are. I gave her a call and signed papers the next morning. Were we wooed by her enthusiasm? Were we distracted by her youthful blond looks? Were we mesmerized by her sales technique? Who cares? This girl can sell! She sold me, and I hope she sells this home to someone else - soon. P.S. If you need an enthusiastic realtor, I know a girl named Ashley who is just on her way there now.

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