And my solution is still a valid one..

have a 360 degree house tour created. I’ve always had one open house – when I was off the property, and virtual tours from that point forward. Serious buyers came back after they viewed virtually one more time with a private appointment. Made my realtor schedule all the buyers at one time, for 2 hours while I was in church on Sunday. Couldn’t make that time, didn’t necessarily need you to buy my house. Now I’m also guilty of holding the house and renting it out, not selling it at all 🙂 But that is a different topic.


no…each level is only 500 sqft and it feels so small and chopped up…add in 7 children and it feels even smaller! Then we have a 500sqft level that don’t count because its unlivable where the washer/dryer are and you try doing laundry for ALL these children while running it up/down all them flights of stairs! Ridiculous!

I’ll give you that

I did come off a bit snarky in that last post and I apologize for that. We are not going to stay physically IN the house while a potential buyer is looking in the house. That’s not what I meant. I think the rest of the folks understood I meant living in the house while selling not staying here while they walk-through it.

I see a lot of capital letters here..

Did I say something wrong? I thought you were trying to work out remaining in the house and showing it simultaneously. If you are going to leave for showing then its a moot point.

Here is what you wrote, and what I was responding to:
Any suggestions or ideas? I really do get concerned about living here while trying to sell this place. We have no way of “staging it” while still living here with all our stuff and 7 children! And the inability to just jump and leave when folks want to see the house is going to cause a problem.

Yea, my home buying/selling experiences haven’t been too good

Buying my first house in Montana was great; selling it was a nightmare which I’ve already written about here, in the context of being a long-distance landlord. Won’t make that mistake again. Buying this place was a trainwreck, but we got through it and we’re still here. Se actually can already see the next set of transactions on the horizon, but probably not for a few years yet. The farm where we rent land is probably our next real estate transaction, and that will probably involve selling this place as down payment. That’ll be a HUGE step for us, not merely for the dollar amounts (which will be quite big enough) but also because we’ll be going to a property 4x the size of what we have now, and inheriting a business that goes with it. Lots to think about there. Even though that’s probably several years away yet, I’m already trying to line up the ducks such that we’ll be surrounded by high quality professionals who can help ensure it goes smoothly. I already don’t look forward it it. You start working in large scale real estate transactions, and the size of the trainwrecks gets bigger too.

Oh, wow! All I can say is that I am speechless

Your story has mine beat, well, the buyer of our old house. His agent either did not tell him there was a deadline on asking us to fix issues on the home inspection or was very vague on it. Well after the deadline, they were asking us to address some issues. We had addressed one or two minor ones, none of the issues were major. Afte we did those small fixes, we told our agent “we’re done”. She agreed and told us we were being reasonable not to address issues after the deadline. He could take it or leave it.

There were other things that happened that I won’t bore you with but if I were him, I would have told that agent she could take her license and put where the sun doesn’t shine. Her license wasn’t worth the paper it was on, as far as I am concerned. She and the broker kept messing up stuff and then trying to “fix” it by asking us to make adjustments or corrent stuff. At some point you have to take responsibility and say, “I messed up.” I believe the agent really got embarrassed about it all or something because at some point we no longer had communication with her but with the broker. Maybe the broker shut her out, I don’t know.

But remember I told you the broker was just as bad with a friend who was going to be spending big bucks in the right neighborhood. When our friend closed, his agent–the broker I mentioned–was not even allowed in the same room at closing because things had turned sour so badly and so quickly. Our friend closed on a house but refused to have his agent there in the room at the same time! Shameful on the broker’s part. Not how to win friends and influence people.

I’ve given no indication that we would EVER be here while someone came through the house to look at it

Not only would that be awful for someone coming to look at the house (hello, awkward!) but it would be suicide for my kiddos with anxiety!

I couldn’t care LESS what they do to this house once we move! Seriously, its been a solid and faithful house but I can’t wait to get out of here! Seriously, whoever created split-levels should be grounded for a month!

Our house has dropped a LOT in value and honestly we won’t make any money on this house. We get that…but we’re not going to renovate in order to sell the house and we know that because our house is not perfect its going to hit us on the bottom line. But my priorities are not about the bottom line!

Many realtors now only work with buyers who have gotten their financing in place

You can tell your realtor, as one of your requirements, that only those with financing in place can make an appointment to view the house. This will cut down on lookie loo’s too. I don’t know if it’s true but I have heard that most people who attend open houses are not serious home shoppers, merely satisfying curiostiy.

We also made the requirement of “no contingencies”. IOW, we would not consider an offer based on the prospective buyer having to sell his/her home. I know to some it doesn’t matter. However, the deeper the contingencies go down the line, the harder it is to close a deal. It can really bog things down.

