Monday, November 28, 2011

Nuts and Bolts: Selling our house (part 1)

Lest you all think we are doing nothing over here but talking about lost chickens I thought I would throw something "real" into the mix by talking about our house, and how we have to sell it.
 Are you yawning yet? I am.

In fact, it's all we've been talking about lately (insert more yawns here), but unfortunately, that's all we've been doing...talking. It's kind of an overwhelming thought, so I think we've kind of been putting off pulling the trigger. PLUS, it's probably the third worst time in the 20th/21st century to try and sell a house, so that also causes a bit of indigestion around here.

As it stands, we have but two options.

1) Rent the house out until the market gets better so we don't lose money.
2) Sell the house realizing that we will probably only break even, if not  lose money. 

1) People, my people, we DO NOT want to have any type of real estate to manage from another country. Are you kidding me? Among all the other tasks and responsibilities, and new life changes we will be going through, the last thing we need is a property with tenants emailing and calling us every month asking us to fix something or refund something, or hold their latest payment another 10 days, or whatever. No thank you. PLUS, I have this sneaky feeling that the economy is not going to get any better any time soon. The amount of money we would be losing every month on the rent plus fees to a property manager, (unless the economy takes a major upturn int he next 2 years), is just going to come out to be the same amount of money lost if we sold the thing right now. Are you with me here? Is this making sense? It makes sense to me. 

2) Well, selling the house (heck, even renting the house for that matter) comes with a lot of preparation and planning. Duh. I know you know this, but please, I'm just workin'  it out here, bear with me. We have to find a realtor, we have to fix up the house, we have to decide on a price, and we have to be willing to negotiate and not get ticked that the buyers don't agree that our archaic microwave is a "vintage original" and instead call it a piece of junk. How dare they!  The list of tasks to be done before March 1st (the *very* unofficial listing date) is longer and more complex than my Stuff Board, and we haven't done a single thing on it. If you've ever sold a house you will know why...

They might be dressed as Saint's but their ability to scuff paint jobs, back up plumbing and destroy  any outdoor landscaping would have you think otherwise. (Obviously Lina is not trying to fool anyone)

And, to go through all of that, and hope and pray for an eager buyer in a most definitely unfriendly seller's market, and come out losing a little, or a lot, of money on the house will be disheartening. But, we are fortunate. Blessed, really. If we lose money on the house, we'll be okay. And that makes selling the house, even with a loss, the most attractive option. When we bought the house we did not plan on keeping it longer than 5 years, and this is our 5th year. We did not plan on such a cruddy economy, but honestly, that can't be helped. It's life. "Hope for the best..."

So, in the end, of course, as most of you know, we are selling the house. Going with option #2, and I am eager to get started. Very eager. Like, I've already packed up most of the things we are going to keep but don't use right now and have given away loads. Everything has been pulled out of closets and in the process of being organized into piles. Our house looks like a train wreck. And Christmas is coming.



  1. I'm still holding out for some records. Forgot to check those out when I was down. Also, according to an article I read in the WSJ, estimates are that it won't be until 2015 that we see housing prices go up again so good choice.

  2. Yeah, we just don't want anything here that we have to worry about. Clean break and all that.

  3. Olivia, you guys sound like us, only better prepared and motivated. We decided on selling the house, hopefully breaking even. I did not like this option b/c we have a LOT of stuff to fix, yuk. Are you guys planning on an estate sale? When is official moving day?

  4. Oh man. I agree, option 2 is preferred. And who knows....maybe you'll be that person who bakes chocolate chip cookies right before a showing and it makes the people spend $20K over asking price!

  5. Heather- yes, stuff to fix = yuk. Spending the time and energy is going to stink but it's just what you have to do, you know? I have thought about having an estate or garage sale but at this point that is just too much extra work. Some things will go for a price and some things will go for free and some things will just be thrown away. This is another discussion ooint in our house...what things we should try and sell(especially since *I* am the one who will have to be selling them!).

    Official day of being out of this house = February 1st. Taking all of February to fix it up and on the market March 1st. 2 MONTHS!!!

  6. Dwija- Genius! Totally baking cookies that day. Although, anyone who offers 20k over asking because they smell cookies, may not be the most sane person. But hey, if they have the monies, I won't let a little thing like insanity deter me from signing the papers!

  7. Are you staying with family for those last few months? We've been trying to do that math and I think we'll just sell things until we physically cannot live there anymore, then move in with my dad. BTW - I will try to get up my new post tonight on how we're selling our stuff... its a long shot, but we'll see.

  8. Hi Heather! I don't know what we're going to do those last few months. I don't know that we can live with family for the remaining time. Maybe rent a house for a short time or do a Home Away type thing. We don't know yet.

  9. Selling can be a pretty hectic time. The process is often a test of patience, so it can be pretty hard to keep things in order. That's no reason to be disheartened, right? Set a goal for your house, and keep things organized and presentable to make sure that the best results are achieved.

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  11. Yep. That's a tough spot right there, and I do get where you're coming from. Yet it is so hard to make a decision considering your situation. But if you were to ask for my opinion, I say, find a great broker to help you sell your house for the price you have in mind. On the other hand, if you choose to have it rented for now until the economy gets better, it's still okay. Just make sure you always close deals with a written and legal contract.

    Christine Ordze

  12. Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would prefer selling the house, too. Renting it out for a few years would seem appealing, since considering that in today’s economy, selling the house would mean losing money, like you said. However, the money you would get from renting would then be used to pay mortgage, taxes and insurance. If you’re going out of the country, those things would really stress you out.

    Deron Tucker