Going, going... GONE!



Managed to sell the Arkansas house yesterday. Finally.

What an ordeal... It all started waaaaay back around 2009, when I tried to do a FSBO and listed the house on Craigslist and similar sites. Lots of tire-kickers and ooodles of unusual questions/requests about the house. I quickly grew frustrated and decided to leave it be. Amy stayed in the house and did a great job of taking care of it and watching over things.

Then, earlier this year, she decided it was time to move to Wisconsin, so we worked to set a move-out time, and to find an approach to try and sell the house without causing too much disruption to things. I drove down to Arkansas in April of this year to meet with my first realtor and to take care of some odds-n-ends on the house.

The first realtor came recommended by a friend, and at first, I had high hopes for the guy. But those hopes were quickly dashed when I saw his attempt at a listing for the property... he had hired a photographer to take good pictures of the house, and they looked excellent. But his description of the property was atrocious. Here's what it read:

"19 Pulham Drive 3BDRM 2 BATH 1647 sq ft plus walk-out basement. In quiet neighborhood."

So... the address was wrong - (mine was "14" instead of "19") and the description basically matched the spec/data sheet for the house. I asked him about the lack of "sizzle" or "flair" - where was the excitement? I drafted a sample, and he got very defensive. He corrected the address, but left everything else the same.

After 2-months of not getting any hits or inquiries, I pinged him and asked about doing a better job of baiting the hook... he took offense and said that I was being "unreasonable" and that things weren't going to work out between us. So, he dropped me as a client. I laughed... a real estate agent that doesn't want to try to sell or get people excited about a house? Hmm.

So... I found another agent and she took the ball and ran with it. She put together a marketing plan, created a great listing, advertised in local print publications, sent out cards to prospective buyers and agents - the whole campaign looked great. She also suggested several things to improve the house, hence my trip to Arkansas back in August.

Fast-forward a few weeks and there was a couple who had walked through the house 5-times, including once with a contractor so they could obtain a bid to finish the other half of the basement. I was excited, to say the least. I waited for an offer... and... nothing.

Not a peep. They went radio silent for a number of weeks. My agent couldn't get ahold of them or their agent. She called, e-mailed, sent mail, but no response.

So, we held an open house in early October, and 22-couples went through the house, including the couple who had been through 5 times before! How odd?!! Immediately following the open house, that same couple made an offer on the house.

They low-balled my asking price, gave me 8-hours to accept, and stated that any counter-offer would result in them walking away. They wanted to close on October 30. I weighed my options, decided to bite the bullet and take the hit and accept.

And that's when the fun began.

I got all of my things in order, and waited for October 30 to arrive. October 30 came and went - no closing. This super couple had apparently decided to shop dozens of banks for better mortgage rates, and in the process, damaged their credit to the point of losing their previous pre-qualification. Ugh. Seriously?!

So, on November 1, they told my realtor that they were going to be getting cash from their parents to close on the house, and they wanted to close on November 6. Once again, we all scrambled, and November 6 came and went without a closing.

They told my realtor that their parents had to sell stock to raise the cash, and the sale was taking longer to process. So, they wanted to close on November 20. I told my realtor that we were going to get a non-refundable security deposit for the closing, and if anything fell through for any reason that I was keeping the deposit. They agreed, and things were set for November 20.

On November 13, the couple said they wanted to close on November 15, rather than the 20th. Seriously? Ok... so, I scrambled again... signed all of the paperwork, had it notarized, prepared a cashier's check... the whole 9-yards. November 15 came, and yep - you guessed it - no closing.

This couple could win the award for dumbest people on the planet (along with their agent)... they apparently couldn't close on the house they were selling because they didn't realize the house needed to be empty prior to closing... so, when the buyer of their house did a final walk-through prior to closing and saw they still had their things in the house, the buyer refused to close as planned.

So, we rescheduled the closing for November 18, and, thankfully it went through at 5:00pm.

What a ride. But I'm glad it's over. It'll be nice to only have one mortgage, one set of utility bills, and one set of worries. Whew!

I can't thank Amy and my friend BJ enough for their help with the house. Amy was a trooper in terms of dealing with house showings over the summer, keeping the house in great shape, and for doing everything around the house for the past 5 years. BJ was a true friend - he kept an eye on the house while it was vacant from August through yesterday. He mowed the lawn, made sure the furnace worked, checked the water, and all of that great stuff. Thank you, both! I appreciate it so much!

So... final pictures of the house... adios, Arkansas digs!








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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on November 19, 2013 9:44 AM.

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