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How to Sell Your Home. Diary: Part 1 Thinking of Downsizing. The Baby Boomers New Dream

IMG_1159 - CopyAfter 18 years in our dream home, a former model, (no, not me, the home….. well, maybe my wife), Joanne and I have decided to downsize and sell our home, click here to see the listing. With our eldest, David, going off to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Lauren attending Saddleback College next year and Michael becoming a sophomore in high school, a 3620 square foot, 5 bedroom + den, (or bedroom), 4 ½ bath house seems more like a burden rather than a dream. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful house and a great place to raise a family of five. It’s in a guard gated community in Southern California where the homes surround the Jack Nicklaus designed Dove Canyon Gold Club. It can’t get much nicer. But it requires quite a lot of energy and money to maintain a house of this size and stature in the condition that it was when we first fell in love with it. As I approach my mid-60s, (I can’t believe it either), the lure of something more manageable has become quite overwhelming. I suppose you might call it the catharsis of a baby boomer.

IMG_1135Ever since I previewed smaller homes as a real estate broker in 2006-2007, I have felt the lure of downsizing. I would have done it then, if I could have figured out a way to get rid of the kids and convince Joanne to move. I know, it sounds terrible. I’m not a rotten father. I love my kids. They’re great kids. But if you’ve got kids and are over 50, you’ve had to have given it, at least, a passing thought, once or twice. As it turned out, I just had to wait until they grew up and started maturing.  What a concept, teenagers maturing. It wasn’t until I showed Joanne a “resort” apartment community in Irvine, did she seriously consider a move.

I was meeting a potential investor at a Starbucks to discuss funding for CRE Radio. I knew the general vicinity but was unaware that it was in the midst of this resort apartment community, which I had never previously seen. It was like a little, old fashioned town square, warm and inviting. Very welcoming.

I waited about 45 minutes before calling to find out my guests whereabouts.  As luck would have it, he completely forgot about meeting me, apologized and promised to reschedule. We never did. Such is the plight of a small business looking for investors.

Now where was I? Oh, yes, after being blown out by a potential money man, I relaxed over a cup of my favorite “joe”, and then decided to drive home. Walking out the door, I could feel the warmth of the Southern California sun hit my face. Mmmmm, it felt good. Nothing like a sunny Southern California winter morning. 72 degrees at 10:30 a.m. Man, was I relaxed. It was a beautiful area, the weather was great.  I felt compelled to take a little walk and explore the community. Boy, was I relaxed. Seriously, a strong sense of calm came over me while I explored. A spell was being cast over me. It was no wonder that while walking, I called Joanne and convinced her to come see the apartments, which she did, later than weekend.

Much to my surprise, Joanne, not one to be particularly open to change, warmed to the downsize idea. No, I wouldn’t say warmed to the idea, more like total buy-in. There was no convincing necessary. She didn’t hesitate asking me, “When can we move”? Now that, was the million dollar question, literally. How much could we get for our house? Should we sell or lease and what would it take for us to sell or lease the house? If we were to sell the house, should I hire an agent or do it myself? Later editions of “For Sale by Owner” will answer those questions as I describe our experiences.

Dove Canyon golf2Oh, by the way, we are currently offering a 2.5% commission to a California licensed cooperating real estate broker or a $5,000 referral fee to a non-California real estate licensed broker, (meaning anyone else), upon completion of a sale that does not involve a California licensed cooperating real estate broker, (this was changed as of 5/8/14). Click here to read the reasons why I made this change. Referral fee and commission to be paid upon close of escrow. Contact me for other terms and conditions.

To read how we came up with the initial listing price, click here.

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