By Bruce Carlson

It’s a crazy time. Telling my director I’m retiring, fixing up the house, and putting it up for sale. When we signed the contract with Alecia, one of my conditions was no closings while I was in Bolivia. I didn’t want Karen to have to put up with those challenges by herself. Little did I know that’s exactly what would happen. Karen had to close on the house in North Aurora and down south. It was a crazy time and things were happening fast.

Alecia told us houses were selling fast in our North Aurora area. Especially our ranch-style house. There were very few ranch houses on the market and demand was high. We signed the contract with Alecia the last week of February and she scheduled an open house on February 26th. Karen and I were scrambling to finish cleaning up the house and the open house was starting. We were celebrating the hope for a contract.

Hope for a contract

When we left the house people were already coming through. It was like ants running all over. They were inside and outside of the house. We remembered when we first saw our North Auroera house there was soft music playing in the background. It really set the mood for us when we first walked in. As we were walking out we put on some music from YouTube and left. Alecia called us 10 minutes after leaving and said to come back and turn off that music. Wrong music to sell a house, I guess.

We finally left and decided to go and have an early dinner. We drove out to Sycamore and stopped at a Texas Roadhouse. A steak dinner to celebrate the open house sounded like a good idea. We made a toast for a contract and texted Alecia to see how things were going. She was very positive something good would come. We enjoyed our dinner and drove back home waiting for a contract. It was a long evening. Where was the offer? Our hopes began to sink. We began to visualize a long wait to sell the house.

It was the next morning we got the call. There was a contract offer coming. Yeah, happy feet, happy feet. The rollercoaster ride was just beginning. Now we hadn’t bought a house in 22 years. The process seemed a lot different. The offer was for more than we asked for. They wanted to close by the end of the month. We have hardly started looking for a new house in southern Illinois., panic! Let the negotiations begin.

We got the close date moved back to just before I left for Bolivia. We figured Karen could stay with Scott, nachole, and the girls while I was in Bolivia. I would come back from Bolivia, we would make an offer on a house, and move in towards the end of May. Wait a minute, we still haven’t seen the offer, where is it? We have this all planned out, let’s get going. Can you feel the rollercoaster ready to make the drop?

Potential buyer has 5 days to review the house

Turns out the potential buyer has 5 days to review the house, usually waiting for inspectors to look the house over. But they said they weren’t going to do an inspection. Hello, where’s the contract? We’re on a schedule here and you’re messing up our plans. Something is going on. There’s a problem, but we have no idea what it is. All we can do is wait. The rollercoaster is on the downhill slide.

On the fifth day, we get a reply from the potential buyer, the house is on a corner. They don’t like it. Wait a minute, they walked around the house and didn’t notice the house was on a corner? I’m not buying it. To make a long story short, we found out they were planning to put up a fence. We think they had dogs. Apparently, what they wanted was not what the city codes would allow. They pulled the offer. We were back to square one. We lost 5 days waiting for them.

So much for the plans we had made. Alecia put the house back on the market. Once again we were looking at the uncertainty of when things were going to happen. Will the house sell? We just wanted to get it done. We really don’t have any patience in this process. People were coming through the house on a regular basis. Since we had a video doorbell, we could watch people come and go. Most people liked the house, but it just wasn’t the house for them. In the meantime, we kept moving stuff out of the house to the storage locker.

Alecia said the average days on the market was around 10 days. We were creeping up on two weeks of waiting. OK, half of that time was waiting on the original offer. Then getting us back on the market. One day around the middle of March, a realtor came a did a video walk-through of the house. They were there for about 20 minutes, which was a pretty good sign of interest in the house. A little bit later the realtor brought someone local to walk through the house. Something was happening.

It turns out the video walk-through was for a woman in North Carolina. Apparently, she like the house and was very interested in it. She had a friend who lived in a town nearby and asked the friend to go and see the house. The friend confirm the house would be perfect for the woman and her needs. It was a short time later we received the second offer. Let’s not let this one get away.

Rollercoaster was on the uphill climb

The rollercoaster was on the uphill climb, but there were still some twisty loops to work through. We negotiated a close date and a rent-back time so Karen wouldn’t have to move while I was in Bolivia. Unfortunately, the closing would be while I was in Bolivia. Our lawyer said it would be no problem working the closing. All that was needed was to give him power of attorney. We would sign the paperwork ahead of time and the closing would be handled. The inspection found a few things to handle, but no big problem.

We have a good contract signed and waiting to be closed on. We realized we could start moving our stuff back from the storage locker. That would save us a few dollars in moving costs. Once again I spent time moving what I had just moved, back to the house. My car could sit outside for the next couple of months. We are halfway through the process. Next, was where will we end up? We still need a house somewhere. Alecia earned her commission on this sale. Now we really had to get working with Jane to find a house in southern Illinois. But that’s for the next article.

Watch for the next article

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we move through the process of selling our house, buying a new house (to become our home), and the adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, Bruce & Karen.