Thursday, January 31, 2013

Selling the House

Life, as I often say, is an adventure.  Selling my home, I have to say experience, if not an adventure. 

First let me say that I have only sold one other home, and in reality I did not sell that one.  After being an overseas landlord for five minutes, we decided to sell our house from afar.  I contacted an agent, gave her all the powers of attorney, let my tenants know that folks would be coming in and out and left it at that. There were no open houses, no home staging. I suspect that my agent sent the "boys" out when there were visitors. This was 2005 in Washington, DC. The fact that my tenants of six years had trashed my house and made it smell like socks was a pain, but the home sold (although I got much less than if I were still living in it and had upgraded it). When closing time arrived, we both gave my daughter who lived in the Cayman islands our powers of attorney. She closed and got the things we had left in the house out. In other words, we were really not part of the process.

Move forward to a different place and time. The market has, fortunately, improved in a big way. I live in a high demand area.  Allen is regularly rated as one of the best places to live.  They recently built this stadium and have excellent schools, although all the new constructions is not for me. I'm not sure that I mentioned this, but the guy across the street from me sold his house in three days.  When I saw the "under contract" sign, I thought nothing about it-after all that phrase covers a host of options and situations. One week later, he was moving out.

In preparation for selling as quickly as possible, I've repaired my foundation.  I've done the minimum in the yard. I have the general philosophy that he front yard is for the neighbors and home privacy (I have an alley garage), the patio is for me and the back yard is for the dogs. My yard shows that.  I've decided not to replace the carpet as I have dogs with special needs (read cancer and the side effects of that illness). They could destroy the carpet the date after I replaced it. Instead I have offered a decorating discount. My walls are all colors rather than white, so that encompasses quite a few options. I've made it clear to my realtor that she should present me all offers and I am ready to grab the dogs, wipe down the house and vacuum and leave in less than an hour. I've listed (in my head if nowhere else) the items that I would consider converting with the house or selling rather than shipping to Colorado (like my gigantic china cabinet).

For the past  week or so, my son and I have been hiding items, making the master walk in closet look unused and shoving many decorative items aside. I've also been cleaning to my abilities and will have a house cleaner do one deep cleaning next week. Yesterday I  got a reality check.  The realtor and the photographer hid many of my items during the photo shoot, and in my realtor's perfect world, the Kitchen Aid would be hidden under the counter. I think we've now come to a happy medium-somewhere between her wishful thinking and my reality.  I've put away lots of stuff, but I have to live here, and I live here all day, not just a few hours after work.

So the home is now the market, I'm ready to move and  I have no idea how much if any money I will get-the range is huge, but I would rather "get out from under" than hold out for a big amount. I believe we have priced the house well, but we shall see.

Meanwhile, I'm in organization mode, both as a defence mechanism and as preparation. I'm also in health care mode.  With regards to the first, I'm making those lists above, researching my home possibilities (Colorado is looking more and more like the place) and very slowly beginning to pack items and pile them up for yard saling. On the medical front, I found a small fibrous spot during my monthly breast check and fast forwarded my mammogram for next week. Not to anything by half, I also moved all of my regular appointments up, so that they will be out of the way-and if I move to the cold, cold north, I won't have to find new physicians right away.

All, and all I am in sell, move and take care of myself mode these days-allowing son to tag along, stay, or come up with another solution.  Oh, and I still have not evaluated the cost of moving my belongings north a couple states-that's a number I'm not sure I'm ready to look at!!!!!


  1. Good luck on the sale of your home, may you get a huge check and find just what you want in CO!!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to blog. I agree with Debby...good luck! lots of money & when you get to Denver or wherever you end up, please continue blogging. I love reading vicariously how folks move & organize. I hope not to have to move again, but I am decluttering, so I'm enjoying your experience.

  3. Wow you are busy! Good luck on your house sale and I hope you get a great price for it!

  4. wow...the lump is a bit of a curve ball. Hope that turns out to be no problem. Wish you well in transitions and may it work out with you having more money in the bank. You have a whole lot of blog followers who care and are cheering from the sideline here. aloha

  5. Selling a house is not for the faint of heart. I have sold 8 personal residences and 4 rental properties and do not have fond memories of any of them.

    But, moving to a new home in a new community is one of the most exciting things you can do. It fills you with fresh energy and purpose and endless possibilities.
    You will have a great time making a new life in the Rockies.

  6. Barb, good luck on the sale of your home. I take it you have more or less decided where you are going to live. Please keep blogging where ever you end up my friend, I find you totally inspirational.

    God bless

  7. Realtors always want you to take everything out of your house and make the place look as sterile as possible. I think that's a mistake. You want it to look warm and inviting and lived in ... although not TOO lived in. Anyway, best of luck -- may someone offer you over your asking price!

  8. Seems like everything is moving right along and fairly smoothly from what I'm reading. I moved 2 years ago from a house to a condo. I think more than half of my stuff didn't make the move with me which is what I intended.

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