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On a recent marathon house shopping day with a buyer, we pulled up in front of one of our appointments. I got out of my car, then looked for my client to follow from her car. However, she remained in her car. I walked over and she told me she was not going in. She said it looked much different from the picture and anyway it seemed way too small.
She was right about how it looked. It was a front-to-back ranch, and the way it was situated, we only saw the narrow front. The sides were covered by vegetation and trees making the depth of the house not immediately apparent.
I reminded her that we did have an appointment and out of courtesy we should go in and take a look around. ”Looks can be deceiving” I said, and “You should never judge a house by how it looks on the exterior”.
So, she begrudgingly left her car and entered the house with me. From that moment to the time she left, all I heard was “Wow, I can’t believe how much room there is!”, “There is so much potential!”, “I could do this…I could do that!” and on and on. We talked about all the possibilities, not to mention it was within view of a local beach. ”How beautiful it must be there in the warmer weather!”
So, this house — with its deceiving looks — now became the house on the top of her list. There were easy ways to improve the exterior façade and landscaping. What needed no improvement was its dynamite open floor plan, a beautiful private back yard and a great location.
Yes, she was interested in making an offer. My first order of business was to call the listing agent to check on the status of the house; unfortunately, to our complete dismay, an offer was accepted the previous afternoon and the listing office had failed to report this to me. [No further comment on that at this time] We submitted a backup, but the sale did go through so my client was out of luck.
In retrospect I guess I could have saved her a lot of disappointment if I had caved in to her wish NOT to see the house. But… it was a good lesson, I told her, in checking the interiors of every house of interest. You never know what you might be missing or what dream you might end up fulfilling.