Old Stone House

Survived another open-house

July 21, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 11:57 am

Another weekend has passed and we have survived yet another open-house. We managed to re-landscape the yard where the weeping tile was installed, re-stretch the (dry) basement carpet, touch up the wall paint and repaint the trim. The house looked great, and our agent told us that everyone who visited had positive things to say.

(more agony and joy…)

Digging holes, and filling them back in

July 17, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 2:43 pm

pipe1.jpgShortly after publishing our last post, I starting researching wet basement carpets and began to panic. Countless websites indicated that a wet carpet in the basement was a lost cause – the only remedy being to remove/discard the carpet completely. Panicked, I left work early and visited the dealer who had first installed the carpet. I was set at ease when he explained that the carpet was completely salvageable, including the under pad. Outlining our current situation (selling the house) he agreed that removing the wet under pad would be the best course of action. He also explained that we had purchased the antimicrobial/antibacterial under pad when we had the carpet first installed – and added bonus. I purchased some replacement pad (cheap!), and was assured that once everything was dried that they would lend me a ‘kicker’ to re-stretch the carpet.

We cut out the wet pad and elevated the carpet over chairs and buckets. We arranged two oscillating fans such that they were blowing underneath the carpet, and started the dehumidifier. We were amazed to find that 24 hrs later the carpet almost dry! Yah!
(more agony and joy…)

When it rains, it pours…

July 15, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:54 am

Ever since the last offer fell through, we’ve endured a bit of a roller coaster. The house was once again ‘live’ on the market and phone calls started trickling in. We got a phone call on Friday morning asking for a showing, unfortunately the people wanted to see the house in the 30 minutes and we had to ask for more time – they canceled. Next we had an appointment scheduled for Saturday evening. We cleaned the house, and then the people phoned to reschedule for Monday. Yesterday arrives and we clean the house again, and a half hour before the appointment the people cancel.

(more agony and joy…)

Counting one’s chickens…

July 5, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:43 am

Simply put, the deal’s off… The buyers withdrew their offer. They spoke to our listing agent when they met to sign the release papers, and in the course of the conversation it became apparent that the home inspection didn’t matter – their finances had fallen apart. When asked if the counter-evidence against the home inspector’s report had made a difference they explained that they didn’t review it / it didn’t matter.

Back to square one…

(more agony and joy…)

Bad house inspection – Bad house inspector

July 4, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 10:11 am

So we have encountered a major setback – ‘apparently’ our house is fraught with problems…

I received a phone call yesterday from our agent informing me that the home inspection had not gone well – citing MAJOR water problems. Distressed, I left work immediately and met our listing agent, as well as the buyer’s agent to review the report.

1. Evidence of extensive water damage in the basement

We surveyed the finished room in the basement and asked the buyer’s agent to explain where the water damage was. She pointed out ‘banded’ stains around the perimeter of the baseboard, as well as a large circular scuff on the wall. She explained that the basement had obviously been wet and the baseboards had wicked up the water, and the wall had become saturated.

2. Entire rear wall of sun room is soaking wet

We moved to the sun room where the buyers agent pointed out where the wall was ‘soft’, and the water stains at the base of the windows.

(more agony and joy…)

Almost Sold?!

July 3, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:12 am

I mentioned in my last post that a couple had booked a private showing – they visited the house and loved it!  So much so, they booked another showing an hour later, and the next morning we had an offer.  After much negotiation we agreed on a price – about 4% less then the list price – but with excellent conditions.  The couple has agreed to a 30 day close, they have no condition of finance or sale, and only want a home inspection – booked for today at 9:00am.

From what we can tell, this couple is very excited about the house. The booked a building inspector before we had even reviewed the offer.  Likewise, they made humble requests for leftover paint and would like to offer a private deal for some of our furniture. We are delighted!

It would be premature for us to start celebrating quite yet – as the house is not sold until the deal is closed.  However, everything suggests that this deal will finalize today.

With regards to the home inspection: this could go either way.  On the one hand, the house should pass with flying colours. The house is dry, strong, and every utility has been upgraded to code – including electrical, HVAC and plumbing. On the other hand, old houses need maintenance – windows need to be painted/replaced, the front porch should be restored, and there is just those little things a conscientious homeowner should be taking care of in order to maintain the value, beauty and functionality.  This house is no different then any other house – new or old – however we worry that if this eager couple has never owned an old home, or isn’t prepared to dedicate a portion of their time to maintenance, they may conclude that this house is too much work, or isn’t in good repair.  The home inspection should prove their mettle.

So, we wait with bated breath… Fingers crossed!

Slow road to exposure

June 26, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 3:41 pm

So, there has been a number of phone calls regarding the house – nothing overly serious – mostly inquiries about storage space etc.  As such, yesterday we hosted an agent’s tour.  Our representative and 25 other agents pile into cars and drive around the community looking at each other’s listings in an attempt to drum up business; a good practice as referring agents getting one half of the listing agents commission. As well, it provides the agent with valuable feedback – critical for price evaluation etc.

The feedback on the house was very positive – agents were particularly impressed with our kitchen.  As for price,  the consensus was the price was either 10k too high or ‘right on’ – which again is positive as it means that we have some room to negotiate while maintaining a competitive price point.

As I post this we have another booking set for a private showing…  Here’s hoping!

Selling a bit of your soul…

June 22, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:28 am

pleasebuyme.jpgThe sign has been up about 5 days, and within 24 hours of listing we had a showing. Since then, nothing. Although we have a clear game plan for this house – a bottom-line price, end-date for listing, rational motives etc., it’s still very hard to sell something that you’ve invested so much time/money/sweat into. Every time a car drives by the sign on the lawn and doesn’t slow down, we take it as a snub! The last time we sold our house (a new cookie-cutter semi) we did so in about 18 hours! The sign wasn’t up before the house was gone! However, that was 4+ years ago and the market was very different. That being said, it’s still easy to ask yourself “why hasn’t this house sold?” – even when it’s been listed less then a week – wondering if there is something wrong with it, or if you have bad taste…

(more agony and joy…)

The sign is up…

June 17, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 11:24 am

After a heroic weekend of work, the house is basically ready to show and the sign is ordered… too bad the stress level hasn’t been reduced. We are now on-call for ‘showings’ which means that we have one hour from time of booking to have the house tidied up and ready for a potential purchaser. Not an easy feat with two small children!

(more agony and joy…)

Our offer was accepted!

June 12, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 2:10 pm

The offer has been accepted! After much fax-jockeying we have finally agreed on a price, and the other party has accepted our conditions. Now, we have 6 weeks to sell our house. We have been making steady progress finishing project after project. It’s tempting to cut corners – hide things with paint etc., but we are well aware that any potential offer could include a home inspection, and the last thing we need is a ‘reveal’. As well, in the event we don’t sell our house in time, we wouldn’t want to have to live with low-quality work. We’ve invested too much into this house to live with substandard workmanship.

So, if you’re in the market for a 122 year-old heritage home with many upgrades/restorations – just let me know.

Cash offers accepted…