sell this house? A Melodrama in 4 Acts…continued

sell this house?  A Melodrama in 4 Acts….Act I, Scene 3…March 2010

Cast of Characters:  

ME, the seller

BB, my real estate agent

SN, AG, TH, SE, TV are other real estate agents


ME (March 1, 2010):   Do you want to retake some photos now that I have taken down a lot of stuff?  No furniture gone yet.  Let me know… 

I like our plan.

BB (March 1, 2010):   I can come back and take more photos — what if we do it before the next open house and price reduction?  That way the renter will have moved and we can also include the basement.  If you want to take some pics and email them to me then I can see if we can use those, but I don’t mind doing it myself. 

I like our plan too!

ME (March 5, 2010):   We have an open house scheduled for March 14.  I have a man staying the Ship Room upstairs through that night.  I think it will be ok.  I will make sure the room is tidy and presentable.  What time are we scheduled for?

BB (3/5/2010):   It’s a beautiful spring day!  Everything is blooming like crazy in my yard!  I’m thinking that we should schedule that for 2-4 — daylight savings time starts that day so the day is longer and the hour change might not get people out if we do it at 1.  What do you think of that?

I also need to tell you that EH is no longer working with me.  Long story, but if you would like to see any houses or condos from now on then please let me know.  I will send you anything new that comes up of course.

ME (March 5, 2010):   Sorry to hear about EH, but I’m sure the nursing program + her family is a heavy load.  I really liked her, but I like you also.  I wish her well.

2-4 sounds very good.  I will let my renter know about that day.

Talk to you on the 10th.

BB (3/12/2010):   Hi to G & E,  I’ve been working with you tow and talking with you two both recently and it occurred to me that perhaps the two of you should meet (yes, I’m playing matchmaker!).  You both have some similarities.  You both have fabulous remodeled homes that you are trying to sell, you both have vaulted ceilings, you both are trying to downsize and find the right next fit, you both have full and interesting lives with a lot to talk about, you both are looking for similar things, you both don’t know where you’ll end up yet you are both on a similar journey — and you’re both working with me!  I think that you two would hit it off and I think you two should meet.  It also just occurred to me that since we live in a small town, you may already know each other.  But if not then I would suggest that you two go out to coffee or something — you might make a new friend to go through this process with (or you might not hit it off, which is fine as well).

Let me know what you think!

BB (3/14/2010):   We had a pretty good turn out — about 30 people came.  It was slow at times (sunny Sunday and a lot going on) but pretty steady.  The most interested person seemed to be the first man who came while you were still here — he loved the house and it might work out for them.  He is working with a realtor so he’s going to talk to his realtor about a time for his wife to see it once he tells her about it.  He was really nice.  A lot of neighbors came as well.  Everyone had really good things to say about the house and how it looks and your furnishings.  The only negative thing I heard were a few people commented on how nice it would be to have a view from upstairs (the hall windows where it faces the roof).  Nothing we can do about that, but that was the only complaint.  Hope you had a fabulous Sunday!  I forgot to ask you — do you want to have another broker tour this Wednesday?  We had a price change so we can have another one if you want to do that.  Let me know.

ME (March 14, 2010):   Glad to know we got a nibble.  CB did seem nice and I had a feeling he was sincerely interested.  That’s a really good thing that he wants to bring his wife.

Yes to the St Paddy’s Day tour.  Time?  I will be gone in the afternoon working the Homeless event at the fairgrounds.

BB (3/14/2010):  CB is really nice — glad you thought so too!  He asked a lot about you and your furnishings, so I told him a little bit and he was fascinated and said he’d love to talk with you sometime.  Even better if he bought the house and then talked with you!

What time would work for you Wednesday?  Usually it’s anytime after 10am until anytime in the afternoon.  Let me know when you’ll be gone and we can coordinate it. 

ME (March 14, 2010):  Yeah for CB!  Buy this house!

I think my shift is 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Wed. 

BB (3/14/2010):   So can we have it earlier than 1:30?  Could we do noon to 3:30 or 11:30?  That would require you to be gone longer.  We could just schedule it from 1:30 to 3:30 if that works best.  The usual thing is like 11 to 2 or 10 to 3.  The realtors all meet in the morning at the Vet’s Club from 9 to 10 and go over all of the houses that will be on tour, then everyone leaves to go tour homes or go back to work and tour them later.  What do you tink are the best time options?

