The Five People You Meet in the Real Estate Market: The Seller

Illustration by Luci Guitierrez

To get the most money for a house as quickly as possible, with as little disturbance to family life as necessary. Frequently seen in paint department at Home Depot (“To freshen things up a bit”), on Zillow (“Just checking how the neighborhood is doing”), and stuffing domestic detritus—old college textbooks, scuba gear, priceless record collections—into self-storage unit (“Clearing out a tiny bit of clutter”).

Ability to keep property in showhouse condition for weeks—even, God forbid, months—on end. Calm acceptance of the fact that beloved features of said house (the nursery wallpaper; the glow-in-the-dark lavatory; the dog kennel) may be the very features a prospective buyer will leverage to bring the price down. Foresight to remember that Aunt Maude’s foyer chandelier will be sold along with the house unless it’s excluded in the contract. Capacity to view the sales experience as a business transaction, not a threat to one’s manhood/reputation/family legacy.

Neighbors who tromp through the open house “to see what you’ve done with the place.”

“Honest, that leak wasn’t there yesterday.”

Who else do you meet in the real estate market? The Agent, The Buyer, The Inspector, The Mortgage Lender

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