Selling your house sucks

There are many reasons to hate the process of selling. The last time I had to relocate, we moved up front, and left an empty house. Get it cleaned, and let the agents have free reign.

This time, we have to sell before we move. This is much harder to accomplish.

#1 Select a realtor

There are literally thousands of realtors in any major metropolitan area. We are fortunate that we had to choose one who knows the Relo game and works with our Relocation company. Two good realtors, two slightly different approaches, but both seem competent. We pick the local specialist.

#2 Get ready

Unless you have fucking Martha Stewart as a maid, and a kick ass gardener, there are likely a list of things to do. You can live there, but you have to be ready to show at any time. And while it can be lived in, you really need to not have too much clutter.

So there are about 40 boxes of stuff stored in the garage. No guitars out. Not much besides the essentials.

It is tough living, but we have to do it.

Get the carpets cleaned. Get the tile scrubbed, fix those little things you never got to. Oh, your kitchen sink faucet died? Get it fixed. Oh, your garage door spring died? Get it fixed.

A few thousand dollars later we are ready.

#3 Put it on the market

Now the fun begins. It goes live. The marketing begins. The listing gets picked up by Trulia, homes.com, and Zillow.

We put it on the market on a Wednesday. We knew the first weekend would be busy, so we went to a local resort for a splurge. Put the dogs into daycare.

Now we are in the constant readiness state. Dirty a dish? Into the dishwasher instantly. Vacuum every day. Pick up dog toys and beds. We went from 10 dog beds to 3 that we move in and out.

We are now officially 2 weeks into it. Showing have trickled to once a day, or every other day. Easter weekend is coming. I bet that is slow.

#4 Bad buyers – Ups and Downs

The first Monday, we had an offer. Full price. Wanted the washer and dryer. Cool.

But the Relo people have a special process. Since they didn’t live here, they have no direct experience with the property, so they give minimal disclosure, and the buyer has to buy it as is (they do get to do an inspection, and we will fix what they find, but no need to come completely clean). The buyer, being a lawyer, didn’t like the terms. We were in limbo for 4 whole days before they backed out. Fuck.

I can totally relate to the buyer’s trepidation. A simple Google search shows that the relocation company is more than a bit skeevy, and has totally boned a lot of buyers. Sigh.

I know this happens, but it still sucks. Ironically, if we were just selling without the relo group involved, we would be 2 weeks from settlement. (You can be sure that I will hammer them on the customer satisfaction survey)

Summary

We have priced our house to sell. We are $12 – $18 a sqft below the neighborhood trends. But we are in a buyers market, so it will take time to get the right person to walk into our house.

I just want to get moved, and move on. Too much happening in life to have this drag out.

We have a showing tonight at 6:30. Fingers are crossed.

Big Changes in 2014 for Casa Gander

In 2012, I joined a great company, a cool place to work, and a true leader in Scientific instrumentation. Not quite a dream come true but a good move, particularly at this stage of my career.

Things had been going well, then the Friday before the Thanksgiving week, the bombshell fell. All manufacturing of our products will move to Malaysia (where we have been manufacturing since 1974), and thus the operation as we know it in Arizona will be closed.

Those of us in marketing and engineering were given an option. We could relocate to the home office in Santa Clara California, or we would be managed out by the end of April.

Gulp. Flashback. I moved to Arizona in 2003 to take a job at Veeco Instruments. Prior to that I was in the San Jose area. I gladly left because I realized that my 1,093 Sq Ft condo would be all I could ever hope to afford.

Moving back to that nutty housing and traffic area was something that I contemplated a couple of times, but the finances were never attractive. I even had a couple of good job offers in 2007/2008 to go back, but again the economics didn’t make sense.

This time is different.

  1. The company put together a kick-ass relocation package. Truly top notch, with mortgage assistance, tax assistance, and as painless of a move as possible.
  2. Realizing that the cost of living is pretty out of whack there, mainly due to housing costs, the company is giving a generous salary increase. Enough to help me afford a $600K mortgage (my generous house here in Chandler was $245K in a great neighborhood, 12 minutes from the office)
  3. I am rapidly approaching 50. A decade ago that wouldn’t have been a huge deal, the fact is that becoming unemployed at 50 would be a serious risk in this economy. Far too many people never find meaningful work again. While I fully expect to be a greeter at Walmart after I “retire” I don’t want that to start today.
  4. I really like the company, and believe in the products, the leadership, and the ethos of the company. At this point in my career, and I have worked for some really slimy operators, this is a big deal. I know that I have a lot to offer, and as much as I grumble about my profession, I am quite good at it.

So we are going to suck it up and move. I have until January 31st to officially accept or decline the relocation offer. In a week and a half we get a preview trip, which we will use extensively to scope out neighborhoods.

I am terrified, but if we are ever to relocate back to the Bay Area, this is the only way we will be able to do it.

This blog will be a useful outlet for my sojourn, so I hope you don’t get bored and leave.