No – not my car LOL – our house! Adulting at its finest…
As with all things on lifewithjson, I’m totally stoked to say that we’ve officially sold our house and now it’s story time. That’s mainly why I’ve been MIA these last few weeks – lots of prepping and getting things cleaned and moved and set up for showings – it’s been a lot more work than I would’ve imagined. A lot of my gear is packed away – including my personal computer, so I haven’t been able to do any editing or take any photos… Hopefully I’ll be back up and running again soon.
This is a huge change for us because this was our first home that we built from scratch and where a lot of our other life-firsts have happened… I proposed to Diana in front of the lot here before they even started digging. Both Aria and Rin grew up in this house and we’ve really just learned a lot of adulting skills here – from landscaping and building a Pergola in the back with friends, house maintenance and everything in between. I don’t particularly get too attached to things so I’m not too sad about it but I know Diana has started getting the feels now that we’re starting to pack up and make our way out of here. Our plan when we built the house was to stay here for 5 years and move on. It’s been 6 years and while we’re a year overdue from our original plans, I’m glad we’ve finally bit the bullet. While we weren’t in any particular rush, I’m hoping we move onto better things. We’ve had our fair share of some really awkward and unfortunate situations with some amigos in the last little while and while most have been really great, sometimes one is all you need to finally say “f*** it, we’re outta here”, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. My dream is to have neighbours that are seniors that just wake up early and have a nice quiet coffee, go to bed early, and say hi when we happen to encounter each other and have no idea what coal rolling is because they drive a Corolla. In case you missed the message: please be a courteous neighbour.
I wanted to give a shout out to our Realtor and friend – Albert Mah. I really think he just deserves a little praise in all of this because it obviously wouldn’t have happened and I don’t think we would’ve got things done this quick without him. Albert has been a longtime “social media” friend in the sense that, we knew each other over Instagram and Facebook but we never really met until this whole situation. We exchanged words and likes but that was about the extent of our interaction together – like most of us in today’s world – so for all intents and purposes, I don’t (or didn’t) know Albert as a Realtor or him as a person – but I’m all for supporting friends if it means asking them to help us out with personal affairs if they pass my litmus test LOL!
If you know me personally or have been following me here for a while, you’ll know that I’m a pretty anal, OCD, impatient and particular person. It’s basically a bad combination of characteristics because it just means that I want everything to be done perfectly and immediately LOL – so sometimes dealing with situations that involve me having to rely on other people to juggle multiple tasks leaves me super anxious. That’s just me… So you can imagine that stepping into this frontier of selling our house (which we’ve never been through before) was super foggy to me (us) and I had a million questions.
That’s where Albert comes in. Two things… 1) Albert proved to me very quickly and early on in the process that he also had a million answers. Checked off my first box. And 2) Albert was also surprisingly an anal, OCD, impatient and particular person. Checked off my second box – and at this point, none of my other boxes needed to be checked because I knew that if he was anything like me, then this was going to go well – and as per the title of my post – you know it did.
Diana and I had been at this crossroad (of selling our house) a few times now over the last few years but we just never went through with it. We were always 49% ready and that 1% that we needed was never there and no one inspired the confidence in us to get it. Even after simply messaging Albert, we were still at 49%. He came pretty quickly after we chatted to check out the house, ask about upgrades, took a careful look around and then we sat down and he presented his findings and homework. I trust that all Realtors do this, but if they don’t – they should. Careful findings about other homes around us, days on market, average price, a calculation of where ours stands… Blah blah blah. At the end of it all, we agreed on a selling price and signed some papers and he was off. We were still at 49%. It wasn’t real yet.
