With the minor renovation complete and our house listed as a 3-bedroom, we could only hope for the best. Since we had to move furniture out anyway, we took this opportunity to pare down even more than we already had.
Out went all the bookcases, the living room sofa (which was very difficult to move into the house in the first place, so I wasn’t about to move it back in again), a dresser and the grandfather clock.
The loveseat (see photo) from the basement stood in for the living room sofa (smaller sofa = bigger room), other furniture went into the garage, the books went into storage, and the grandfather clock was moved into the bungalow’s garage (even though we didn’t own the place at that point, the PO graciously let us store it there).
A word of advice: when you’re moving a 7-foot clock case down the alley on a hand truck/dolly and people (who are standing right there!) offer to help you, please accept their offer. Even if you don’t think you need help.
Luckily (for Pete), when the clock case did several, yes, several barrel rolls down the alley it suffered only a very minor scuff and a tiny chip at the top. Amazingly, the original glass on the side panels didn’t break (the door had been removed). We had also covered the top half of the clock with a duvet cover (see photo), or as I called it, the clock condom. That may have saved it from more extensive damage (or an STD you never know what you can catch rolling around in an alley, even in the suburbs).
Anyway, the house. As I mentioned before, we had 5-6 total showings in the first two months on the market as a 2-bedroom. In our first week of listing as a 3-bedroom/2-bath, we had six showings. The difference was really remarkable and we were fortunate to have the option to make relatively simple changes like that. Same square footage, obviously, but it’s either the perception of having more square footage, or it’s simply because many families have two kids and really need the separate bedrooms. We always thought that many people would use the 3rd bedroom as an office, so having the space more open to the living room would be more desirable. But maybe not.
Still, it wasn’t like people were clamoring to buy the place. It’s a great house, but there’s nothing spectacular about the architecture or interior features.
Another few weeks go by and we close on the bungalow toward the end of June. Our visitors from Australia arrive very early on June 30th. After breakfast and some grocery shopping, they decide to take a nap around 11 a.m. and want to be awakened at 1. The phone rings and I’m told there will be a showing at noon, so we go shoe shopping instead (apparently shoes and clothing are much cheaper here).
At around 3:00 and as we’re getting ready to leave for the weekend, our realtor calls with an offer. After some back and forth, the deal is finalized and the purchase contract is signed. We ended up with an ideal buyer: no home sale contingency, good credentials, and he wanted to close exactly when we were hoping to close. Really, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
We ended up just over 3 months on the market and closed 30 days later. If you count the time we were on the market after the work was done, it amounted to only three weeks. I also did everything I could to market it in addition to what our realtor did, spreading the word to everyone I knew, putting it on craigslist, altering the wording on the description from time to time, etc. It seemed like an eternity, but in hindsight I guess it went pretty quickly.