Market Madness [part 3]: Is It the Season for Selling?

It was time to sell our house. We were bursting at the seams. Soon, our kids would be taller than us and personal space will be hard to come by. Those were the mantras of my wife and I as we put our “starter home” on the market last year. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I explained how we prepared our house (and ourselves) for the real estate market and we handled the hassle of showings and open houses.

Market MadnessNow we were ready for a sale. We had done a bunch of individual showings, a few open houses, and seemingly spent every minute of free time cleaning and straightening up after our boys (and dog) had rearranged things as they saw fit. The weeks went by and turned into months. The summer had peaked and begun to fade. School started up and the “home-buying season” was dwindling. My wife and I grew increasingly frustrated, as we knew the market was still somewhat down, reports abounded saying that housing was coming back and sellers should start seeing the signs. Not us.

Four months on the market and we hadn’t received even as much as a low-ball offer. Nada. Zilch. Zero. We had even dropped our original price 10 percent to improve our chances against our competition. No dice.

As our kids ramped up their school work and extracurricular activities, and our family was consumed with birthdays and anniversaries, we made the decision to pull our house off the market and try again later, and our real estate agent agreed. We weren’t getting any activity anyway, so we might as well reduce our stress levels while we watched the market.

The Re-Start

We waited through the rest of the fall, the entire winter, and come spring, we were ready to re-emerge. Just like the flowers and trees, we were prepared for a rebirth during spring. Again, we got the house in order, decluttered and put the non-essential stuff into a storage facility, checking to make sure we had the proper storage unit insurance coverage, of course. We dropped the price only slightly from our previous attempt, and were optimistic about our chances this time.

My house officially went back on the market mid-week, and we soon had four showings set for that Saturday. It seemed that again, the early flurry of activity had begun. Saturday came and we put our dog in his kennel and took the kids to the bookstore. At the end of a busy day, I was shocked: we had two solid offers and one “likely” offer from a woman whose husband wanted to see the house the next day. In the long run, only one offer was serious, but after minimal negotiations, we settled on a reasonable selling price. It appears the second time was the charm, as we sold our house on the first day of showings…which made our previous fruitless attempt seem like a necessary inconvenience.

We sold our house! Now, we have to find a new one, and fast.

Check back with The Allstate Blog for Part 4 of this series and hear how I found my dream home, but almost lost it…twice!

Part 1: Take the first step toward selling your home

Part 2: Handling the hassle of an open house