In a few short days, he brought us up to speed on the process – get the house ready, take pictures of the home, do some showings, get an offer, sell the house (in a nutshell). Easy enough right? Not really. Not for Jason. Two kids also comes with a fair amount of abuse in the home – little dents, fingerprints on the paint, things that need to be patched up… So over the course of a weekend, I spent most of my time patching walls, sanding, repainting them, fixing things and making the house look like it was brand new again. I started going down a rabbit hole of things to do because I’d find something to fix, but then I’d find something else near it. You know how you probably have a little corner somewhere in your house you forgot about? Think about it – there’s probably dust/dirt there – I went into every one of those corners and cleaned them and while it doesn’t sound like a whole lot – corners add up. By the end of it all – the house literally looked brand new. Like we had no kids at all and we moved in yesterday. We’ve now gone from 49% to 100%… Things are getting real.
Picture day. We got the house back into show home condition – I left for a few hours while the photographer and Albert took pics. Probably nothing crazy worth noting but it’s the little things that gain brownie points in my books. When the photographer was done, Albert messaged me to head on back – he was just cleaning up and putting things back. When I arrived, he was rearranging our laundry room back to the way it was based on a picture he took before he moved everything. I mean, I wouldn’t have remembered the bleach went in front of the glass cleaner, but he made sure he was covering all the bases… Refer back to “OCD”. Everything was put back in the exact same spot as it had never left – again, not a big deal – but every little thing counts. Details matter.
Listing day. The listing goes up, he sends us a link and a 3D tour of it all – looks great. I had no doubts that it wouldn’t. All that was left was to wait – like fishing – you cast your line and you just hope something bites sooner rather than later. Long story short – we had showings pretty much everyday – in total we got through 4 before we had an offer from 2 of them the same day. Albert was pretty conscious about the timing of showings because he knew the girls had a specific bed time – but we made it work. The night of the last showing, Albert called me at 10:30PM and said two offers are in and are due in 30 minutes. After a million questions from me, we agreed on a bunch of things and everything was put in place and we were done before midnight. Wait what? This guy is still working? My bed time was like an hour ago but you do what needs to be done…
In 6 days, the house had an offer and we firmed up in 15 days. Bank appraisal, home inspection, conditions, waiving – all of this – so foreign but made so plainly clear by Albert. Considering houses around us have been up for 40 to 260 days, I would say 6 days is quite the achievement. That really brings us to the end of it all… It was maybe 3 weeks in total but it felt like an eternity going through the motions of cleaning the house every showing and making vacuum lines in the carpet every damn time and storing everything in boxes and tucking them away and taking them out again at night. It’s a tiring and repetitive process.
Through all of it, Albert was there for us for literally every second of it. Whenever I messaged him, I received a reply within 30 seconds or less – no matter the time of day. When I asked if he had an update on anything only because I was being impatient – he would call and get an update. If he said he’d let me know in an hour, he would message me in 59 minutes. If I asked the same question a hundred times, he answered it a hundred times with no hesitation. I’ll tell you this much – at first, the thought of using a Realtor to sell your house might seem expensive because their commission is not a secret – you know how much they’re going to be getting from the sale of the house and it’s a tough pill to swallow because you know that money could be used for so many other things. Albert literally shouldered every single thing of this transaction and went through so many hoops and hurdles that I couldn’t even mention here without making it more of a novel than it already is that I don’t even care how much money he takes. In fact, I wish we could afford to give more because it’s a stressful f***ing thing to take on. I work my 7.5 hours a day and I turn off. He’s on 24/7. It’s their job, I know – but certain people are better at a job than others and I think Albert is truly a needle in a haystack. So, in the same sense that we got every corner of this house cleaned and ready to sell, he covered every corner of his job to follow it through.
It may just be a pairing of two very anal, OCD, impatient and particular people – and I think that made it as smooth as it could’ve been – but even if you aren’t like me, as long as you have Albert in your corner, you’ll at least have one person ensuring all the bases are covered and supporting you. He’s not there to take your money (although he is), he really feels like he’s on your team and I think that’s important in such a big transaction. He didn’t pay me to say all this – we technically paid him – but because we can’t afford to give him more than he’s taking, this is all that I have left to give. If you need a Realtor in the future – I’m not begging you, I’m telling you – get Albert on your team. You won’t regret it… Or else I’ll shut this blog down forever (and I know it won’t happen :))
Thanks for reading the wall of words! Onto the next one!