We listed our family home for sale last week. We don't need a huge home and all of the attendant upkeep any more. We will be looking to buy or build a smaller home, on a smaller lot. We have an unusual home now, on a large, private lot, and it takes a lot of time to keep things nice, inside and out. I have no idea how long it will take to sell the house. Our last two homes sold in a matter of days, so you never know, but this one might take a while.
We were surprised to get our first request for a showing on Sunday. A real estate agent had arranged an appointment, through our own agent, for 11:30AM. We made sure the house was tidied up, that breakfast dishes were washed and put away, and that everything was ready. Then we waited. And waited and waited.
At 12:00 noon, my son happened to look out into our back yard and noticed several people walking and poking around. A man was trying to force aside the boughs on one of the 20' tall spruce and fir trees that make up the evergreen hedge that surrounds our property. Maybe he wanted to see what was on the other side. A woman strolled up on our patio and looked around.
"Tire kickers," I said to my son.
"Rude tire kickers," he responded.
I went outside, just in time to see the real estate agent and a middle-aged couple come around the corner of the house.
"We took the liberty of having a look around your yard," said the real estate agent.
"Yes, I know," I said. "I didn't know if I should come out with a gun, to see who was poking around back there."
The agent seemed startled at my comment. I guess he thought I was kidding. I was kidding, but I also wanted to make a point.
I would never walk into someone's back yard without an invitation, would you? The agent should have come to the door first, introduced himself and his clients, and then asked if it was all right to look around the yard before they came inside. I would then have given permission, perhaps after first explaining to them the importance of being on time for an appointment.
I would never be late for an appointment. 11:30 means 11:30. Never promise something and then fail to do what you promised. During the 30 minutes that we waited for the real estate agent and his clients, I could have read, could have played guitar, could have chatted with my family. Instead, we all waited with mounting irritation for these bozos to show up.
A general lack of respect for others is what drives this sort of behaviour. It's only time, right? Big deal. Yes, it is a big deal. Thirty minutes spent waiting is thirty minutes that I will never, ever see again. I want to spend my time doing what I want, not waiting for some inconsiderate boobs to show up when they said they would.
I knew the people wouldn't be interested in our home. They were surely out for a Sunday excursion, and thought it might be fun to look around at a home three times larger than what they need, just to see what is 'out there.' My wife and I have done that ourselves, sort of. The difference is, we limit our visits to open houses, where we aren't going to waste anyone's time. We make notes of what we like and don't like, comparing features and builders in preparation for our next home, whenever and wherever that might be. We don't, however, make appointments with homeowners, arrive late, walk around their yards unbidden, and waste their time.
I sure hope this isn't an indication of what is to come.
Maybe we should just stay where we are. We'll see.