ME (March 14, 2010):   How about 11-3?

BB (3/14/2010):   Sounds great!  I’ll schedule it for 11-3 on Wednesday 3/17, St. Patrick’s Day.  We seem to be doing your house events on holidays — first Valentine’s Day now St Paddy’s — I think we should plan on being pending by Easter and closed by Mother’s Day!

BB (3/23/2010):  Just a reminder that the Broker Tour will be held tomorrow from 10-2.  Also, I was hoping to arrange a time near the end of the week or the weekend to move that bookcase (I haven’t forgotten about it!).  I’ll work on a plan for getting a couple of strong backs and a truck and let you know.

Hope you have a great sunny day!

BB (Mar 25, 2010):  Thanks for touring the listing yesterday!  Can you give me some feedback that I can pass on to my seller?

SN (March 25, 2010)  It’s lovely, really.  She mentioned the architect, but I’ve forgotten which early pioneer it was that live there.  Do you know?

BB (March 25, 2010):  It was CC’s house.  She taught piano and voice lessons in that front room.  There is a photo of her and some basic information/history on the mantle at the house.  She also mentioned that you told her you have friends in the neighborhood who might be interested — want to set up a showing for them?

SN:  I have toured this home a couple of times.  First of all it is in a nice section of town and the owners have tried to keep the period intact.  It has a lot of charm when you enter the main room.  The pricing seems high to me in this market to promote a reasonable sell time.  It needs updates throughout.  I think if the price was under $500,000 perhaps in today’s market it would sell.  I realize it is less than what they originally paid in 2005, but not as big a drop as many have experienced.

AG (March 25, 2010):   I love this area, so, of course, I loved it.  I like the history of the house and the general overall feeling.  I appreciate the house.  I see there was a 25k price reduction — just need the right folks to walk through.  May find it’s still  a bit high.

ME (March 25, 2010):  Isn’t it customary to make an offer below what the advertised price is?  I really do not want to go too low…at least not yet. 

Do you have any idea what the one person said about it needing to be upgraded?  Can’t think of anything, except the garage that could be upgraded.

Saw the Springfield house sold this month.  That’s 6 months.  Sorry to see it go, but I am willing to wait 6 months also.

BB (3/25/2010):   It IS customary to make a lower offer.  I understand about not wanting to go real low.  We may be longer on the market for the right person to come along, but since you’re fine with that then I don’t see any reason to reduce the price at this point.  If someone had a buyer who wanted to offer you less than I would encourage them to write their best offer and see what we could negotiate.

I emailed that agent about the upgrade comment — maybe she meant the basement?  That’s the only area, besides the garage, that I could think of.  The kitchen has been remodeled, the bathrooms are updated, and all the living areas are in great shape, so the basement is the only place I can think of that she could be talking about.

It’s just going to take the right person to come along.  I left a couple of messages for JS but I haven’t heard back from him yet about C.  He was an example of someone who seemed to love the house as it si, so we just need him or someone like him to be ready to buy it.  It’ll happen.

TH (March 25, 2010):  Very cool house.  I felt like I was stepping back in time.  That is probably one of the most pristine original homes I have been in.  I loved all of the exposed wood around the house.  Probably not a real family friendly house.  I can’t remember what the price was on it, but if I had to guess i would think that it will probably end up selling around the low to mid $400s.  Good luck!

CL (March 25, 2010):    Here is a clarification of what I meant by “needs updates”.  The kitchen has the open pantry that you can see as you walk toward the kitchen, perhaps they were working with the open look as a theme since they did use glass fronts on the kitchen cabinets.  The granite I believe was 12×12 tiles rather than slab.  If my memory serves me, the bathrooms were in colors rather than neutrals that are desired by buyers.  I don’t want to imply there is anything wrong with that as a personal choice, but today buyers are more inclined toward neutral colors and that falls into the needing updates. 

The home is a nice home and is unique and has lots of charm.  I can see the efforts made to maintain the period look with the finish, as well as the furniture they used to reflect history.  There is nothing technically “wrong” with the house and in a different market the price would be right.  And certainly this possibility exists that I may be wrong.  But in light of that…..buyers are looking at everything today before they buy and are comparing details like slab granite, neutral colors and such and can get those things at pretty good prices. 

