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Why It Took Me 4+ Years to Sell My Home!

A celebration
is in order.
My house is
now SOLD.
You may be
…thinking:
How come it
took 4+ years?
Well, here’s
my selling story.

My First Attempt to Sell: Summer 2017

I found a cottage tucked in the woods 3 hours away. The access was a bridge over a creek. It was charming. The bonus was riding trails and a lake close by. I put an offer on it, contingent on my home sale. Within that week every last real estate contract concerning the cottage and my home were canceled!

I had the Realtor who was handling the cottage buy, also list my home. Thought it easier to have one point of contact who could coordinate all parts. Wrong. She forged MY signature on a second MLS listing for my southern Oregon home! And lied to another local Realtor she coerced into signing the PSA!

How does this happen? No good answer. She was an experienced Realtor. With a very BIG problem. Her Principal Broker fired her.

Yeah. She was reported to the Oregon Realty Board by her former Broker. I wrote the Realty Board a 12 page grievance outlining her performance. They sent me a note saying they were not going to investigate. UNTIL I wrote a strong email back. And copied in every lawyer I knew. They opened the case for investigation. Where is the accountability for agents? Dunno!

That was my first attempt at selling my home. Realty friends, family et al were mystified at this deception. Wondered why I was not upset. My comment: The universe must surely have something better in the works for me.

Second Try: Fall 2017

That fall I listed my house with a local Realtor. She was argumentative, but I gave her my listing. Figured with her debate style, she would negotiate a decent sale. Showings began and were fairly constant.

During this time, one morning I found my horse JD down in his paddock. When the vet came out, JD was back on his feet. JD had never been off. He was 26, in great shape. Vet did a thorough exam. Found nothing. Had blood tests. Nothing conclusive. We administered antibiotics and other shots to boost him. JD recovered, but my intuition knew.

Interesting. From that point forward absolutely no one came to view my home. I shut down. Did not want to move, or stress JD, or myself. I didn’t pull the listing. But the Realtor thought it odd all showings just stopped. Her answer was to drop my price 50K. Didn’t do it. I let her listing run out. The next spring, 2018, my JD crossed over his rainbow bridge.

Third Time: Fall 2018

2018 summer this valley was filled with fire smoke for months on end. Not a time to sell. That fall I decided to do a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and listed for 6 months on the MLS. It rained almost the entire 6 months. Had some good showings; one ridiculous low offer.

Fourth Go Round: Spring 2019

This is hardly a mention. Because I never listed with this dude who solicited and befriended me. I was ambivalent. I caved. His listing agreement had a commission higher than was promised. Bait and switch. I confronted him. And canceled the listing he goaded me into. Over the next day he chastised me for questioning his integrity. Two emails later our relationship ended. Particularly after he said he would honor his baited commission IF I agreed to keep it hidden from his realty partner, which happened to be his wife!

The Fifth Revolution: Summer 2019

Intentionally, I interviewed top agents. Picked a 2 man team. Nice guys. Said and did all the right things. Promised to allow ONLY pre-qualified buyer showings.

Turned out, they had selective hearing. My house became a freeway home to an onslaught of lookers. I stepped next door and spied, as showings were short. Agents and their clients were sloppy. Left horse gates open. Let my cats outside even with a large note to leave them in. Kids went crazy while parents were inside doing god knows what. Oh, and a buyers agent lost my house key. Which forced me to call the regional MLS to get involved because my agents did not care until I forced the issue. Then the last straw? An unannounced agent came to show my house.

I asked my Realtor if he wanted my listing anymore. He yelled at me! No concern for my welfare. For *#%$ sake- I was his employer! The one who held his paycheck. It had been 6 months of babysitting stupid stuff they promised. I was beyond done. The only good that came from the last years were my Real Estate Ethics Lesson Plans.
BTW, Thank YOU ALL for contributing to Patty Ann’s Pet Project!

The ironic moment > The very day I retired these Realtors, and decided it was easier to do a DIY FSBO, a letter came from the Oregon Realty Board. They concluded the gal who blatantly forged my signature–two and a half years prior–was free to carry on—as she had been anyway. They only put a letter in her file. No wonder agents run a muck. That same afternoon? I sold the first of my Real Estate Ethics Lessons. Serendipity?

