House Sale Price Incentive (Lower the Price)

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After having the house on the market for 12 weeks, it’s time to increase the buyer’s incentive by lowering the price.  I learned that if you change the price, the listing goes back up to the top of Multiple Listings – plus the potential buyers are encouraged by “bargain buying”.  We lowered the price from $350,000 to $339,900.  My Move Manager immediately noted that the decrease “looks bigger than it is”… a concept that would not have occurred to me, but is absolutely true.  By reducing it to $339,900 instead of $340,000, it gives the impression of a much lower price by putting it in the 330,000s group instead of the 340,000s group.  Now, at Christmas time, we are having our highest traffic level to date.  When I expressed my surprise, Mr. Manager stated that if large corporations are going to transfer families (by giving the employee a big job opportunity in another city), they will often give notice to the employee in October, so that they have time to travel to the new site over the Holidays with their families to scope out the possibilities.

As the weeks go by, my out-of-pocket costs related to the “empty” house on the market have stabilized, but are still at $1400 per month. Granted, this is all not real expense, because after living in the house for 25 years, most of the payments now go to capital rather than paying for interest.  I will get most of the money back when I sell the house. But, the cash out is still $1400, and I’m paying it out-of-pocket.  That was also a factor in “speeding up” the sale by reducing the price.

An interesting technology experience came from the real estate agent sending me an Agency Agreement Amendment through DocuSign. I was not able to make the signature function work on my Smart Phone (an Android). When I tried to add the signature, the next screen was blank, but it did fine through Gmail, and I was able to print it for my file after a little encouragement.

We will see how the latest “trick of the trade” affects the sale of my lovely old house.

Halloween is alive and well

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In the large city where I lived for the last 30 years, Halloween had all but died.  When my children were small there was still a neighborhood pool, and we all knew each other (adults and children) from the summer swim meets.  There was a hay ride at Halloween, and caroling at Christmas.  But when the pool had to close, the mortar of the community was lost, and my children were no longer small.  By the time I left my very polite large city home, I knew only a few families. On Halloween, I would never get more than ten trick-or-treaters.

Tonight was Halloween in my new, small community.  I had been warned by the neighbors on our cul-de-sac of town homes that there would be A LOT of trick or treaters, and had bought a big 230-piece bag of goodies.  The revelers started coming about five o’clock despite chill temperatures and a slow drizzle (snow is forecast later tonight). By 6:30 my 230 piece bag was all but gone, so I called my sister who lives across town and asked if she had any candy remaining. She had no goulish guests, so she said she would bring me her bag (about 70 pieces).

But just getting into the cul-de-sac proved a challenge. By the time she arrived, I had handed out protein bars, individual bags of Trader Joe’s Omega Tek Mix, and (to a group of three high school guys), cheese sticks, telling them that they were lucking into to the healthy snack tonight. My sister left me a (laughing) message saying that she could not get up the hill to my house for all the revelers.  Eventually she arrived with the extra pieces.

The “official” end to the event must have been 7 o’clock, because the number of visitors dropped exponentially after that point.  I continued to give out the remaining treats, then ran out of treats at 7:30, and turned off my light. What a delightful experience it was!! There was every type of costume, from the very professional princesses, to wonderful improvisational “mud man”, and everything in between.  It was a great, polite crowd of all ages.

I love my new home.  I can’t wait to see what happens on Halloween when the weather cooperates! We’re already planning a party for all our Burnsville family members next year, with appropriate adult beverages, to enjoy the fun.

 

Father’s Day with the Kids

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Of course Fathers Day was going to be a challenge.  Both of my children are adults. That makes the issue of the recent loss of my husband more complex but definitely still present.

My son teaches High School and coaches soccer, so the weekend agenda began with the World Cup Games. That was a great help.  He enjoyed himself watching expected and unexpected victories while my daughter and I drifted in and out, participating as the tenor of the games dictated.

Saturday night we all went to dinner at a great restaurant that the four of us had visited many times with bitter-sweet memories. Sunday my daughter’s mission was to fulfill a promise she had made to her Dad – to dress our one-year-old cat in the jersey of her dad’s favorite college team.   Around this activity I tried to make quiches for “brunch.”

The two required trips to the college gear store (of course the first jersey didn’t fit!) kept both my son and me engaged with my daughter for the rest of the afternoon.  Brunch turned into dinner as we settled in for a World Cup game (the quiches surprisingly delicious dispite the disruptions).

All-in-all, the weekend was successful as we all came together and created new memories. It will not be easy for a long time, and maybe never, but we will keep walking those new paths as a family.