Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whose House Is It Anyway?

I love to buy houses.  One could say I am house-obsessed as I go on as many home tours as possible and although I am not a fan of TV watching, I love HGTV.  My family can sometimes find me 'talking' to the couple on House Hunters explaining to them how a one bathroom home in need of renovations is not the best choice for parents of two with another on the way.  I feel compelled to counsel the young couple wanting that 'city vibe' that, although the loft apartment looks very chic and modern, once the honeymoon period is over, the train right outside the window is going to sound very loud.

On the other hand, nothing instills fear in me more than selling a home what with the requisite de-personalization that is necessary, the de-cluttering and all those people opening your closets and cabinets and discovering how you live.  It sends shivers down my spine.  Of course, I have good reason to be scared as each and every time we have sold a home we have been faced with all sorts of weird and annoying problems but our last sale topped them all.  I had the usual realtor issues like having a realtor show up not once but twice without an appointment, each time in the middle of dinner.  She knew she had not called me and I knew she had not called, heck, even the clients knew judging from how uncomfortable they looked, but what could I do?  Through gritted teeth I told my brood that we had company and they ate their dinner while the house was being shown. 

That incident paled in comparison to what happened next.  In a poor market, we had three offers in eleven weeks and we chose what we thought was the best offer.  We were sitting pretty or so we thought.  The only thing the realtor forgot to mention to the buyers was that they needed to bring the money to the closing.  We were not present at our closing so imagine my surprise when I called our attorney to find out how everything had gone and was told that the buyers had gone to the closing without the money.  Now I  know you are probably thinking it begs the question 'what were they thinking' but I thought it begged the question were they crazy?  Hey, I watch HGTV, remember, and this is part of the Buying Real Estate 101 course--you need money to buy the house you fall in love with, okay?  Who shows up to a closing without the money?

I am a believer in ripping the bandage off quickly, take the pain up front, don't take it off slowly and prolong the agony.  I hope our current attempt at selling our home goes just like that--fast, a little 'ouch' and then it will be over.  Also, having the buyers show up with money in hand will be a nice change for us as well.

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