A Realtor’s Less Obvious Joys

|June 18, 2018

I write marketing copy for homes all the time. I can create a property brochure in no time flat, knowing which features to highlight and which buzz words to use. There’s a checklist and a word-count limit.

But there are many qualities — in every home I represent — that I don’t get to write about. Nobody reads anymore and, if they did, they wouldn’t read lengthy descriptions about a for-sale house’s quiet surprises and pleasures.

I’d like to wax poetical, but there’s no space for it. I can’t describe a room the way, for example, Charles Simic does in his poem The Secret of the Yellow Room.

Sloth’s best. Lolling on a sofa
In a Chinese dressing gown
With the windows open in the heat,
The breeze rousing the leaves.
The flies dozing on the ceiling.
The silky hush of a summer afternoon,
Like floating on one’s back
With eyes closed in some pond
Clogged with water lilies,
Inhaling their scent as they nuzzle close.
The light and shade dillydallying,
The leaves sighing again.
Afterward, not even that.
Majestic stupor. Stirring only at midnight
To click on the yellow table lamp.

But today I’m sharing some of the less obvious joys of a new listing I’m showing in Noe Valley. Here’s a link to the property website if you want to see photos and specs. But what you can’t glean from its marketing description are these things:

  • The way the west-facing windows of the houses on the nearby hills glow with yellow, pink and flaming orange as the sun sets
  • The petite, muddy handprints of raccoons splayed over the outdoor cushions, reminding me there must have been quite a (wildlife) party last night.
  • The instant warmth of the soothing (radiantly heated) matte oak floors on my sock-clad feet.
  • The heft and snugness of the master deck sliding door.
  • The Ligne Roset sofa and chair calling to me to sit down and relax by the fireplace (and dream into how lovely it’d be to live there).
  • The skyline view in every kind of weather – muted on a grey summer’s day, crisp against a blue sky, sparkling as dusk fades.
  • The thick, assertive grass in the backyard, reminding me of long-ago barefoot days back in Virginia.
  • The fluffy, fuzzy tree across the street.
  • The crazy baroque tile of the powder room.
  • The delight of watching visitors’ faces illumine when they climb the stairs from the foyer and first behold the voluminous living and dining rooms
  • The quiet of the house when it’s just me there alone, ready to show it to the people who’re going to love it and call it home.

Category Real Estate, San Francisco

Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins

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