The Final Frontier: July 2020

Done with realtors I was back on the market as a DIY FSBO. And, back in control. Covid-19 actually helped me out. Buyers and agents had to email provide written proof of funds first. After I approved, they could view my home…wearing masks, gloves, shoes off, no kids, adult buyers only. That worked to save my sanity of lookers. Some agents were not allowed entry due to lying, arguing and more rude agendas. They wore me out.

Out of this craziness came a difficult sale. The buyer was determined in spite of her sabotaging agent who was clueless to rural properties. The buyer caught on told her agent to ‘stand down’. I forged ahead orchestrating the closure. Amid the vast fires my home sold on Sept. 30. Oct 1. I escaped and never looked back. See. When you know the worth of your home and believe in it. And you have clarity about what you want and stick to it, the universe delivers.

There were advantages of taking 3+ years to sell. Truthfully, it took time to let go. Also, as I explored towns, my mind changed where to live many times. As well, I evolved. And so did my expectations. Instead of thinking of a forever home, my ideas became fluid, more flexible. It didn’t stop me from being discerning. My desires had been well placed out in the cosmos. I trusted it to deliver. And IT did. My next property came with all my dreams attached. It was worth waiting for!

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Baby Boomer Buyers

Baby Boomers are a
different breed of buyer:
One of Discernment.

Truth be told.
I can thoroughly relate.
Because I AM a ‘Boomer’!

So shared here is
MY straight scoop.

Here are the top reasons to move after polling many same bracket buyers. Interesting enough, what I found was my thinking was on par with these other boomer buyers.

A change of environment. Weather is a BIG factor in moving. Thus, boomers seek warmer climates. However, many also want a renewal that comes from the excitement of new places to explore. It’s not that the familiar farmer’s markets, wineries, and festivals mean less. It is just energizing, perhaps even enchanting to discover the novelty of elsewhere. It’s enticing to live in a new culture, and become part of that community.

Closer to family. As time progresses, family ties become more important. Particularly when there are children and grandchildren living elsewhere. And they are entrenched in their jobs, established in schools, and not likely to move. This is my situation.

I moved to southern Oregon seeking the sun region. Yet, I did not think living in a next door state was akin to moving to another continent. And this became apparent within short order. The driving distance to visit family and friends is a day each way. Not an easy trek for a weekend visit.

Outrageous real estate taxes are driving seniors from their homes. The home I bought years ago started out at $200/year in King County, WA. Paying real estate taxes were never a concern. That same property today is taxed at $7500 per year! This is not uncommon in many areas nowadays. Boomers have worked their butts off to live a well deserved retirement. We don’t want to worry about keeping our homes. Thus, many look to other states with more reasonable taxation rates.

Not that the reasons above are unusual for any age to move. However, these are dominant reasons that drive boomers to relocate. Now what is not atypical is the attitudes and habits of Boomer Buyers.

Boomers: We do not have to move. We want to.

Boomers are typically comfortable where they currently live. They need to be highly motivated to move. Because of this fact, boomer buyers take their time to buy elsewhere. As well, age and experience makes one get pickier. Therefore, boomers are discerning, discriminating -and intentional in their purchasing decisions.

Lifestyle preference predominate. As a lifelong horse lover I relate to special buying needs. Horse properties, are not like buying a tract home. I searched over a year to find my now home on 5 acres. And then the horse property construction commenced. It was an emotional investment. However, after 9 years the reasons above compel me to sell. I have been scrutinizing northern properties for over 3 years now. Have a few preferences noted. It’s been a slow process sifting through ideal locations.

My close friends looked for over 6 years to find their dream spot. Their special need: to find suitable land for their 20+ llamas. They were on the brink of giving up. Said they decided to remodel their home instead. Then their dream materialized; a true storybook farm tucked way by a creek in a serene spot. And, gorgeous it is!

Often, boomers reveal they want to move as long as it’s not too overwhelming to do so. It’s easier to stay in place knowing the familiar. In other words, the resistance to moving must be less than the perils of staying in the status quo.

I have my home for sale now. It’s been off and on the market for 3 years. (Another blog will cover this adventure.) I have compared moving notes with out of state boomer buyers. Interesting to note, we have parallel stories. We’ve looked for a few years. We’ve finally targeted an area. Now it’s either make the change, or forget about it. And it is unanimous that moving farm animals presents triple concerns for their welfare.

Out of state buying is challenging enough. Add boomer buyers who do not have to move—with discerning preferences and this equals a tougher sale for agents and sellers. As for myself, I will wait for my house to sell first. Then figure it out from there. I trust the universe has a wonderful place picked out for me when that time comes.

