Real Estate Ray's Blog: How Do You Eat an Elephant?

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

    How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  That old line came to mind when I first was introduced to this Lincoln Village home that recently sold.

    We listed this home at the end of 2019, but the story started a little over a year ago.  We were working on another home in Stockton a few blocks away doing estate sales and cleaning it up (This Longview house).  A friend from high school saw the work we were doing on a Facebook post and reached out to me to see if I was interested in helping their family with their estate home sale.  This home was in better shape than the home on Longveiw ave., but there would still be a lot to do.  

   Front Bedroom              Living Room

     They were ready to move forward in October.  The first time we met, everything seemed a little overwhelming.  The house was full of furniture and decades worth of belongings to straighten out or sell before we could get the house on the market. Both of my clients, my wife and I all worked together.  We made a great team! After the family went through and picked out all of their keepsakes, we sorted through everything else together and then had a series of estate sales.  After the first couple of sales, we dropped prices considerably and by the last day, there was not much left. We were able to donate most of the remaining items to charity.  The rest was relatively easy.  We put the home on the market and it sold quickly.

Here is what my new friends had to say:


Raymond Henson helped us prepare my mother-in-law’s home for sale. He and his wife, Mary Margaret, helped us clean out the house and helped us with the estate sale. Tom and I did not no where or how to start so Ray’s experience and help made us feel less overwhelmed. Ray helped sell the house in less than three months! He gave us a time line of what to expect next and explained if we did not understand. An awesome Realtor!!!


Ray did a fantastic job job in selling my mothers house for me and my wife. i would recommend him for anything related to the sale of your home.I think he and his wife went far beyond what he was hired for, to help us sell and get through all the paper work. I would recommend him for any job that he does.


If you have a house that you are ready to sell, I would be glad to help.  .It is a big job so reach out a few months before you are ready to sell.  It makes the process less stressful. 


Feel free to call me at 916-698-8414.

Tips for selling your home

Original Listing Post

Past Client Recommendations

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comment balloon 32 commentsRaymond Henson, SRES, GRI • January 24 2020 11:58PM


Hi Raymond- I've always loved that saying. I'd imagine that it was overwhelming to see all that needed to be done. And as the saying says, you take it one step at a time. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 7 months ago

How do you eat an elephant is one of my favorite sayings - of course the second part is - where do you find an elephant = or First, you have to have an elephant! Good job

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) 7 months ago

Kathy Streib, I like one step at a time as well.

Lise Howe, maybe the third question would be, what seasonings would be appropriate?  

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 7 months ago

Hello Raymond - "above and beyond" are especially nice words to hear from satisfied clients.  Good job!

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 7 months ago

That is indeed a lot of work and it is good to know that the people you are helping out are very appreciative of your efforts!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 7 months ago

Hi Raymond... I've always loved that saying... because there are many instances in our professional lives when it comes into play! Well done taking care of your clients one bite at a time.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) 7 months ago

Michael JacobsBrian England and Nina Hollander, any time a client shows faith in me, I try to make sure it is well founded.   I appreciate your kind words.  Thank you!

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 7 months ago

Raymond, that is quite an elephant, and taking that project on, needs to be in pieces.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 7 months ago


I love your post, especially the kudos at the end.  Many do not realize what agents take on...Congratulations.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 7 months ago

Hi Raymond Henson, I read your post in a reblog of Brian England.   I love the title of your post as it fits so well.  I recall the experience my real estate partner and I took on one time when a sudden emergency saw a family of 5 move out of their home overnight and my partner and I were forced with the home clean up and preparation for an estate sale.  The family did realize and were eternally grateful for all that took them to a successful sale,  closing of their home.  I firmly believe that the general public do not realize all we real estate professional agents are able to do to help them.

Posted by Jane Chaulklin-Schott, TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836 (TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766) 7 months ago

Hi Raymond:

That's a great story, and a nice compliment to you and all of your work.  And a good illustration of that excellent quote!! No doubt selling can often feel like eating an elephant to some sellers givenhow much they may have to do to get the home ready.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) 7 months ago

Jane Chaulklin-Schott, My clients kept asking me if other agents would do as much as me.  I told them I really do not know.  I am sure a lot would.  It seems like I have seen a lot of similar stories on our Activerain site.  Maybe everyone here just inspires me.