My closing comment is that no home will please everyone in its’ entirety, my home included.  So you do the things in your home while living there that pleases you and I do the same.  My comments were made solely with the thought of selling the home within a reasonable period of time so as not to become market weary.  I hope I have not offended anyone, that was not my intentions.  The best of success to you in the sale of your home. 

ME (March 25, 2010):   Thanks.  No umbrage taken.  I LOVE the bathroom colors and the glass front cabinets.  Would have them again.  No problem.  My house I sold before I bought this one had blue maple cabinets with glass in about half the kitchen.  That is what sold the buyer.  You never know. 

BB (3/25/2010):  I agree completely!  It’s good to keep in mind that it all comes down to a matter of taste, and everyone’s taste is different.  I love the cabinets and the colors of the bathrooms and the open pantry and all of it  — so someone else is bound to as well.  I also think the granite slab thing is becoming passé and someday someone will want to change all of the houses that have the latest features.  But what hasn’t gone out of style is the classic historical charm that this house has. 

Have a great night!

BB (3/26/2010):   A couple more responses to take a look at. 

Also, I’m hoping to figure out a time on Sunday to move the bookcase.  I’ll call you that day to figure out a time, but can use my key if you’re not there.  Hopefully it won’t be raining so hard then!

SE (3/25/2020):   It is a beautiful house, but as you know the lot is very small with no real yard or garden and the biggest problem is the neighbor looks right into the house!!!!!  I would at least put some kind of window screening up – something other than the blinds that were open.  Considering the location, the price is about 50,000 too high.

TV (3/25/2010):   I’m glad I got to see this home.  Interesting floor plan, nice wood work, great location.  The price seems a little high seeing as how part of the square footage is in the basement.

ME (March 26, 2010):   Ahh…the nosy neighbors…  Actually, this has not been a problem.  The man, directly behind me never looks in.  He’s too busy.  However, that’s why the curtains in my bedroom and the blinds in the back of the house are usually closed…except for viewing for the possible buyers…or when I want to air out the house.  $50,000 too high?  There is no way I can sell at $475,000.  Might as well stay here.  Small lot is a good thing to some of us.  I think the “basement” has always been used as a rental or another bedroom. 

Thanks for passing on though.

BB (3/26/2010):   Yes, that sounds like an outrageous amount of a price reduction — time will tell.  Some people will like the small lot and won’t mind the proximity of neighbors.

So far the feedback in general from this last tour has said that the price is too high and that there are some things about the house that will take the right buyer (small lot, basement that isn’t remodeled, etc).  While I think it’s useful to hear what realtors have to say sometimes, it’s also just opinions coming from people who aren’t buying the house themselves.  Se we keep trying and see what happens.

The real estate company is have an “Open House Event” on April 11th –big advertising in the paper and a lot of homes open that weekend.  Want to have an open house then?  You will have just returned on the 9th, so let me know if an open house on the 11th would work.

BB (3/28/2010):   The bookcase looks fantastic in its new location — thank you!  And now you know if you need anything moved, I have a bunch of teenagers at my beck and call!

For the St. Joseph statue, I just googled it and found this:

“St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and earthly Father of Jesus Christ, is honored as the patron saint of married couples, families, carpenters and working men.  March 19, his feast day, is especially celebrated by people of Italian and Polish descent.

Over the years, the tradition arose of St. Joseph having a special power in real estate transactions.  European nuns buried a medal with his likeness on property they hoped to acquire for convents.  Gradually the medals were replaced with statues and the focus changed from buying to selling. 

The statue is buried upside down in the front yard with the feet pointing to heaven.  It may face toward the home.  The location of the statue can vary:  by the front door, by the FOR SALE sign, in a flower-pot (popular for condo owners) etc.  As long as you can find it once the home has sold.  After the home has sold, the statue should be removed from the ground and given a place of honor in your new home.”

Too bad I didn’t give it to you 9 days ago on March 19th when it was the feast day of St. Joseph — but I think it will still work since it’s in the month of March.  Actually, tomorrow is a full moon and 10 days from the feast day, so I think you should plan on doing a burying ceremony then!

Good luck and thanks! 



About alonegwen

Retired educator interested in living life fully. Will write about aging wisely, good reads, food, travel, dance reviews, and other items as they interest me.
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