I believe one of the best things to make things happen quickly is to find a top notch agent/broker in your area. If you don’t know any, try this … as you drive around town on normal errands, look at the for sale signs in yards from real estate offices. First, see which real estate office keeps popping up. Then look for the most frequently seen agent name. You might want to start there with that office and that agent.

When we bought our old house in 2000, we sort of fell in to finding the right agent that way. We kept seeing signs for “xyx” real estate office … the most frequentlty seen at that time, and probably still today. We became personal friends with the broker and his wife the last 13 years …. we go to church together. They are both go-getters. Guess who we went with 18 months ago when we decided to sell/buy again?

As it turns out, our agent to sell was the agent for the house we bought 18 months ago. Helped us kinda keep it all in the family! LOL

Now the agent for the buyer of our old house.. that is a whole other story that I won’t recount here. Let’s just say she was not professional, fell completely short in her job by not communicating with her client, etc. In some respects he was left in a lurch due to her lack of communication … as in timelines, inspections, expectations of what we would do, etc. In fact, I believe a lot of the work was done by her broker. I heard from a friend that the broker was a real piece of work too … very unprofessional. That is why I recommend interviewing past clients and the agent. However, honestly they will probably not set up an interview with someone they know was unhappy with their service. So it’s kind of a tricky situation.

If you don’t know realtors, take time to interview. Ask lots of questions, ask to talk to previous clients, etc.

I think this is a REALLY good idea

Some realtors, and sellers, want to funnel as many people through as possible, so that anyone who MIGHT like the house, will see it and then act on it. The so-called shotgun approach. But from a classical ‘marketing theory’ point of view, that’s a lot of wear and tear. The number of lookie-loos will be very high compared to the number of folks who might actually want to make an offer. Since we’re trying to minimize wear and tear, you want to limit the viewings to those who are seriously interested – the “motivated buyer” approach. Doing stuff like videotaping the house in a realtor-only walk-through, without kids or pets, will provide 99% of the buyer public with enough information to decide whether they want to actually see it. For those who were just curious, it would answer their questions without ever setting foot on the place. For those who would have been very interested, they’ll still be very interested, and actual home viewings can be reserved for them. That would cut down the foot traffic by a huge margin. And minimize your hassle factor.

If you haven’t selected a realtor already, see if you can find one that already offers things like streaming video of their existing listings, or something similar. No need to train the realtor and be the guinea pig in the process – go with someone who already uses this technique well. If you can’t find one already using this technique, try to find one who is willing to use it. Either way, most folks will use that online video option first, before ever scheduling a visit. Then most of the folks who would otherwise see your home, will still be able to see it, without pestering you in the process.

If this doesn’t work, then are you willing to take some value loss on the sale?

Well I’m on the fence with this. Thinking from your point of view and from a prospective buyers point of view.

Let me ask, how would you feel is a person came in and was critical of your place – not so much the decor, or of the people in the home, but of a bathroom being too small, or a closet could be located on an adjacent wall, or if they wanted to see the attic to see if they could put in vaulted ceilings etc. I think most homeowners are unable to remove themselves from conversations/thoughts spoken aloud which potential buyers might have and the other side of the coin, potential buyers aren’t forthcoming in imagining how they can make the structure their home when people are there to listen. Another example, what if your kids are in their room when a potential buyer comes and says “this room would be perfect for an office”, would that make the child uncomfortable-especially if they have problems dealing with change?

I see you’re point, packing up kids every time you have a potential buyer is impossible – except that you might schedule ONE open house, and see if your realtor will do virtual tours complete with 360 degree views and narration and then vet potential buyers so that it will truly be worth your time and trouble to vacate one additional time.

You’ve got my brain going for sure!

You’ve got some great ideas I really think we could take this plan and work it to our situation. (We don’t currently have a hotel in town… the nearest one is an hour away!) There is a new construction going on but its hush-hush as to what it is and we’re thinking it MIGHT be a hotel! Our little town is about 7500 people.
Anyway, I think we could make something like this work….first is decluttering and PURGING like crazy! I’ve done a lot of it but we could do more!

I’m in Michigan (other side of the state)

I agree with just keeping it a dream for now. Maybe we’ll come across a good used one to upgrade to just for camping (not for daily living).

It broke my heart to not go with my husband to China. I wanted to travel there so badly! I do not regret staying here because I know I’d likely have had the baby in China! However, not going on that adventure was difficult for me.

No worries about your wacky dreams Jolene

Right now my biggest dreams are:
1) a nicely composting manure pile where it’s needed, rather than where it’s actually currently located
2) a barn with a concrete floor and a solid frame roof with 16 stalls so that we’re not working in Tarp Land anymore
3) a grain combine so I can plant and harvest my own feed.

