A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter N)

I came across this charming sign, starting with N, painted on what was clearly a door with steps outside, but also, clearly, not an exit.

N Networking

Networking is a fancy term for “who do you know who can help you?” or “who might need your help?” with the presupposition that both parties will benefit sooner or later. The more people you know, the larger the network, the more things get done.

Selling the house has been made immeasurably easier by the networks developed by my realtor and by me as well. I don’t want to give everything away about my realtor until we get to letter R, but I will tell you here that in getting houses ready for the market, he drums up a lot of business for tradespeople. He becomes familiar with companies that will work to his standards and treat his clients nicely.

We wanted to know what work the house needed. He knew a good inspector.

A section of roof had a leak. He knew a roofer who came out and gave a bid right away.

The rental house needed a lot of cosmetic repair. He knew a good painter.

Electrical work needed to be done. He knew an electrician who was reasonable in price and did good work.

I needed an extra handyman. He found one.

I do not mind giving these guys some free advertising and a good reference.

I have done pretty well for not being in the business of fixing houses. I have Joe, who is a super networker among his friends. Joe and his crews have done cement work, lawn work, pressure washing, tree removal, appliance repair, and today they took away all my recyclable metal, and old sheets of plywood. What a relief.

Through years of being hospitable to my daughter’s friends (who have grown up and now have jobs) I have a supplier of packing boxes, and a great plumber.

Best of all, my own networking has supplied me with a great number of good friends who are praying me through this whole ordeal, bit by bit.  God alone knows how many times he has stepped in and helped us along because of them.  Y’all know who you are – thank you so very much!

The husband and I are suddenly sick with headaches and colds, making it difficult to think and work. Nevertheless, the busiest Monday so far was today. Painter, electricians (2 of them), handyman were all at work. I took some Excedrin and starting painting in my house. I can hardly wait until letter P to tell how much I hate painting.


A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter H)

This was written ahead, but yesterday was way too full to even sit down and post it. The painter is coming and I only had a partial day to clean before him. We  don’t want to paint over dirt (anymore). 

H for Handyman

The handyman list was the longest.

There are very few houses that would not benefit from the services of a handyman. The name is so apt. Any smart homeowner should know at least two of them. Over the years we have not always fixed things that were not crucial to daily operations. Now that we are getting ready to sell, we have a lot of catching up to do.

After the home inspection, I ended up with several to-do lists. One of them was for the handyman. The realtor gave me the name of one that he trusted, but this man was booked up for weeks. That’s why I’m saying that you need to know of more than one.

I, fortunately, have a realtor who has done time as a contractor/handyman. And because he like to gets houses on the market as soon as possible, he sometimes steps down and grabs his tools again. I also know a multi-talented Hispanic friend, Joe, who does work for me when he’s not doing cement contracting. On day one of tackling the list,  Joe was working with the caulk gun when Tory, the realtor, showed up. To my surprise, a few seconds later they were chattering away in Spanish and had several list items all figured out. Teamwork is sweet.

Joe often stores his ladders and ropes at our house, probably because our house always needs pressure washing and those are necessary tools. Joe is very good at yard work too. I can ask him to make it look nice, and he figures out how. After seeing “the list” he got busy and worked on places where the siding was loose and where caulking was needed. He cleaned all the gutters and downspouts. A week later Tory spent a whole day doing finishing carpentry and replacing small areas of bad wood. He removed the barrier fence around the second story patio that was going to be re-roofed. These guys have tools and know how to use them. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

What I appreciate about Joe is that if something is broken, he will always try to fix it. He has an optimism and a curiosity about how things work and he is sure he can make that broken thing work fine again. I take advantage of that and give him my broken appliances just for the relief of having them off the premises. Today he took a washer and a stove. Made a nice big empty spot in our garage.

I am a handy woman, and although I’m not quite as handy as a handyman, I got a lot done yesterday. My favorite tool is a drill. My favorite thing to do with it is remove screws. All of our kitchen cabinet fronts are getting painted white so all the doors, had to be removed and the hardware completely taken off – several hundred screws I would say. And then I had to scrub them all. The whir of the drill and the aroma of bleach… handywoman ambiance.

This is not the first time I’ve been photographed with a drill in my hand.

Do you have a handyman? You should. Get one before you have a crisis. Just sayin’…