By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, October 1, 2019
By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, October 1, 2019
Thirty-six days. That’s how long it took for my clients Shannon and David to decide to sell their house and buy a new house, to actually selling their house and buying a new home. Back in 2014 I sold Shannon and David a picture perfect 1909 bungalow a block off Alberta. After spending probably too much money updating the house, getting the yard landscaped and re-finishing the already finished basement, they were facing a quandary. As much as they loved their house, there were 2 issues that weren’t jiving with how they wanted to live in the house. Both Shannon and David work from home so they are both home all day every day. They each had a small bedroom that they used as their respective offices, but neither office space worked for their needs. The second issue was the kitchen is pretty small, and they wanted a kitchen that had more room to move around and that could hold a full size refrigerator. The dilemma came down to, did they want to put another gob of money into the house to get a better kitchen and live with the home offices situation, or sell the house and move. Less than 2 weeks after they contacted me to let me know they were thinking of selling their home and buying a different house, they got back to me with their final decision. They were going to go for it and sell their current home and buy another house. The biggest potential issue was that they needed the funds from their current house to buy their next home, so they were going to have to either write a contingent offer or potentially face renting for a while if their house sold quickly and they had not yet found a new home. Because their current house is so lovely in so many ways, I knew that it would be a piece of cake to sell. Really all I needed to do was have a photographer show up and take photos and the house should sell itself.
The day after they made their final decision, they gave me a list of some newer construction homes they had been eyeing. Their very favorite one- a house less than a mile away that they had apparently been stalking for a while, was graced with an oak tree with a trunk the size of an SUV and a canopy that spanned 3 city lots. And the house behind the oak tree was brand new and had been set far back from the street in order to let the tree continue living it’s life, seemed pretty cool too. The house had been on the market for nearly a year, which usually isn’t a great sign, but in this case, I think it was on the market for so long because it was waiting for Shannon and David to find it. The day after they came to their final decision, we went to check out the house with the giant oak tree and a few more newer construction homes in the general area.
We walked into the house graced by magnificent oak tree and it did not disappoint. The layout was open, and the kitchen was situated where you don’t see the kitchen when you walk through the front door into the main living space, and upstairs in addition to 3 good sized bedrooms, was a nice sized family room with soaring vaulted ceilings. The house is a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath, and 3 of the 4 bedrooms look out at the giant oak tree, and none of them share a wall, so with this setup, they could each have an office that was separate than the other, and have another bedroom for guests. After seeing the house, it was definitely head scratching as to why this house had been sitting on the market so long and had had a $125k price reduction from when it was first listed. That afternoon we saw a few more houses, none of which held a candle to the oak tree house. And by the end of the day they decided they really wanted to live under that magnificent oak tree.
I called the listing agent to ask why it had been on the market so long and he said that because they builder had to set the house at the back of the lot in order to keep the tree, the backyard was really small and the front yard was large and mainly taken up by that oak tree. So the very thing that prevented this house from selling was the very thing that was so attractive to Shannon and David. We wrote up a contingent offer the next day with a 6 week closing. Since their current home was not yet on the market, I put together a marketing plan including the market value range of their current home and let the seller know that we would be listing their house at the bottom of the range in order to get a great offer as quickly as possible. Thankfully the sellers accepted the contingent offer. A week later I had their home on the market, and as expected, we received a too good to pass up offer within a couple of days of it being on the market that was all cash, over asking and offered a relatively quick closing, Shannon and David accepted it and we canceled the open houses we had planned. Nineteen days after they accepted the offer on their house, we closed on their sweet old home. And thirty-two days after their contingent offer was accepted, Shannon and David closed on their new tree. And the house it came with.