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It's been an interesting 48 hours

7 years ago

I ran into a realtor friend of mine two days ago. We've run into one another many times at various events. It's a smaller town outside of Atlanta. In a past life I was a real estate appraiser and I've held a realtor's license but only in order to take advantage of some tax deductions. I've never sold real estate, but I have seen a lot of homes. I've renovated my share, too. So, we have a lot in common.

In the course of our conversation I mentioned that we were getting closer to thinking about retirement and relocation. I told her that if she ever had a client that was interested in our neighborhood, let me know. I would let her show it.

I didn't think I would hear from her anytime soon if at all. She called me within 24 hours and said that one of her clients just sold her house and was looking for another home. The client loved our neighborhood. Could she show it?

I was really surprised. This is a pretty cold market above a certain price point. I said why not. We set an appointment time for the next afternoon. Eek!

The house is 65 years old. We have extensively renovated it. It has a gorgeous brand new kitchen thanks to the good folks at the kitchen forum. We did a huge master suite addition five years ago. It's a completely updated home with the hard stuff done, mechanicals, roofing, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, new garage. It's not a flippers renovation. It's the real deal. We were expecting to stay here for another 10 years. We are upside down in value, too. Well, you have to live somewhere, right?

But, it wasn't ready for showing. At least, not to my standards. The pollen hasn't finished falling. Everything is coated in green dust. The windows are dirty from winter. Panic. 24 hours followed of very hard work. Everything stashed into closets and under beds. Countertops cleared of appliances, bathrooms sanitized and what little staging I could accomplish. Plus, what if I sold it? Where the hell were we going to move?

They showed up as arranged and I let them in. My realtor friend was walking into the house cold. She had not seen the interior of the house in 10 years when it was a wreck. She had no idea about the quality of the renovation. So, I suggested that I show them through the house and give them information on the various stages of the house and renovations. I know that's a dangerous thing to do. But, there were no sales materials.

They were blown away. The buyer, a divorcee from what I gathered, was impressed. Her adult son was ready to write a check then and there. After they left, they looked at one other house in a golf development. They put a contract on the other house last night.

So my realtor buddy called me to tell me what had transpired. This is a very old neighborhood and unique in that most homes are passed down to family. Rarely they are they listed. The few that do come to the open market are candidates for renovation.

The son of the buyer had married a local girl and was a local businessman. He told his mother that this was "the neighborhood". He wanted her to buy this house. They wanted to put in a pool. I showed them where they could locate it and how the lot would easily accommodate the installation. I had taken him into the cellar basement to show him some of the mechanical plant and electrical service. He told her that this house was a pristine as they come.

Mom wanted to live in a neighborhood that had golf carts, progressive suppers and cocktail parties. While this is a very friendly neighborhood and a few people use golf carts, it's not designed for golf cart life. So, she bought a house in a more golf cart friendly neighborhood. I'm sure she will be much happier in that neighborhood.

On the one hand, I was disappointed and a little rejected. But, just a little. On the other hand, I was relieved that I didn't have to scramble and rearrange my life.

My realtor buddy and I had a very frank conversation about pricing. While there was no listing contract, I did assure her that she would be protected. I know a lot about pricing. She is a very realistic agent and is successful due to her ability to properly price property. She blew me away. She said I was underpricing my home. That's the last thing I ever expected to hear from her. She said it was a unique property in a good way in an exclusive neighborhood in superior condition. She did think it would take a while to market it because you would need to find the right buyer. She thought it was 12 in finish and condition.

That is how my last 48 hours went. I was tired, excited, flattered, disappointed and relieved all at the same time. Why do I think she will be back with a buyer sometime this summer? You just never know.

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