Yes, I know, that list is exciting enough to wake up anyone and get ’em rowdy. It sure gets me out of bed in the morning. So if RV living gets you motivated, use it. But use it as a motivational goal, rather than a gotta-do-it-to-get-the-house-sold. We’ve got friends who have been living in an RV since they lost their house to the Colorado wild fires last year. They just graduated to a yurt. She said that move, from a few hundred sqft to almost 1000sqft, felt like moving into the Taj Majal. I think trying to have your whole family live in an RV would get very old, very quickly. So let that stay as a dream, not a short-term solution for your short-term issues.

Tell us where you are again? Maybe someone in your area knows someone who knows someone who knows a really good realtor. Meanwhile, back on the farm, I’ll be trying to figure out today how to get that manure pile moved. Yea, I know, someone better calm me down, this much excitement can be dangerous………..

Couple thoughts

First, you don’t absolutely have to have the house spotless to sell it. You’ll get a lower price – but will the difference in cost be as great as the cost of an RV?

I have a daughter with a lot of anxiety issues and OCD, so I know how hard it is! Part of the way through is finding a *new* routine, so it’s not a pile of unpredictability.

How about a plan like this: you need three things: a motel that can accommodate your family, a motel or kennel for the pets, and a strong helper, and possibly an assistant for the kids. Book six weeks of Saturday nights in the same room at the motel, including one for practice, and book your helpers. Saturday afternoon take the family over the minute it is check-in time. Then you and strong helper go back and clean up the house. It won’t be perfect, it won’t be taged, but you can get it half-decent. With a regular weekend routine, it’s predictable for the kids and less stressful for you. And at the same time you can do the decluttering and box up what you can (although I’m guessing with 9 people in 1500 square feet you already don’t have too much excess, you don’t have room for it!)

Do the math – how much does six nights of hotel rooms plus two helpers plus , say, a 5% loss of value on the house cost, compared to the cost of an RV? (and the time and maintenance you would have to put into an RV, and the kids running in and out of the house from the RV because you can’t keep them locked up…)

Student Loan Rehabs

I know some folks have student loans to contend with, so I wanted to be sure that you knew that July 2015 rehab loan repayments will be calculated on income, NOT owed debt. You will need to check payday loans online service if you qualify since there will be rules and regs etc depending upon if the student loan is federal or private.

So this may provide some relief for some folks – I hope so.

A timely reminder

since I reviewed a couple of bills and found out a payment had been skipped and so I had a bunch of late charges that I shouldn’t have been billed! (I have proof the bill was paid on time) – always good to double check so thanks for the reminder!

No you aren’t

I’m just as guilty as the next person about forgetting to check our bills. In fact this bill might have gone unnoticed by me because it’s one ds and I alternate on and it was his month to pay it. He didn’t have time to get online for it before he left Monday and didn’t want to chance paying it from the hotel so he wrote me out a check to deposit in my account to cover it for what he thought it should be and when it was higher I went reading.

Thanks for the reminder

For me, this means that I actually need to go on line and view a bill or two which is something I definitely don’t do a monthly basis. Surely I’m not the only one who has bills on auto-pay or auto-pilot and rarely looks at their bill digitally.

Most folks on this list are very good

about remembering to actually READ their bills when they come in, but sometimes we forget to read our utility bills. So it’s time for a reminder.
Read what you are being billed for with every bill you get.
My reading of the Sprint bill this morning just saved us $40. I had been charged an activation fee on a new phone, only I didn’t get one. Ds did because his died, so I was expecting the $36 fee for his, I was not expecting a $40 on my phone. They aren’t sure why we got charged for two, or why mine was $4 higher, but they immediately backed it off.
It dawned on me with the holidays coming up a lot of folks will be getting new phones and such, so I thought I’d remind you to read your bill to avoid such problems for yourself.
Also a reminder to watch out for your energy company adding their annual “share the wealth” billing to your bill without your permission (many companies require you to “opt out” instead of in on this program). We’ve discussed this program previously on this list about how it does not go to help those who need it as the name indicates, but in fact goes directly to the power company to cover deadbeats of the past.
It is a good idea, however,especially this time of year, that if you know of someone who is having trouble with their utilities you get their account number somehow and give the “gift” of paying on their exact bill to pay it forward. No one should be cold.

Whenever I am calculating dh’s paycheck

I consider 1/3 of whatever he earns going to both state and fed taxes along with other deductions like 401K, insurance etc and it’s usually pretty much dead on. So if all you are having taken out are the taxes then 25% should be close, however your tax rate runs higher than ours on the state level.