hey, where have you been ( or selling your house without a realtor)?

things have been pretty quiet around here
lately. it’s time to let the cat our the bag on this one. in
addition to the

new pregnancy

training for the

, kris and i have been getting ready to sell our house, so the last
few weeks have been a frenzy of completing all those half done
house projects that we’ve been procrastinating on the past two
years. my nights and weekends have been filled with wallpaper
removal, sanding, painting, caulking, removing toilets, laying
vinyl flooring ( well, actually, kris single-handedly did that ),
putting toilets back in, more sanding, painting caulking, taking
doors out, putting new doors in etc. etc. you get the picture.

all this in anticipation of putting the “for sale by owner” sign
out front and waiting to see what happened. we’ve never done an
fsbo [ industry lingo ] and we weren’t quite sure what to expect.
i’ve seen a few comments from



that seem to be negative on going the fsbo route. and of course,
the web at large is filled with enough anectodes on either side of
the argument that it’s pretty easy to support whatever position
you’d like to take on the issue. in our case, we happen to live in
a neighborhood that currently has and has historically had a high
number of fsbo properties for sale, so we thought we’d take a shot
at taking advantage of the precedent.

we stealthily put out signs on friday night, and much to my
surprise, we started getting drive-bys and phone calls by 9 a.m.
saturday morning. by saturday night we had several calls from a
couple that was extremely interested, after having heard the price
and the basic information about our house, and they wanted to come
by that night or on sunday. we were caught totally off guard. my
expectations were fairly low since weren’t listed in The Realtor
Database [ a.k.a. the mls ], and i figured it would take us a week
or two to get some momentum going. so we put them off until tonight
( sunday ) and spent all day today cleaning and finishing last
minute tasks. we set an appointment for between 4:30 and 5 p.m. and
at 4:35 we finally finished the last of the cleaning and kris
loaded the car with dogs and took them to the dog park, on the
assumption that the process might go a little smoother without two
dogs jumping all over the prospective buyers or otherwise making a
nuisance of themselves.

at 5:10 p.m., as i was beginning to think that we had done all the
cleaning in vain, a husband and wife pulled-up with their kids.
they didn’t look at all like what i had imagined over the phone and
i wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. having been
around the block a few times with buying and selling houses, i know
i hate it when the owners are hovering over you when you look at a
place, so i immediately let them know that i’d like to give them a
whirlwind tour to explain a few things and then i’d make myself

when i get into situations like this, i’m incapable of not making
jokes. very dry jokes. if i try to not make jokes something happens
and the jokes start coming faster. so i’m making little dry jokes
as i’m walking the family through the house. they’re falling flat.
these people have their poker faces on and aren’t saying a word.
they don’t seem to be looking closely at anything. they don’t open
any cupboards, they didn’t look under anything, they didn’t look in
the closets. nothing. so, they get the whirlwind tour and i ask if
they’d like me to leave them alone. no, they say, they’ve seen
enough and will just go talk amongst themselves and get back to me.
they ask if there has been any interest from other buyers and i
tell them honestly that we’ve been surprised at the number of phone
calls, but that they were the first to see the house. and that was
it. as they leave, i think that it’s funny because i have
absolutely no idea if they like the house or hate it. as i finish
the thought one of the children says as she’s bounding down the
walkway, “mommy, you know what that is? that’s our new house!” the
parents don’t say anything and i’m not sure what to make of it.

two hours later the couple calls back and says that they’d like to
schedule a second walk-through on monday at 6 p.m., which seems
like a good sign.

four hours later the husband calls back and wants us to let them
know if we get any other offers. i might be wrong but that seems
like an even better sign.

why are we selling our house? well that’s a longer and potentially more interesting story that will be the subject of a future post. stay tuned.

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