How to Choose a Realtor

To continue on with the home selling series, I thought it would be beneficial to share our realtor experience. I am a realtor myself (contact me here if you have questions!), but we chose for me not to list our own house. At the time I was 8 months pregnant with two toddlers at home, and I was too emotionally invested.

We ended up firing our first realtor. This was our first home, so obviously the first time we’ve sold a home. When choosing a realtor, I thought it would be smart to just hire the most successful realtor in my office.

I was very wrong.

By choosing the most successful realtor, we also chose the busiest realtor. We did not receive the attention that was needed to sell our home. Promises were not kept, or kept in a timely fashion. Photographs and descriptions were not good. She was way overextended, and we realized that very quickly after listing our home. We figured out that basically the only reason she was as successful as she was, was because she had been doing it for so long and not because she was good. Lesson learned! That sounds really harsh, but when you are dealing with selling a large investment such as your home, professionalism and quality of work is key.

We hired another realtor friend after a few months and it made a WORLD of difference. She hired a professional photographer which made our home look a MILLION times better. The description and marketing of the home was on point. And her attention to our home and our needs was much better.  Because of the improved marketing, showings multiplied exponentially. While the increased amount of showings and open houses was tough on me because I had to keep the house clean and prepped and leave, I was more than willing. More showings=more opportunities for a sale!

I am not saying that by choosing a successful realtor you won’t be pleased, I am just saying you should focus on the motivation of your realtor. The second realtor we chose had only been in the industry for three years, so while she didn’t have as much knowledge as the first realtor, she made up for it in raw determination. Ask around for recommendations to see who had good experiences with their agent. You can learn more from someone else’s experience than an interview with an agent.

You also want to choose a realtor that you feel comfortable with. In this day and age, communication is key. I loved that I could text my realtor and have a quick response. I felt like a valued client, but also that she cared about me personally. I recommend before you hire someone, test out your communication with them. Call/text them at random times. Make sure you vibe well with them before you hire them so you know you are a good fit.

Lastly, be clear about your expectations. What is important to you? Sell price? Timeframe? Visibility? Do you not want a lot of people through your home? Let your realtor know. If their marketing plan isn’t what you were expecting, then maybe you should interview someone else. It is better to take your time hiring someone then to hire and then regret it. Learn from my mistake!

If you have any other realtor or home-related questions, please let me know!

Check out my other posts in my home selling series:

Selling Your Home When You Have Young Children

Prepping for a Showing When You Have Young Children

What to do with Young Children During Showings

 

What to do with Young Children During Showings

Congratulations! You put your home on the market and have successfully prepped for a showing. But, now what do you do with yourself and the kids? Here are some tried and true ideas for what to do during a showing!

Play dates: I tried to schedule playdates around showings so the kids would be entertained outside of the house. We had a fun activity to pass the time during the showing, and we could spend some time with friends.

Park (during summer/nice days)

Chick fil A/indoor playplace (rainy/cold days)

Library

Errands (Grocery shopping, post office, etc.) Although let’s be honest, this one is less than ideal. Errands with three (young) kids is inviting a disaster…

Car Movie Theater: the biggest hesitancy to do things with my kids is the sheer frustration of the bucking/unbuckling and jackets, hats, (times 3!) in the colder months. Something that worked well with minimal effort was to keep the kids buckled in and put a movie on the iPad/phone/device. The big kids are occupied and I bought myself a few minutes of relative quietness. I would just need to entertain the baby!

Hope this helps fuel some ideas for what to do during a showing! Do you have any suggestions of what worked for you? Share below!

Life Lately

To put it simply, life has been a bit overwhelming. I took an unintentional but much needed break from blogging and IG and all that. Here is one of the main reasons why…

We moved!


But back to chronological order. Scarlett had her first visit to the ER a few weeks ago. The kids were being a little wild and despite my attempts to calm them down, it finally ended up with someone getting hurt. Scarlett smashed her face into a glass vase and ended up getting two stitches. She was so tough! My angel of a friend watched the two younger kids and I was beyond grateful. The ER had a crazy wait before we even got to see a doctor! She was so calm and didn’t even cry during the procedure. “No crying, just tears.” She said.
Right when we got admitted. Even with a sliced lip she’s the cutest!


Watching these girls bond is the best thing in the world!


