Thursday, June 10, 2010

The MLS and the slush pile

Sorry for posting this so late, but I've been super busy. We just arrived in northern Virginia last night, and we spent most of today trudging through depressingly horrible houses, hoping to find a gem.

I'm sad to say we didn't. Maybe this is what agents and editors feel like when reading submissions. The query letters (MLS listings) showed the houses to their best advantage with glowing praise for updated kitchens and great schools, and photos that cut out the ugly abandoned house next door.

Sometimes the first few rooms showed really well. Just like many of us clean up our first three chapters and leave the rest of the MS for later, many homeowners spent money/time on the entry, living room, and kitchen, but ignored the nasty basement, cracked asphalt, and dog smell.

We even saw a few that had been listed incorrectly as having a finished basement or garage. It's like sending the query to an agent who doesn't represent your genre. Unprofessional.

Today we rejected every house in the area we were hoping to live (of those that met our price range and minimum requirements). Tomorrow, we're expanding our search farther from DC, to another area we like that should provide nicer homes for the price.

An agent looking for an author to represent wants more than just a good writer. She's looking for someone great, who really speaks to her. In the same vein, I'm looking for a great house that can meet all of our needs, where I can see my family living for the next four to six years. A house that calls to me.

A home.

Tomorrow, I'll be plowing through more of the slush pile in search of a prize. Wish me luck!

P.S. I want to thank all of my Southern Magic friends for being so good to me over this last year. I've learned so much from you, and enjoyed our time together. I will miss you and look forward to reuniting at Nationals, or somewhere else along the way. Thanks!!

16 comments:

Christine said...

Love the analogy! So true!! You'll find your home in the slush pile.

Miss you already!

Piedmont Writer said...

Great post! Good luck in the house hunt. You'll find your dream house, just like the agent will find the gem in the slush.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, Christine. I'll let you know how it goes.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, Piedmont Writer. I'm hopeful!

Jeanie said...

Gwen, you are so clever! Great post. As for the house, you will find the right one and fill it with happy memories. Looking forward to seeing you at RWA. Miss you already!

JoAnn said...

Awesome post and so true. Good luck, Gwen!

Louisa Cornell said...

What a clever post, girl!! And I just know the right house AND the right publishing house is out there waiting for you!! Can't wait to see you at Nationals! I'll be in with my peeps - Jeanie, Tammy, Audrey and maybe even Deb and Fran so the Wetumpka contingent will be "in da house!"

Christine said...

Nationals are so going to rock this year!! Woot!!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, everyone. We put an offer on a nice house in Centreville, so I have my fingers crossed. Looking forward to seeing the Wetumpka peeps and everybody else at Nationals!

M.V.Freeman said...

Excellent Analogy,
As they say, I'm still plastering the cracks in the walls of my MS.

I really hope you find something it is very depressing to look for a house.

I hope to see you one of these days! :-) Sadly, won't be at nationals this year. But who knows, I tend to pop up in odd places.

I am wishing the best for you!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Good luck with the editing, Mary. I need to get back to mine.

Last time we looked at houses here, I had too many to choose from. Today we found only one. Hope they take our offer.

I hope to see you around too. My dad's moving to Nashville, so maybe I can meet up with you and Christine next when we go to visit (not sure when yet).

M.V.Freeman said...

That would be awesome to see you if you can come to Nashville...I sense a road trip in the future. LOL

I so hope you get that house! :-)

Carla Swafford said...

I'm going to miss you, Gwen. I'll see you in Orlando though!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, Carla. See you in Orlando!

Kat Jones said...

This is so true! What a great analogy! My family just had a similar experience. Those MLS descriptions can be so overwhelming and disappointing. I'm sure agents feel that way about some of the stuff they get.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, Kat. House hunting can be fun, but it's a chore sorting through the junk. Luckily, we found a great house and are going through the inspection process now. I hope you and your family found a home you love too!