Friday, February 15, 2008

How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days

In November, we had a book club meeting for the kids at a house of an acquaintance in Hemet. She has a 1900 square foot home on 2-3 acres, with several out buildings. She said that they'd been trying to sell the house for a year, but no one was coming by to look at it anymore. They'd had it listed with an agent and then went FSBO.

In January, the same homeowner sent out a group message asking for referrals to an escrow company. I was more than happy to recommend the one competent escrow service in Temecula (Chardonnay Escrow--Peggy Pinto) and congratulate her on finally selling her home. She e-mailed me back saying that they hadn't sold the house, but expected to soon because they would be using a system that she had been reading about. A system? I just had to ask, and this was her response:

Hi Carol,

We've had our house on the market for over a year both with and without an agent. I came across a book, How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days. We decided to give it a try. Basically, we run an ad from Wed-Sun offering the home at half of what we think is a fair market value. We have a two day inspection period for interested buyers. We allow buyers to bid on the house. We don't set the price, they do. Hopefully, we get a fair market value for the home set by the bidders. The buyer's happy. We're happy.

Two days ago, I received this from her:

Last weekend we had an open house and more than 25 groups (singles, couples, families) went through it. We also had almost 3 times that many call on it. We had advertised our home for less than half of what we thought it is worth. We had a bidding process at the end of it and we came up with a high bidder. The high bid was not high enough and we explained that to the high bidder. He was still interested, but didn't commit to a higher price...yet. We are not holding our breath, but would appreciate prayers for God's will in this. This way of generating interest in a home is a great idea and I would highly recommend it. We had more people through our house in one weekend than we had in over 12 months on the market.

I wonder if this has worked for anybody who has had problems selling or are trying to get rid of their properties quickly. Here is the author's forum about the book.

On a different note: remember how I bragged posted on Monday about the warm weather that we'd been having? I even published a picture of our view on that gorgeous weekend. It was so warm that we had to turn on the A/C. Some of our trees started to bloom. And I almost pulled out our summer clothes. Yes, I was feeling quite cocky about our sunshine in comparison to all the bad weather they've been hit with back east.

Well, the schizophrenic SoCal weather raised its ugly head yesterday. We were supposed to have a St. Valentine's Day party at the park with several other families, but it was pouring rain. So, of course, I changed the location to my house. Fun? Yes. Happy that my house has durable paint and not-so-nice floors? YES! I didn't have to worry about a thing.

To refresh your memory, this was what it looked like just a few short days ago, with a teeny, itsy bitsy white dot of snow on the upper left peak that was melting quickly:

Yesterday afternoon, it started to snow here, but didn't stick at all. However, our mountain view changed to this:
And it was FREEZING--still is! This side of the mountain hasn't been covered in snow since we've moved here. It's pretty, and the kids are in awe of being so close to it. But I have to wonder . . . the housing decline was more predictable than this, so what's next?