Two weeks ago we hired Clark Partners Realty Group and after photos and measurements and documenting pretty much everything in the house we went “live” on October 14th, 2013.   Last Sunday the group held an open house.   During the open house there was a couple who fell in love with our home.   Today,  they visited for almost an hour.    I can only think that this is a very positive event.   I fully expect an offer in the next few days.    If that is not enough we have another showing in the morning.    The activity level is fairly high and I feel like Anthony and his group are marketing our home.   I only wish that we had found out about him earlier.   Then this would be a closed chapter in our book.

On Tuesday of this week,  Robin and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.   We enjoyed a quiet dinner at home and a couple of great bottles of wine.   Robin and I spend most of the time looking forward,  but a an anniversary mile stone is always a great time to reflect.  First, its great to know in a world of short marriages we have stood the test of time.  It seems that most people don’t stay married anymore.  I am thankful for Robin and all that she brings to our relationship.   I must say its fun being married to my best friend.

The boat move is looming.   In less that two weeks we will be poised to start our journey.   I spent much of the day working on insurance issues for the boat and making sure that we will have a slip at Turner Marine in Mobile Alabama.  Along that same line,  while we still have a physical address,  I’ve been ordering tons of stuff on the internet for the boat.   Last night,  I ordered a new VHF radio.   After much debate, I chose the more expensive radio with AIS technology.   AIS will allow Robin and I to see large vessels on our chart plotter.  The gadget will transmit heading, speed, vessel information, as well as other information.   While this probably won’t be very helpful on a clear day; it will become invaluable on night passages and when we are sailing in the fog.

Perhaps the lowest point of this year was the passing of our dear friend Susan Vaneslow this week. Her and her husband Dave have been our slip neighbors at Beaver Laking Sailing Club for 3 years.   Dave was the immediate Past Commodore when I took the job about 6 years ago.  Dave has been a constant source of great advice, especially when dealing with people.   Susan was the kindest and sweetest person that I had ever met.   Robin and I looked forward to spending time with Dave and Susan.   She was diagnosed with lymphoma in her brain in August and quickly succumbed to the disease.  We all know that she is no longer suffering and is in a better place, but we will always miss her.


Light on the Horizon

I agree with Michael. Things finally seem to be moving in the direction of the horizon. We’ve made changes to the house in order to sell it. Progress has been made in the direction of a different job for me. It feels so strange to look at the upcoming year and realize that I have no idea how things will look for us in about a year. It’s scary and exciting at the same time.

I have had people ask if I am sad to leave our home. I realize that I am a little melancholy thinking about leaving our house. The important thing is that we are moving forward and while change is scary, it is also invigorating also.


Beginning Again

Joshua Duke Photography

Joshua Duke Photography

In January we really got in gear to sell the house.   We spent a lot of money fixing the foundation, painting, cleaning and fixing, making the house presentable.   By April, we thought that we were ready to put the house on the market. We rented a storage place and started decluttering.   Robin and I consulted the internet and friends and we began to interview real estate agents.    Certainly each agent represented themselves and their respective company well.  They all wanted us to sign a contract.

We listed our house with a well recommended agent and took her advice and the process began.   Initially in April and May we had a few open-houses and about 5 showings of the house.   By our accounts our last showing was during the third weekend of May,  and then that was it: no prospects for the rest of Summer.    Despite our best efforts to stay in contact with our agent and continue to price drop thought the summer, nothing happened.

We continued to ask why our home was not being shown, no answers.    We asked what we could do to change things up, no answers.   We did as we had planned and spent many nights at the lake aboard Sea Change,  all the while leaving our home ready to show at the drop of a hat, still nothing.

Robin and I were starting to wonder if anything was going to happen and if we would actually realize our dream to sell and move aboard the boat.   Things looked bleak.    So, early in September, I cancelled our real estate contract.  Six months after thinking we were ready to make our next move, we found ourselves disappointed and starting over with our first step, selling our home of near twenty years.

In hindsight, and with some extra research,  what we needed was a tech savvy agent with exceptional communication skills who loved our house as much as we did.  At the time, we had no idea why our house was not being shown and what were the impediments to selling our home. So, when the plan doesn’t work, make a new one. I started by asking everyone I could, “How would you sell our house?”. We had opinions from “It’s great and I don’t know why your house hasn’t sold” to ” You couldn’t talk me into selling your house”. One real estate agent helpfully gave us a laundry list of what was wrong with our house. It was about that time that we considered praying for a natural disaster to befall the house because it was NEVER  going to sell. Being the extremely stubborn and determined people that we are, we moved on. Now we talked to more folks with real estate experience and then interior designers and professional stagers.

I spent many days setting up appointments, sometimes with Robin here, and sometimes on my own.  I made notes,  I took advice.   After Robin’s shifts, we plotted and planned and we made lists.   Lots of lists.

We paid consulting fees to two interior designers and taking the best of the agents recommendations coupled with interior design folks, we began to fix things.   Painting the decks and exterior doors in colors selected by our designer Anne Marie,  we began to transform the house on Jimmie into something different.    Robin bargain hunted until she found the perfect scarf valance to frame our downstairs windows, then pressed the clerk at Bed Bath and Beyond to find her two more at different stores and have them shipped.  She found curtain rods to match. We were amazed at the difference this made to the look of our home.

Meanwhile,  I talked to drywall guys, painters, carpenters with extensive stair experience, roofing contractors, people who sell siding, and landscapers.   In the end,  we hired our favorite local painter and good friend, Oscar, and his co-worker Ricardo to paint the decks.   We found a long time Fayetteville resident to fix the drywall.   Robin and I painted the closets.    We packed bag after bag of chocolate colored much around the house and made the back yard presentable.

We continued to interview more real estate agents while fixing up the house.   We were really close to selecting an agent and I then I ran into Jon who used to work for the coffee shop where we hang out.   Jon worked the evening and night shift and made Robin’s coffee when she was working night shifts.    He had been following our plan to sell and move aboard the boat.   At just the right time,  when I told him that things weren’t working with our agent and the house was off the market, he introduced me to Anthony Clark.

We visited with Anthony last Monday and before we were finished we knew this was going to be the way to sell our home.  Anthony outlined an intensive marketing plan, coupled with our own website, and professional photographs.   He walked through the house and make simple suggestions.   On Wednesday,  his team of 4 arrived promptly at 9:00 am and began an intensive process of taking high quality professional photographs,  measuring every room, drawing a floor plan, and cataloging every feature and appliance in our home.  They worked until lunch; putting in more hours in that short time than our previous agent had done in the entire time she had the listing.

On October 14, 2013,  we’ll go live on the MLS and I’m confident that our house will sell quickly.     Lets go sailing!