Life in 409

This blog is about my quest to declutter my apartment. It focuses on clutter, decluttering, and the endless quest to separate the junk from the important stuff - at home and in life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The beginning-

Hi everyone (anyone?)

Well, I've done it. I've finally taken the big step and started the process of putting 409 on the market. It's a little sad to me. I loved the apartment so much when we moved in, in early 2002. Back then it was just me, the husband, and our son, who had just turned 2. We were living in a 1-bedroom rental and we bought an apartment in the same complex, just across the street. We had moved a bunch of stuff over a little at a time, before the "big moving day" and when we took J over to see his new room, he ran around, happily exclaiming, "All my Toys are 'eere!!!" Of course, now it's seven years later, and we have THREE kids (and two turtles, and a crawfish, and a frog) and all the stuff that goes with them, plus my husband and my own's packrat tendencies. But that is all about to change.

I was stalling and stalling about calling a broker. I felt like I needed our place to be in tiptop shape before I would let a stranger in to assess, analyze and judge it. It slowly dawned on me that the place would never be in tiptop shape. (If it were, there would be no need for this blog, not that I've really kept up with the blog, but you know what I mean.) I also realized that telling my kids (and, let's face it, my husband... and really, ok, me too) that "we need to clean up so that when we put it on the market, it looks nice" really meant nothing to them (us) because it was somewhere in the future... Until it is really on the line, it is just not real. (Yes, I admit to being a procrastinator... was there really a doubt?)

Even after realizing this, I dragged my feet. How do I pick a broker? How do I know if it's the right broker? Can I get a storage unit to temporarily store some of my mess? What do I do first?

Finally I broke down (HEH. I first typed "broker down") and called JN at my building's management company. She is the dedicated broker for my building so I figured I'd start with her. I had Friday off and spent a lot of time straightening up... we were out all day Saturday, and the plan was for her to come Sunday at 1:45 after my girl's tee-ball game. She actually pushed it to 4:30 which gave me more time to straighten and (gasp!) mop the floors and (swoon!) clear the dining room table (again).

Her visit was nothing like I imagined. As I said, she is the dedicated broker for the building, so she already knew the apartment and the line very well. She took mostly a cursory look around. Her assessment: hey, it is what it is. It hasn't been updated, it's not in great condition. Someone is going to buy it looking for a bargain and knowing they have to put some money into fixing it up. The price point she suggested was lower than I'd hoped, but in line with what I expected. It will still give us enough money to pay off the mortgage, pay off the credit cards, and have a down payment for the next place.

My biggest surprises? Two:
  • I asked when we start looking for OUR new place, and she said, "When you have a signed contract for someone to buy this one." I figured we would be looking as soon as our place is on the market.
  • I asked what I should do to get it ready, and was surprised to find that there's not much I can do. Cleaning up the clutter in the entryway might make for a faster sale, but not necessarily get us more money. Painting? Would be nice, but not necessary. "You have three kids, are you really going to be able to paint?"

JN was honest about everything, which is why I liked her. She showed us the scuffed up floors in the entryway that may need to be replaced... mentioned the lack of dishwasher... but she also reminded us of the great selling points - large size, great view, lots of light, utilities included... she thinks it will go fast if we use her price point.

She didn't ask us to sign anything... she said we could get some pictures taken and get it up on the market ASAP. I guess I will get back in touch with her in the next few days... I think we are going to go for it...

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