We were then hit with the plague. Eloise got it first, but Levi got it the worst. The poor thing was down for the count for a loooong time. Then Scarlett got it, then Eloise again. December was a tough health month!

Poor Levi. He was so bad off for a few days! I didn’t mind the cuddles though.

We took a short day and a half trip to New Hampshire to go to Marcus’ work party and to check out some houses. I had everything packed, but somehow the suitcase didn’t end up in the car. So after we got to my parent’s house we went and saw a few houses, then ran to TJ Maxx and the grocery store for party clothes and diapers. Nothing like forcing you to be a little more flexible, right?

So on Christmas Eve we decided to put an offer on one of the houses. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t meant to be.  Apparently someone as crazy as us submitted an offer on Christmas Eve too? We ducked out of a bidding war. No point in overspending on a home.

We had such a wonderful Christmas! We stayed home with the exception of my run with my sister. There is nothing like relaxing and enjoying the day with your kids.

Marcus and Eloise when she had round 2 of the cold on Christmas Day. A man and his baby=cutest ever.


Eloise turned seven months old! She is now crawling, pulling up, and moving more than I have the energy for. She’s obsessed with the cats and will scream at them. We love her so!


Our friends from Florida came up for a week and we showed them what winter in New England is all about! We took a 24 hour trip to NH so they could experience snow.


Eloise is still unsure about it.


While at my mom’s house I discovered this gem. I’m the baby on the left: Eloise is the spitting image of me as a baby!


We made a trip to NYC on the train the next day. Because we are crazy like that. But we had a great time!  We didn’t get to bed until after midnight that night. It was  totally worth it!

Somehow Eloise slept the entire time on the train. One less baby to chase=thankful!

The kids and I at dinner. As crazy as life is with three kids three and under, it is totally worth it!

Date night with my sister and brother in law and our friends! Went to a new restaurant in New Haven called Olives and Oil. So good!


I am trying to take more individual pictures of my kids. It’s so tough to when they are all so young! Can you even stand how cute they are?!

This girl. So sweet. So caring.

How handsome is he? And so smart. So silly.

Marcus’ grandfather’s health had declined. Marcus went to Maryland Sunday night and was able to spend the last days with him before he passed. He was a great man!

Packing, crawler edition.

How to pack a house when your kids are young: screen time FTW.

The big day finally arrived! I’m still in denial we moved out. We will miss our first home!


And that’s been the past month. So now we are settling into my parent’s house and waiting (im)patiently for homes to come on the market. Levi has figured out how to get out of his crib, so we are now battling the escapee toddler syndrome. Please, oh please send advice my way. How did you get past this stage? All the tactics we used with Scarlett have been futile. Help!

We’ve Been Keeping A Secret…

Some of you know that our house has been on the market. What you may not know is that it has been on the market since April. April 15, to be exact. Our family had entered a season of waiting. Patience. Anxiety. Confusion. Hope. Having your home on the market for eight months can be taxing on you mentally and wear on your relationships. So. Many. Showings. But after nearly eight months…

We are under contract!

 

This was a lesson for us in being patient in God’s timing, not our own. We thought we would be moved at this point. We thought we would already be in a new home. Honestly, I thought we would be under contract before Eloise was born- six months ago. But God had different plans. I will be completely honest and admit that this has been very hard for me. Patience has never been my strong suit. But, this pause in our lives has caused me to draw closer to God. We saw the doors open so clearly to move and put our home on the market, only to have it sit. But I learned that instead of leaning on my own understanding, I need to go to God first when I am confused. Reach out to Him when things aren’t how I planned. That is the wonderful thing about having a relationship with Him- He knows my heart. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. He wants me to lean on Him when I am weak. He is fine that I am not strong. His blessings are not dependent on my works or merit, and he loved me just the same!

This was our first home. The home we brought all our babies home to. The place we celebrated four (almost five!) Christmases. The place we lived when my brother came home from the Army. The home where we saw four anniversaries. We celebrated many birthdays, had lots of parties, holidays, and basically any excuse to have friends over. We had many dinners with friends and sleepovers. But our time at this home and chapter of our lives has (finally) come to a close.

So if you are still with me, here is part two. We are moving, but not staying in Connecticut. We are moving to…

New Hampshire!

