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ex machina

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 and training for the marathon , 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 people i respect 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 scarce.

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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4/04/2004 09:59:00 PM 0 comments


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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

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