Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Looking for a house? I've got one for sale. Ok, so that's not exactly a surprise to anyone who's read my last few blog posts. No, I'm not posting the MLS link or the photos here. Go dig around realtor.com or coldwellbankergundaker.com and see what you can find. If it's nice, make an offer. Maybe it will be mine :)

Getting the house ready to list has been a huge chore. I never want to talk to another flooring contractor again, and I'm thrilled that our new house is brand-new with brand-new carpet that should last us many good years (at least long enough to forget the trauma). I have some advice for contractor-types:

Communicate with your potential customers. Frequently and honestly. It's not much to ask, I swear.

Two different contractor lost our business for communication problems. The first was an independent company recommended by our realtor. I'm not naming their name because I did get an apology phone call after the fact. But basically, the sales rep showed (an hour late) with two small squares of carpet (his "samples"), took measurements. And then we waited a week and heard nothing from him. This was in early July and we were aiming to get our house photographed and listed by the 21st of July (and he knew this).

When the president of the company called later to apologize (sort-of), he said that the rep had sent us email (he read off the email address...was typo-d so it never got to us...our email has our last name in the domain name and he spelled it wrong), and that the rep had called (he hadn't). Knowing that we were in a bit of a time crunch, you'd think that he might have followed up at least once (possibly more) to make sure that we got his estimate, or sent it by snail mail in addition to email, just in case. Whatever.

Next we went to our friendly neighborhood home improvement warehouse store, where they had nice-looking in-stock beige carpet (nothing fancy, but about the same color/quality as what we were replacing) and a big ol' sign advertising "72 hour install" on in-stock carpet. Perfect, right? Not so much. They hired a sub-contractor. The sub took 4 days (of their promised 2) to CALL us to set up the appointment to measure for the carpet (scheduled for 2 days later than that), then 3 more days to turn the numbers back to the store, then waited over a week (of their promised 2-day waiting period) to call and schedule the install (which they wanted to set for 2-3 weeks later, not 72 hours).

In the mean time, we'd gone back to the home-improvement warehouse store and complained. The store was very helpful and scrounged up a crew to get it done before the 28th of July (see how we'd already had to push the listing date back?). The crew was literally in our house until 10pm one Friday night finishing up.

Hooray for the store, and big hooray for that crew.

To the other sub: I hope that the store re-thinks how they work contracts with them. True, we were buying inexpensive carpet, but the install costs aren't tied to the cost of the carpet. And those time-frames are set by the store (with whom we'd signed the contracts and paid the money), and should have been respected. If they couldn't handle the job they should have called on day 1, not day 7. I would have forgiven them for saying that they couldn't do it. I can't forgive them for wasting my time.

All is well. We have all-new carpet in most of our house (we didn't do the bedrooms--there was no where to move all the furniture). Our house looks really nice. Thankfully. Now we just need a buyer.

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