We are so excited to move to be closer to family. We love Connecticut, but we are in love with the idea of more land, lower cost of living, a slower pace of life, and of course, family. We have been in Connecticut for seven years now, so it will be a huge adjustment! Not only are we moving near family, but we are moving in WITH family. Until we buy a home, we are moving in with my parents (gulp). But honestly, we are so thankful we have a familiar landing spot while we get acclimated! Stay tuned for more updates on our adventure!

Mens Stocking Stuffer Guide

Buying for men is TOUGH. Maybe it’s just my guy, but he never wants anything. And when he does, he buys it. So whenever holidays or birthdays roll around, I am always stumped! At least with stocking stuffers I have my go-to items that are sure to please.

mens-stocking-stuffer-guide

[eafl id=766 name=”Mens Sunglasses” text=”Sunglasses”] / [eafl id=764 name=”mens fun socks” text=”socks”] / [eafl id=763 name=”jack black face lotion” text=”face lotion”] / [eafl id=765 name=”Fitbit Blaze” text=”Fitbit Blaze”] / [eafl id=761 name=”Calvin Klein Boxer Brief” text=”Brief”] / [eafl id=760 name=”Jack Black Clay Pomade” text=”Clay Pomade”] / [eafl id=762 name=”jerky” text=”jerky”] / [eafl id=767 name=”Ibeats” text=”headphones”] / [eafl id=768 name=”gum” text=”gum”]

[eafl id=766 name=”Mens Sunglasses” text=”Sunglasses”] are a hot item in our house. Both Marcus and I have an affinity for a good set of spectacles. Marcus, however, seems to lose them as quickly as he buys them. I can’t count how many pairs of Oakley sunglasses he’s lost over the years! These [eafl id=766 name=”Mens Sunglasses” text=”sunglasses “]are so inexpensive, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at them. Here’s to hoping this expensive habit can be salvaged!

My husband has always been about his funky [eafl id=764 name=”mens fun socks” text=”socks”]. I am always adding to his collection, and these fit the bill! In the book he wrote (releasing soon! #shamelssplug) he explains the significance behind his socks and how it helps him at work. Go check out his website and you can preorder a copy of his book today!

My husband is not high maintenance in the least. He does, however, enjoy a good lotion or product. He started using the Jack Black line in the past couple years and he loves it! This [eafl id=763 name=”jack black face lotion” text=”lotion “]would be a great addition to his collection.

We are a Fitbit household. Both of us are pretty active, and it is a fun way to stay competitive with our fitness goals. Marcus loves his [eafl id=765 name=”Fitbit Blaze” text=”Blaze”]! And my brother in law just got one too. This would be such a great gift for the athletic guy, or the guy who wants encouragement to be more athletic.

This may be TMI, but I recently went through Marcus’ clothes. I don’t want to tell you how old some of his undergarments were. Or maybe I could try and tell you, but they were before my time and I don’t even know how old they are! (We have been together for 9 years for some context). I have been adding to his brief collection and he is a huge fan of these [eafl id=761 name=”Calvin Klein Boxer Brief” text=”Calvin Klein boxer briefs”]! A little more expensive, but I promise they are worth it. He will thank you!

Marcus has used tons of different hair products over the years. When he started using the [eafl id=760 name=”Jack Black Clay Pomade” text=”Jack Black Clay Pomade”], he was sold for life. Very easy to use and to style, and your ‘do stays put and looks effortless.

Is it just my guy, or do men love weird foods? I personally do not understand the [eafl id=762 name=”jerkey” text=”jerky “]thing, but it is always a hit. [eafl id=762 name=”jerkey” text=”This “]variety pack of different types would be a fun gift!

My husband, the king of losing all the things, somehow has hung onto his really nice headphones for a while now. He has and loves his [eafl id=767 name=”Ibeats” text=”Beats”]! Another one that is more money, but totally worth it. If you’ve never tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing! Your guy would be totally thrilled to find [eafl id=767 name=”Ibeats” text=”this “]in his sock.

Always a crowd pleaser in our house is [eafl id=768 name=”gum” text=”gum”]. I have some stashed in my car and diaper bag so I can pop a piece and not offend the world while running errands. We always need more, and we love [eafl id=768 name=”gum” text=”this “]kind!

Is yours as hard to shop for as mine? Share what your go-to stocking stuffers are! I need more inspiration!

Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting my blog!