To set the stage somewhat for those unfamiliar with the story, my wife (Petie) and I lived with our daughter (Joelle, age 2) in a 3 bedroom house in Spring, TX (North of Houston). We moved into it after it was built in May 1999.

For the following reasons we wanted to move to the Memorial/Spring Branch area of Houston(a.k.a. “in town”).

  1. Closer to parents (e.g. from 40 to 5 min and from 50 to 15 min one-way trips)
  2. Better schools
  3. Closer to town/work
  4. Our neighborhood was going down the tubes
  5. Wanted another bedroom/room

[OK, for those of you who live in Houston I know that the specific area where we end up (outside of the Beltway) is not downtown by any means, but it’s within the city limits]

Some of the names have been changed…

February 1, 2005
We decide on a listing agent, but want to wait a couple of weeks so we can do some landscaping work, clean out extra furniture and other items that will make the house look bigger.

February 15, 2005
We list the house at $138,900. This is on the high end of what we expect based on what we paid and what other houses are listed at. One potential listing agent suggests $130,000 but that’s about the minimum we would take.

February 16, 2005
No showings. (A showing is when someone interested in buying comes to tour the house)

February 17, 2005
No showings.

February 18, 2005
No showings.

February 19, 2005
Still no showings. OK, this is the first weekend day and we are starting to wonder. We remind ourself that it could take six months due to all the new construction competing with us. We start viewing available houses in the Memorial area (for those of you who know when we actually end up moving, you can laugh.)

March 15, 2005
No showings in the first month. Is there anything more comforting that Fiona (our listing agent) could say besides “wow, I’ve never seen anything like this.”? She says that only one house has sold in our area in the last 60 days. We explain to her that if there is ONE house that sells in the neighborhood in the next year, we want it to be ours. It wasn’t meant as a humorous comment.

At this point Petie and I exchange the phrase “still no showings” whenever the other one comes home to make fun of how we were anxious to hear if someone saw the house when we first put it up for sale.

March 18, 2005
Our first showing. Their comments: “Shows like a model home.” But…they’re just looking. I guess those two weeks “cleaning up” were kind of silly, huh?

April 15, 2005
In the last month we had a couple of open houses – a combined two days of having signs posted and ads in the paper generated two people. We need to generate traffic so we drop the price and offer an agent incentive. Now it’s $136,900 and $1,000 to the selling agent as a bonus.

April 17,2005April 26, 2005
The move generates traffic (two showings) but apparently the target market for agent bonuses are dumb agents. One comments “wanted a bedroom downstairs” (even though all the posted information clearly indicates all bedrooms are up). Another “master won‘t work with a king-sized bed” (I want to know how big this bed is).

A rather quiet 2+ months. Hopefully the summer will bring more “action”.

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