Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Once we decided we were putting the house up for sale, the first thing we had to do was find a realtor. In our twenty-seven years together we have only bought and sold one house. Being a military family, living mostly overseas we always lived in base housing. If you don't know, military base housing is "free" housing located on the base. I say "free" but if you decide to stay in housing your check goes down each month. Basically, they pay a certain amount if you live off base and don't pay you that amount if you live on base, (some bases now charge you). We have only hired a realtor once to sell a house, and it didn't go that great, we ended up having to rent that house for many years. Thanks to my sister and her family for buying it from us many years later. Technically, we really are newbies at the house selling process.
Where to start? I had no idea, so I did what most people do, I GTS (googled that shit)! I searched high and low for the best realtors, how to find realtors, what is a realtor. Let me tell you, there is an abundance of information about "how to find a realtor." Google sent me to a lot of blogs and sites on top things to look for when searching for a realtor. All of which I ignored, I did not use a list when looking for my realtor. I got very lucky and stumbled upon mine in a neighborhood Facebook group. Facebook groups are a great way to find people for just about anything. I mean with the technology today, you can order food, wine, and a man, all delivered the same day!
This is how I found our realtor, it might not work for you, but it worked for us. I am on our neighborhood Facebook group. One of which is called "Bad Moms", that's another story. One day as I am scrolling through Facebook I see a post on my neighborhood Facebook page where someone shared a vegan recipe! Well, I have been vegan for 3 years and I have no vegan friends. So immediately I was intrigued, wow someone in my neighborhood is vegan. Could it be? I mean I do live in Texas, vegans are few and far between. I might have found a friend that shares my way of eating and thinking! I was so excited and, of course, had to leave a comment, "That recipe looks great. Also, hello fellow vegan in my neighborhood." I know corny, right? But, she was super nice and replied. "Thanks, nice to meet a fellow vegan." We exchanged a few more comments and it was done. Then like all people (stalkers) on social media, I took a look at her profile. I see she is a realtor!! I reached out, asked a ton of questions, and we set up a time to meet. I know, I know, I chose a realtor on her eating habits. But, being vegan is a lot more than your eating habits (I won't go into that). If you are in the San Antonio area and looking for a realtor look them up, they have done an incredible job! nataliesellshouses.kw.com
Side Note: There are better ways to find a realtor, we were lucky, but you really should do your research. There are great resources out there to find the perfect one.
2. Ask around on your neighborhood Facebook groups or your friends that have hired someone recently and had a great experience.
3. Find out how long they have been a realtor, what is their fee, and what is their marketing plan. Ask a lot of questions and interview them, you are hiring them after all.
4 Lastly, go with someone you trust. If you don't like their personality, or you just don't vibe, that is not going to be a smooth process for either side.
We met, her and her husband (they are a team), did a walk-thru of the house, showed us their plans, signed some papers, and it was that easy. They had a great marketing plan and were very friendly so we hired them on the spot. I had planned on it taking about a year to downsize and get the house ready. They asked what kind of timeline we had, I was about to say a year, maybe 9 months, Shane speaks up and says 6 months from now. To which I said, "What, are you sure?" He assured me that was plenty of time. So we set a date for April 1st, 2020. April 1st is the month we take our camper to our local campground at the lake for our summer spot. www.lmrvresort.com Basically, we had six months to go through our entire 3500 sq. foot home, get rid of our items we have accumulated over 25 years in six months. Don't tell Shane I said so, but he was correct. We were able to downsize, paint, repair, replace, and sold almost everything we owned. I mean we busted our butt's and worked non-stop, but we did it! We did it, we were so ready!! Then, COVID.... if for some crazy reason someone is read this 20 years from now and you don't know, just Google (or whatever the search engine might be), 2020!!
Then our whole lives changed, and everything came to a complete STOP!!
The whole world closed down because of COVID -19 virus. Restaurants, schools, and businesses all closed down. Our youngest came home from college and our oldest even moved in with us to live through the pandemic. We decided to wait until it was over to put the house on the market. Little did we know, it was going to last a very long time. We thought we would never sell the house. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, there was no way people were still going to purchase houses. Boy, were we wrong. September 1st, almost six months later our youngest went back to school and we put the house on the market. We moved full-time into the camper, to make it easy for showings. Within seven days we were under contract, and we closed 30 days later.
Housing in San Antonio was selling like crazy. People were selling their homes before they barely hit the market. Housing interest rates were at an all-time low. If we had put the house on the market at the original timeframe, we would not have made nearly as much as we did in the end. Somehow, it all worked out. We sold our house during a pandemic!!
**We almost didn't sell the house. A story we haven't told many people, because we felt horrible, and frankly we are embarrassed. In the back of our house, we had a wooden deck, which is about 15 feet off the ground. We walked on this deck almost every day, with no issues. The buyer was from California, she flew in to take some photos of the house after we were under contract. She was walking on the deck while taking photos and fell through a step, and fell down the stairs! Our realtor called to let us know what happened, and that the lady was in the ER. We felt horrible, and she would never buy it now! Luckily, she was fine, just bruised and sore. She still bought the house after all of that.
Written by: Patty Gill