Still Waiting…

I haven’t posted a house selling update in a couple weeks and figured I should get you up to speed. I’m still waiting… waiting, waiting, waiting. And if there is anything I like less than lack of communication, its waiting.

As previously reported, the people who looked at our house on August 17th were interested enough to have their real estate agent call my agent to ask additional questions. I was freaking out from excitement, especially because we were leaving for vacation on August 23rd. I was hoping (so hard that it hurt) to get a contract that week. Well, we didn’t hear anything from them and went away on vacation thinking we might get a voicemail while we’re on our trip. When we got back to town, I turned on my cellphone and was pretty disappointed that there were no messages about our house.

We got back to our house Saturday morning and putzed around unpacking, going to the grocery store, and all that jazz. We went out to get a baby shower gift for a friend and got back home at 1:55 pm that afternoon to give the dog a quick walk before running over to our friends house for the shower. Well, during our drive I texted our agent to see if anything had happened while we were gone. She called me back immediately and asked if I had gotten her text about the people coming back for a second showing…at 2:00!

Thank god the house wasn’t a total disaster and I had cleaned it before our trip. We basically ran inside and straightened up everything, put Potter in his crate and hid the suitcases in the back of my truck. Just as we were finishing, their real estate agent walked up.

We chatted with her for a while and answered a bunch of questions about the house. Apparently the people looking at the house live in Southern Maryland, so they were driving up that weekend to see it. Although the parents would be purchasing the house, their two 20-ish aged kids would be living in it. While we were chatting, the kids pulled up and we spoke to them, then the parents came and we talked to them as well.

Yeah, we’re chatty people.

Anyways, everything seemed super happy with the house so we left them to look at it in privacy and drove about two miles away to our friend’s house for a baby shower. About 10 minutes later, I got a call from my agent asking me to go back to my house because they really wanted to check out our homeowner’s association booklet since they hadn’t had one before. I drove back and showed them the booklet and ended up talking to them for 20 – 30 minutes more.

So, at this point I’m freaking out because why would they bother spending this much time asking questions if they weren’t planning to submit a contract?

A couple days go by and I’m tweeking out like a crackhead every time I get a text or my phone rings. AHHH, maybe it’s the call that we’ve got a contract! Nope, nothing. Finally, I hear from our agent that the people are very interested in the house; however they were leaving for a cruise the next day and didn’t want to stress themselves out by putting a contract in and then leaving. They told their agent, if the house is still available when they get back, they’ll take it as a sign and put a contract in.

So, here I am…waiting. Really, how long could their damn cruise be anyways? I’m guessing 7 – 10 days tops, so I’m hoping to hear something the middle of this week.

We’ve had a few other showings in the meantime, as well as another second showing for a different interested buyer. So, join us in crossing your fingers and toes that we get a contract as soon as possible so we can move on to the fun stage of this process… buying our new home!

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Laughing at Myself

Being new to this snazzy blog thing, I just realized that there is an area where my comments are moderated that “suspicious” comments are held for me to review.  I just had to share this one comment that was left on my “Grades: They Really Do Come Back to Bite You in the Butt” entry:

“This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. You’ve got a design here that’s not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what you’re saying. Great job, indeed.”

I was super flattered at the nice comment and have to admit I was doing a dorky little dance inside. “Wow,” I thought, “Adding hashtags to my tweets must be attracting nice readers that I don’t even know to my little blog!”

And then I noticed the name of the commenter… Penis Enlargement.

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Do you want to meet to talk about our meeting, before the meeting, but then have a meeting after the meeting about the meeting?

Raise your hand if you hate meetings.

Okay, lower your hand and pretend that you’re not the nerd who just raised their hand while reading my blog and pretending to work. If I were going to make up some sort of scientific poll, I’d say that 98% of people hate meetings. In fact, if you google “I hate meetings” you get 22,800,00 results (in 0.17 seconds) on the subject. On a related note, one of the suggested searches that comes up when you enter “I hate meetings” is “Death Meetings”, which is just weird.

Most people hate meetings because many times nothing gets decided and you just end up scheduling another meeting to discuss the subject some more (hmm…maybe that’s where “death meetings” comes up, as in I’m going to actually die before something gets finalized in a meeting.)

In a recent frustrating example, I had a meeting scheduled with the proper decision makers but only one of them showed up on time. It took us about 10 minutes to track down the rest of the people, and then another 10 minutes was spent chatting about why they were late to the meeting. When we finally got to the point of the meeting (a time sensitive topic that needed to be finalized that day), they decided to call in a couple more people to ask their opinion.

Spoiler Alert: Nothing was decided at that meeting. At all. In fact, a list of additional questions was created to research before… you guessed it, scheduling another meeting to talk about it.

Are you slamming your head into your keyboard yet? Does this sound familiar?

As a marketing guru, I can honestly say that I’ve been involved in some of the most ridiculous meetings known to man. People not showing up, the office dog walking around with his ‘red rocket’ out, extremely offensive jokes, personal hygiene issues, porn popping up on the computer screen behind them — these are just some of things that people seem to think are acceptable.*

Here are some tricks that I’ve found really do help make your meetings go smoother:

Have an agenda and stick to it. Send the agenda out to the meeting attendees before the meeting so that everyone knows what to expect. If you have a decision that must be made, put that on the agenda.

Show up on time and encourage everyone else to do the same. Much like my pet peeve of people who rush through writing their emails, when you show up late to a meeting you’re letting everyone else know that you think your time is more important than theirs. Everyone in that room knows what you’re doing and just to let you know, we all think you’re an asshat.

If it is going to be a long meeting, assign someone the job of being the “dead horse beater”. Yes, it sounds gross and there is probably a better term for it, but this person’s job is super important. When the meeting just keeps going in circles without any decisions being made, this person speaks up when you’re beating the proverbial dead horse and guides the meeting back on track.

Make an action list and make sure that someone is in charge of each item on that list. It’s very easy to walk away from a meeting with a list of things that were discussed, and then throw it on your desk to have it buried within a couple hours and never thought of again. If you’re the person who called the meeting, make it a habit to create a quick list of tasks that came out of the meeting. Every single item on the list should have someone’s name next to it that’s in charge of completing that item. If there is a deadline involved, add that to the list so that everyone is clear on your expectations.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to say that the tips above will solve ALL your meeting dilemmas, it’s just not true.  If I added up the amount of time over the past decade that I’ve spent in unproductive meetings I’d probably cry at the days/weeks/months of my life that were wasted.

However, by having a confident attitude and a clear plan, your chances of running a productive meeting are greatly increased. Of course, you could kick it up a notch like this hilarious Careerbuilder commercial: 


*Yes, I realize that you’re now hoping that I write a blog post about the time that porn popped up on someone’s computer screen while I was meeting with them. If this is really of interest, leave me a comment and I’ll write it up. Also, to those people who know me in real life, this was NOT at my current job!  

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