Day 3 of the 30-Day-Every-Day Blogging Challenge

5 Generations of Ulrichs

Tom and I have sold three of our previous homes ourselves. But with the economy, the time of year, the fact our condo is in a private community… we decided to turn it over to the professionals.

Don’t know about you, but every parent of a kid with a disability feels slimy squiggly worms climbing up their necks at the phrase, “Turn it over to the professionals.”

Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are professionals. *laugh, had to add that*

What I’ve learned from my experiences as a mother?

I don’t like to mistrust people or cause problems. I don’t enjoy confrontation. I don’t think my way is the only way. It’s no fun to continually question the rules. But…

People with disabilities and their families have been the victims of the experts. We have seen them change their minds, make stuff up, be flat-out wrong (remember refrigerator mothers and institutions…) So, I am skeptical of experts, research, and all professionals. Including Realtors.

Do Realtors conduct scientific research?

The dominant research paradigm in our culture requires we disprove the “null hypothesis” to find the new truth or fact. The scientific method demands testing under strict guidelines, then in additional studies, all findings must be duplicated with similar results. (Hey, I didn’t take all those research classes for nothing.)

So maybe some “Research Realtor” (say that three times fast) set up double-blind studies, evaluated the statistics and made scientifically unbiased conclusions. But, maybe all this objective advice about removing all personal pictures and hiding the coffee pot is nonsense propagated on a TV show? Maybe no one tested it at all. Maybe some company exec. made an arbitrary decision. Don’t know, I haven’t studied the real estate literature.

Just Trust Me.

But don’t you wonder if deciding a one-hour Open House is more effective than a 3 hour Open House is based on pure speculation? Is there quantifiable data proving the internet is the only effective way to advertise? Do the pros navigate their own websites ie. When we typed in our street address on the Realtor’s website, it said, “no such property exists.” Scary.

We parents learned the hard way about authority and trust when researchers insisted on using standardized tests–in multiple choice format–because that was easiest for them to collect data.

Do Realtors now rely almost exclusively on the internet and one-hour open houses because it really is more effective selling houses? Or, to make their personal lives easier? (Hey, no one wants to work Sunday afternoons.)

It’s only one week since our listing–so we need patience. But Tom and I are starting to second-guess our decision and wish we tried to sell our condo ourselves. At least we would be in control, success or not. Our condo at $148,900 is small potatoes to a real estate professional. Yet the $8,000 commission might mean the difference between a sale, and no sale. And $8,000 is what Tom makes in a year working 3 days a week at his job at the golf course.

Once empowered…

One thing about being an advocate and parent of a child with a severe disability is we know about empowerment and self-determination. We have learned to be persistent. We communicate our needs, concerns and keep asking questions. We don’t trust professionals to do their jobs. We question promises, motives and actions. We question…well, everything. That is how we survive.

Not sure if that is good or bad, it is just the way it is. In systems theory we understand everything is connected. What affects one part of the system affects all the parts of the system (click here).

Sorry Realtors, nothing personal, but when you get our listing, you also get our life’s baggage. We act the same for hairdressers, plumbers, and especially for all service delivery services (and I don’t mean Federal Express).

Parents carry battle scars that never heal. And this carries over into all aspects of life.

Your Turn

So, maybe the questions are: Can parents ever be happy? Can we ever trust professionals to do their jobs? What do you think when you “turn it over to the professionals”? Do workshops on self-determination and empowerment help or hinder our relationships?
Do you “Question the Rules”?

Tomorrow: “When Sci-Fi Touches Real Life” a story where the heroine is one of those squiggly worms.

Keep Climbing: Onward and Upward.

All the best,


In case you missed it:

Day 1: “Every Day for 30 Days” Blogging Challenge or “IBP” (Individual Blogging Plan) Day 1 of the 30-Day-Every-Day Blogging challenge. (click here)

Day 2: Memory Rocks: not being objective (click here).

Check out what my challenge partner Alison Golden of The Secret Life of a Warrior Woman is blogging about today at