My worst apartment showing
I have shown lots of apartments, and I am happy to say that the majority are pretty clean, and in good repair. I have been fortunate to not have had too many surprises, however, one showing sticks out in my mind as being the worst ever.
I had posted an ad, and had several responses over one particular weekend. I contacted the tenant to give notice for access (although once a tenant gives notice to quit in Nova Scotia, they have to provide access, even without 24 hour notice) We still like to give as much notice as possible. My tenant said it would be no problem, however, she was away and it would be just her two teenage kids at home.
She said she would contact them and ask them to clean up. I thanked her, and planned my showings.
I had three, so I staggered them one half hour apart. I showed up 30 minutes early and was greeted by a friendly teenager. She welcomed me in, and then was quick to put on her head phones and get back to her phone and computer.
I was standing in the living room, thinking OMG, how am I going to make this place look amazing in 30 minutes. There was dog hair everywhere.
Pizza boxes and dishes stacked in the sink. The curtains were closed and the place had a cigarette smell. I walked around and the next thing noticed was a dirty cat box.
I opened the curtains, started sweeping the floor and then the door bell rang. My first showing came twenty minutes early. They were a nice young well dressed couple. I felt embarrassed to bring them in, however, I figured the show must go on. I could tell by the body language, that they were not very impressed.
We did a tour starting upstairs, and working our way down. The nail in my showings coffin was when we went to the basement rec room and right in the middle of the floor was dog poop. I rushed them through to show them the spacious laundry room, but I am pretty sure they noticed.
They did take an application, but I never heard from them again.
Once they left, I had about 20 minutes to clean this three level house from top to bottom. I jammed dirty dishes back in cupboards, swept, mopped, and fortunately I brought a few garbage bags with me, so I did a marathon clean up. I even sprayed with febreeze. I am not going to say the job was perfect, but I have to admit, it was pretty good considering what I had to work with. Fortunately or unfortunately my second appointment did not show. That gave me time to get it ready for my third appointment.
When they showed up, I just hoped they would not look in the kitchen cupboards (they did not).
The great thing is that they were very impressed and were well qualified tenants who filled out an application on the spot.
As you can see my story has a happy ending. The lesson is to always show up early for your showings. Make sure to also come prepared with some basic supplies like a broom, dust pan, febreeze, and garbage bags.
I am not sure what I could have done differently that day, I guess if I could go back in time, I would have arrived earlier. I should have made more time for the teenagers looking after the house factor.
Michael P Currie