Thursday, October 10, 2013

Selling The House Part 1

Back in 2011 we made the decision to stay in our house and return it back to it's original three-bedroom configuration instead of adding another story or moving.  We were happy with our decision.  Staying put allowed us to travel more and with no additional mortgage costs, ultimately made the decision to move to London a no brainer.

We spoke with two well-known realtors in town the week of Labor Day.  We needed to know if our house was even ready for a For Sale sign.  Our timing was close, in a sense, to the holidays so was it even a good idea to try to sell at the time?  Both realtors indicated the time was great time for a house like ours because it appealed to many buyers: empty nesters, singles, young couples, and small families.  The best news of all, the inventory of houses like ours in the area was extremely low and the number of buyers was high.    

Additionally, both realtors had similar suggestions for improvements to complete before going on the market, and both suggested similar listing prices.  One realtor's follow-up was an email with listing price & comps.  The other returned on Saturday morning to sit down with us and go over the listing price and comps.

Then things started moving fast.  

Does your appliance store have a choreographed fountain & race car?
On Saturday, before we settled on a realtor we went appliance shopping.  Since both made comment that the almond appliances in the kitchen were not on trend, we felt that we had to do something about it.  I talked Matt into a trip to our favorite, always jam-packed appliance store in the 'burbs.  We went in as an information-gathering excursion.  We left with a new suite of appliances.  It was quite easy to pick out appliances that we won't get the chance to use.  I think we made nice choices for the new residents.  

On Sunday we made the call to the realtor we wanted to partner with; we chose the realtor who took the time to sit with us and answer all four hundred of our questions.  She is a former property appraiser, so we felt that her expertise would be beneficial from start to finish.   The Monday after Labor Day I went into realtor's office to sign the papers to get the house on the market.  Matt was in London, so I signed and then the realtor scanned & emailed them to him.  

At this point in the game the circle of people that knew of our moving plan was quite small.  The addition of a big old For Sale sign in the front yard made us have to spill the news pretty quick.  I asked the realtor to wait until Friday to install the sign so we'd have a few days to expand the circle.  She was OK with that since photos wouldn't be taken until Monday after the appliances were installed.

That meant I had four days until the free world knew we were moving. <insert panic here>

I started with our neighbors.  They'd be the first to see the sign and quite possibly it's installation.  They had a similar reaction as the our friends, a sad and happy reaction.  For the neighbors I couldn't catch up with, I had to send an email.  Not the most personal, but it was the best I could do in a time crunch.

I think you've read enough of the story for now.  Come back for Part 2.

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