We have decided to move. We have lived in our house in North Aurora for 22 years. In this ever changing I’m sure the process has changed just a bit. Little did we know how the change had happened in those 22 years.

The first step we took was to select a realtor to sell our home. It’s incredible how many people you come to know who are realtors. We created a long list of people we know are realtors. How do you pick one without offending the others?

The first pass was easy. They were too far away, we didn’t know them, etc. Next, we just called the remaining folks on the list and talked with them. Karen did most of that since she met them through her networking groups. That got us down to our shortlist, about 4 realtors, and those were the ones we asked to come by the house and make their pitch on how they would sell the house.

A couple of the realtors didn’t get back to us very quickly. Were they too busy to take on another house for sale? Now we’re down to two realtors. The amazing thing was the price all the realtors told us. It was a lot more than we expected and the house would probably sell in days, what!? In our minds, we were preparing for a sales process that would be weeks at best and months at worst.

Selling a house

Now I’m the last person to be selling a house. That’s not my skill level. Karen’s OK with selling massage and her meditation products, but selling a big-ticket item is something neither of us has any interest in doing. I just kept skating my head, “Someone would give me that much for this house?” It was great to think that we would get more than we expected, but there was that feeling we were being told a story so we could go with that realtor.

But every one of the realtors we asked gave us a price that was in the same ballpark. Could it be true?

house for sale, banking, building

It should be noted that there weren’t many houses like ours up for sale. In fact, there weren’t many houses for sale in our area. Well, we took the information we had been given and decided. We signed the contract, and we had a realtor. She was very upbeat and was very much alongside us.

Part of the realtors’ pitch was how to prepare the house for sale. Oh my gosh, everything needed to be neutral colors. Over the years we lived in North Aurora, we painted rooms colors we thought were nice. It gave our home that warm fuzzy feeling. In one room we had a border at the top of the wall, other walls were accented with a light feather brush Karen put on the walls. It was our house and that’s what we wanted.

Staging our house

We also had someone come in and stage our house. Not only did the stager give us the same things to do as the realtor, but they also gave us an additional list of things to do. High on the list was to change all the exterior light fixtures and many of the interior lights. Why? They all worked well, something about the color and style. I drew the line at turning one of the bathroom light fixtures upside down so it gave the bathroom a higher ceiling effect.

As we were going through all the changes, I started to think the changes had a psychological effect on us. Everything we did to make the house our house was being changed. We took the drapes down, removed the pictures from the walls, and changed the rooms’ colors, making them a house. It wasn’t our house; it was a house. One room that everyone agreed didn’t need to be changed was Karen’s massage room. She had too many clients coming and there wasn’t time to do the work. It was also one of our income sources.

We did draw a line in the sand on one of the walls in the front room. It was a dark green. I said it was the last piece of what made it our house and we would leave it alone. People could deal with it when they came to look at the house. It was our green wall and we were keeping it. I have put my foot down, more on this later.

Selling the house was a blur of activity. We decided to sell the house as we began 2023. The interview process of the realtors was done before I left on the Philippines mission at the end of January. I also started on the repairs and painting updates before I left. Most of the work was done after I came back from the Philippines in mid-February. The house officially when on the market on February 28th. We had the first open house two days later on March 2nd. We did have some unofficial viewings in the last week of February.

They like it

It was interesting during the unofficial viewings, people commented the house looked good, in spite of me still doing work. The price seemed good; it just wasn’t the house they were looking for. Their comments gave us hope that we were making the correct decision on the asking price for the house.

Oh, the comment I made earlier about the green wall in the front room? I did eventually paint it neutral. As the house went on the market, we had many people coming to see it. Again the comments were similar to the above. However, it was just after we gave in and painted it, the house sold. Was it the painting of the wall or was it just time for the house to sell? We’ll never know for sure, but maybe there is something about everything being neutral.

Concluding thoughts

Thanks for reading our blog. We hope it will provide some entertainment and some information to you about our moving into retirement and southern Illinois. Our life is changing in many ways. And if this can bring a smile to you when and a warm feeling then we have reached our goal. Please follow as we move from northern Illinois to the south end of the state. Please enjoy the other articles on our pages, Bruce & Karen.