House selling 101 … the latest chapter in a book not yet written


Over the years, Ellen and Reid have read all about it; life-changing relocation and career moves, adjustments to a new part of the U.S., health scares, and even scant details on tepid efforts at relationships. You name it, they’ve seen it.

And now, a house sale in a neighborhood where homes should move quickly. The kids know the whys and the wherefores and they’re quite supportive of this latest chapter. But there’s a long way to go before this book is completely written.


September 12, 2016

Ellen/Reid: Well, I guess I’m looking at a house that’s ready – mostly – to put on the market. The “For Sale By Owner” sign will go up Friday on the front and back windows; then it’s on Zillow.com for a few weeks and if after that nothing is moving, and as a last resort, I’ll find a Realtor. Several are acquaintances but will give it to none of them since that could strain friendships and the others would feel left out. Still some touch ups here and there but it’s mostly ready to go. In the best of all worlds, if the thing sells anywhere near the price I want ($—,000) then I’ll make some decent money.

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I’ll give this FSBO approach a go for a few weeks and see where the chips fall. There’s been interest and two relatively close offers – but there’s a ways to go.

A Realtor has conscientiously dropped off a monthly postcard showing what has sold and for how much in my neighborhood (he includes the square footage, too). I’ve religiously kept each one of those and that’s the yardstick I’m basing the price on. One of my neighbors thinks I could go north of $400,000 given my location in the development and the privacy I have. His reasoning is that if you have a home with a view (mountains, ocean, etc.) you can get more and he believes the green belt out back is an example of that. It would be great to get multiple competing bids. That may be the one convincing argument for a Realtor at all – they, in theory, have this ‘pipeline’ to the horde of buyers. We’ll find out soon enough.

Let’s say that it does sell quickly? What’s the plan then? The objective at that point would be to find a rental and camp out there until such time as something desirable opens up. Jane and Val really have their ears and eyes to the ground for me and that’s a Godsend. Reid, I will likely implore you to come down to help me move stuff from Point A to Point B. So let’s talk about that possibility. There is no doubt that some of it may have to go into storage and I’m okay with that. Some things might be hawked on Craigs List although I have a sour taste in my mouth after the Harley fiasco.

There’s some trepidation around all of this. I like the house very much, but it is too much in terms of stairs and multiple floors. Some day that would also conspire to wear me out and be untenable if there are any ambulatory issues. (No, the sore knees and back I wake up with now don’t count as an ‘ambulatory’ issue.)

Spent all day Sunday at an incredible music festival in Greensboro, about 100 miles away. It was just kick ass in all ways. Lots of good groups and an incredible variety of music. To me, the best act was a mariachi band from Los Angeles. They were just unbelievable. Then there were the Quebe Sisters from Texas, They each played a fiddle and sang. The final band was Super Chicken, a local blues/funk band with a black lead singer/guitarist backed by three white chicks. It was just all so good. The only downer was it was blazing hot and most of the stages – and seating – were atop asphalt parking lots. I retrieved my golf umbrella from the car and that made for a somewhat cooler experience. Cold beer went in, and just as quickly, out.

Ellen, I’m so happy to hear the Mattson’s had a great time in Wisconsin. It was my pleasure to get them up there, so thanks for the referral. The rooms would have gone begging otherwise. They seem like a sweet little family. Everyone needs a treat now and then.

I may get Marge the labradoodle again this weekend; my friend Dan is taking his girlfriend to Georgia for the weekend and

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Marge is just one great dog, and I really enjoy her company and energy.

Marge tends to bark at his ex’s high rise condo so I’m the fall back position and that’s just fine with me. Marge knows the drill at my place by now, for sure.

Reid, bring me up to speed on grad school and Liz’ horse. I’ve seen a few photos but that’s not enough. I was looking at my cowboy boots the other day and wondered, almost aloud, how her new nag is getting along up in Wisconsin. Your gorp criticism stung me, so I’ll ship a new batch stat.

Love, Dad

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