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Thursday, May 23, 2013


Another blog written in Minnesota: So it's done—I have an agreement to sell my house. In a way, I'm sad. Really sad. I love my house so much. I'd saved forever to have it built and got to pick everything myself: the flooring, the lighting, the counter tops, and the paint colors. This house has some awesome energy.
On the other hand, it's a relief to sell the house as well. It's a worry off my mind and I'll finally be able to buy a home in Georgia instead of having a temporary place to stay. It's moving forward, accepting that Atlanta is where I live now. Minnesota, though, will always be home.
I believe in serendipity and think it was in full force on my house sale. The very first couple of days that I was home, there was an article in the Minneapolis newspaper about housing sales in the Twin Cities. The article said that there were so few houses available on the market, that people were afraid to put their homes up for sale for fear they wouldn't find one to buy. That was very good news for me.
I set to work on the house. I've watched enough HGTV to have some ideas on how I wanted to stage the house. In earlier visits to MN, I'd already gotten rid of boxes and boxes of stuff—all donated to various charities in the area. The books I donated went to the library.
We (my parents and I) started in the basement. We broke down the metal shelving units—the wooden ones stayed up with all the many books I'm moving with me. We dusted rafters, swept the floor, but things away so they weren't stacked everywhere.
Then we moved upstairs. My house has three bedrooms. The one at the front of the house is where my office is. That was already setup the way I wanted it and was easy to take care of. The second extra bedroom was a disaster.
When the painter guy came, we'd shoved a ton of stuff into that room since it wasn't going to be painted and other rooms were. I ran out of time to fix it then; now I had to get it done right. After much work, it was staged as a child's bedroom, complete with Scooby Doo pillow and stuffed dog. It ended up looking really nice.
We went through the whole house, cleaning as we went. No drawer or cabinet was left untouched. And we were into week two and my dad was complaining about how long it was all taking. Didn't I understand I had to have the house listed before I went back to Georgia?
He raised my stress level considerably and it was already pretty darn high. Insomnia became my nightly companion and I'm still dealing with it as I write this.
I'm not even sure how it happened. My dad ran into a neighbor and somehow the topic of my house came up. The neighbor wanted to take a look at my house because she and her husband were looking for something smaller. My dad told them they could come on Friday.
Major frenzy cleaning mode hit because while we'd been cleaning inside the drawers and cabinets, we hadn't been cleaning as in vacuuming the floor or dusting the surfaces. And then there were all the smudges and streaks on the walls to the basement. Two days to get everything done and finish the final setup of the house.
While I firmly believe this had to be done, I really didn't think they'd like the house. It's much smaller than their house and I'm contemporary/modern in my style and picked lighting fixtures and countertops that matched my style. Most people are traditional in their décor.
You don't even want to know how shocked I was when I heard they wanted to buy it. So now I'm in a position where I have to—gulp—negotiate. OMG, I hate negotiating and I hadn't read the chapter about For Sale By Owner in the House Selling for Dummies book because I fully intended to hire a Realtor. Now came frantic research on how to price a house and hours at the library trying to come up with comparable houses. A nearly impossible task since my house was built in 2006 and pretty much every other house in the surrounding neighborhoods were built in the 1960s or earlier.
To keep this from being even more epic, I'll skip to the happy ending. We reached an agreement on the house with very little trouble.
There are couple of contingencies attached. First the housing inspection. I'm confident that will go well since the house is new and I haven't noticed any trouble, but I can't help but worry. I'm not an expert and who knows? One of the guys at work had a hidden problem that he'd never known was there until his house was inspected after it was sold. And I'm a worrier by nature.
The second contingency is a house sale, which I know you're not supposed to agree to according to the book, but I'm pretty confident everything will go through. Just in case, though, send some good vibes my direction. I need all the help I can get.
But ultimately, my house sold without ever being listed to someone who promised to take care of my tree peony and who likes my retro counters and modern style. Serendipity.