Jeff Dowler, CRS, Thank you, luckily I have my wife to help me and keep me focused.  It was a real team effort with my clients and my wife. 

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 7 months ago

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 7 months ago

You illustrate the value in hiring a great real estate agent. And you're right, it takes a lot of focus and patience and perseverance to get some sold. Well done to you Raymond. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 7 months ago

Kathy Streib  , thank you very much.  This was a post I was on the fence about and almost did not write.  I am thankful that it turned out useful.  I appreciate being featured on, What I Learned This Week.

Thank you Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD.  I do what I can and try to make the process as smooth as I can for my clients.

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 7 months ago

Hi Raymond Henson and explanation. It has been a while since I heard it but will remember it after reading this!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) 7 months ago

Hi Raymond Henson - that best way to tackle a large amount of work is step by step. I am sure that they appreciated you helping them through it.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 7 months ago

Raymond Henson 

Love the way you used the title to get our attention. Glad you got off the fence and wrote this post. 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 7 months ago

Good morning Raymond Henson,

Wow so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-Ha" moments for the week. Great job and wonderful testimonials!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 7 months ago

I admit to being overwhelmed after entering many of home staging consultations. More times than not, actually. 

These sellers were very lucky to have your assistance. It's amazing what can be done to transform a home if you have the right people helping you!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 7 months ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland,  Ha, I did not even notice the play on words with post and fence.  Thank you for dropping by. 

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR,  I feel lucky to have been featured.  Thank you!

Sharon Tara, After my wife saw how much there was she wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew.  It made me a little nervous, but I did have a great team.    

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 7 months ago

Hi Ray,
I think this is why some people never do great things. They get overwhelmed with the picture instead of focusing on one bite at a time.  I'm undertaking a new project now and I sometimes wake up in the night thinking "What the heck am I doing?"... but in the morning in the bright of the day I go back to focusing on the next bite.

Carry on... 

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) 7 months ago

Great job Raymond! I not sure I would be up to it! I am just finishing my late mother's home. She was a hoarder, anddon't think I could do another one!

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) 6 months ago

Such and great story and wonderful Feedback from your clients. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 

Posted by Gwen Fowler-864-916-2019 SC Mountains Lakes Homes, Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc. (Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc) 6 months ago

Carol Williams, I hope your project turns out well!  I have purchased a few houses to fix up.  I am always excited when I get it, then I walk in to start the remodel and start to panic.  I do the same thing, just start one small job and the rest seems to fall into place.

Thank you, Tom Bailey.  I think when you do your own family's home that it is much tougher.  We did that a few years ago and it was difficult.  There are so many memories.  

Thank you, Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes-- , I appreciate you stopping by.

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 6 months ago

Good work!  It can be kind of fun to tackle a big job like that and get it done.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) 6 months ago

In the process of getting a house prepared after two losses in our family, I know the feeling of "overwhelming" at times. Like seeing the positive outcome. Great reminder and love the comments from clients at the end. Good example.

Posted by Kurt Uhlir, Real Estate Marketing Coach & Speaker (Showcase IDX) 6 months ago

Excellent work and a good recommendation to boot!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 6 months ago

Kurt Uhlir,  we had to sell a family house out of state a few years ago.  It does feel overwhelming.  It is one of the reasons that I like to help when I can.  I am sorry about your family's losses.

Jan Green,  thank you.  

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 6 months ago

Raymond, you have been gone too long, think its time to write another post.  Miss you!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 3 months ago

Thank you, Joan Cox.  I know it is a poor excuse, but I have been in Arizona getting a new rental ready to market.  On the plus side, I did have the pleasure of spending some time with Brian England .  He was gracious enough to drop by and view my new place and then have dinner with my family.  This is a  wonderful group to be a part of and I will have a new post soon, probably Arizona themed.  

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

Ok, that does sound like a good excuse.   Hope you got the referral, as I saw someone needed a REALTOR in Elk Grove.    I like to meet up with AR members too when in other cities.   I was close to Brian when I went to Sedona, but not enough hours to drive another 4 hours (back and forth) to meet him.  Next trip....

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 3 months ago