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty Ann-PattyAnn.net.

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7 Tips to Tell if Your Buyer is Serious

How do you evaluate
WHO is a TRUE BUYER?

As a Realtor or an Owner-Seller
(of which I’ve been both)
Here are my TOP TiPs
for discerning between
REAL Buyers and Tire-kickers.

This article is also written for BUYERS! Educate yourself to real estate practices with these step actions, and you will expedite your property purchase!

(1) First, ALL buyers should be prequalified. As a Realtor, or FSBO Seller, it is HIGHLY recommended to get buyers prequalified, prior to showing appointments.

What does “Prequalified” mean? Simply put, it’s written proof to show the buyer can afford to purchase realty property up to a set amount. A lender will write a pre-approval letter for a buyer, stating they are able to get a loan, or has the funds, to purchase.

The bottom line for getting prequalified, is to show a buyer is ready, able, and serious to purchase a property. It also gives a seller confidence, knowing their sale will most likely succeed. If a buyer is not viable, much precious time can be wasted. Realty Agents need to know a buyer’s spending limits. They can screen out prospective buyers from lookers. Also, savvy sellers may not allow showings without proof of funds.

(2) Serious buyers know what they want and are proactive. They scour the MLS listings and pick their favorites. Often these buyers direct their agent to set up a showing. Many fall in love with their future property on the internet right off.

(3) Serious buyers should not bring children, friends or pets to a showing. Children will distract parents. That’s just what kids do. Particularly when it’s important. Trust me on this. I have grown-up children. Been there, tried that, doesn’t work. Realtors and sellers have every right to request that children are not to attend showings.

Friends of the buyer(s) should not attend showings. Well meaning buddies are a big distraction. Namely, because they influence. Their opinions often sway and undermine the buyer’s own decision making and processing.

A heads up! Generally, pets should not be left in the car unattended on a seller’s property. This is a courtesy to property owners that have their own pets… and who may investigate who else is in the car! Therefore, it’s suggested to leave Fido home.

(4) ALL buyers should attend showings. When a buying partner does not attend a showing, this can be a caveat that one may not be on board. Of course there are exceptions, such as for out of state buyers. Serious buyers make the time to consider available properties > TOGETHER.

(5) Listen to a buyer. And encourage them to talk freely. For you will learn where they are at in the buying process. They may be pre-qualified, but still not mentally ready to commit. Perhaps, the buyers are still evaluating all their options. For instance, what type of home style; where to buy; or school districts to live in. A good agent can help educate and influence, but often cannot get the uncommitted to sign.

A ready buyer often takes the lead. Has done their homework and has pointed questions. Their language turns positive and their tone of voice energetic. Particularly when they visit a property that checks their boxes. They tell their agent or the seller right then, “Let’s make this happen!”

(6) When buyers present low offers and a house is on par with sold comps, this can indicate several things. 1) The buyer cannot afford the listed price. Thus the reason pre-qualified exists. 2) The buyer wants a super deal. This is how flippers operate. It means more profit in their pocket. 3) Many buyers (and agents) think FSBO Sellers should slash their price because they are not paying a commission. But the fact is, FSBO Sellers must execute a closing the exact same as a Realtor. A seller’s time is worth no less. Oddly, this stigma still lives on in many minds. So a note to sellers: If you want your listed price, verbalize it upfront to the buyer and/or their agent. It will save everyone time.

7) Serious buyers are motivated. Is there a job relocation involved? If so, an immediate need to purchase a house may be at the forefront. Life changes are typical times for upgrading or downgrading real estate properties. New marriages with combined families often need a larger home. Empty-nesters typically want to down size.

Lifestyles motivate property purchases. As a forever horse owner I’ve seen one such scenario repeat often. People buy one horse. And board it out. They become captivated by the lifestyle. They buy another horse- or two. Thus more money spent on boarding. These horsey home owners start adding it up; their 3 horses boarded, plus their own mortgage. Purchasing acreage starts to make sense. That is the path of serious equestrians. The point here is: lifestyles not only motivate, but dictate how, when, and where a person purchases property.

In my opinion and experience, a serious buyer offers full price, or close to it, when they see value. They know intrinsically what’s in in for them, emotionally, mentally and otherwise. Serious buyers make the sale happen.

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty Ann-PattyAnn.net.

Real Estate Education for Buyers, Sellers & Realtors