If You Sell it They Will Come

I’m sure you’ve heard about Seattle’s hot real estate market. So have my Tukwila neighbors. Our house in Tukwila, a Seattle suburb with a Seattle zipcode, is soon to be on the market. We’ve told people. Of course we’ve told people. We live in Albany, Oregon now and people know we’re planning to sell the Tukwila house.

The neighborhood talking drums were very busy the last month. First, we were visited by a local developer. A very nice guy, recommended by our neighbors who own several properties in our little neighborhood. This guy has been buying up their lots and putting up big houses. Four to five bedrooms, a bathroom for every member of the family including the dog, granite counter tops and open living. Two car garage—three in some cases. Landscaping is pedestrian and practically self-maintenance. Few messy trees. I think if there was a biologist who could breed for a tree whose leaves never fell on the sidewalk and lawn, she or he would retire young and filthy rich.

Developer guy was, as I said, nice. Friendly, open, cheerful like any good salesperson. Came recommended. We walked the property. He saw our house—a fixer-upper of varying challenges, depending on what you want. He said it had good bones. He gushed over our near-acre lot on the river.

Of course we have, like anyone in and around Seattle, a pie-in-the-sky vision about the money we will make on the house. When developer guy came back with his wife—who runs the business with him—and made his offer, we managed not to flinch. We didn’t tell him what we wanted—how embarrassing! He would probably laugh us around the block. At least this is what we were thinking. I’m not even going to tell you.

So we just said thanks, we’ll think on it and get back to you.

We called the real estate agent I had been talking to about the property over the last several months. Real estate agent guy is also very nice—friendly, open, cheerful. I’ve known the guy for years—he used to tend bar at a fine Italian restaurant a few blocks from my former job where I met with a grand old friend for happy hour once a week. He’d tell us about his budding real estate career.

He’s more than happy to help us sell our house. I told him about developer guy’s offer, and he said that sounded about right and here was why: the costs to the developer, his profit goals, and so on. He said he thought developer guy was a nice guy, too.

Next, one of our favorite neighbors, an ethnic Hawaiian named Carlo who loves our dogs and fishes illegally for chum salmon in the river and gives us part of his catch, brought over two neighbors we had never met. They too were nice guys, open, friendly etc. They said they wanted to buy it for their parents, who needed a smaller house, and they thought our two bedroom, one bath bungalow would be perfect. We smiled and nodded, told them the house needed work, and exchanged numbers. Carlo hoped to fish off our bank.

We didn’t even get to selling prices. Not a chance. We suspected an offer from the guy with elderly parents would also not be anywhere near what we wanted to get. Both developer guy and guy with elderly parents wanted to handle the deal without an agent.

We called our agent again. He came over.

Without detailing the amount of work involved to come near to our price—luckily the work would not come at a bank-breaking amount, as long as the bank lends us the money—we’re going with our agent. He is so nice, friendly, open and cheerful! Smart, too, with lots of connections. All sorts of connections with reliable and reasonably-priced contractors. He also loves to talk about his daughters.

Just adding that in to show you how nice and friendly he is. Stay tuned to this multi-part series with no foreseeable end.

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About Jill Zeller

The author of numerous short stories and novels, Jill Zeller lives near Seattle, Washington, with her patient and adoring husband, two English mastiffs, and one self-centered tuxedo cat. Her works explore the boundaries of reality. Some may call it fantasy, but there are rarely swords and never elves. More to the point, she prefers to write as if myth, imagination and hallucination were as real as the chair she is sitting on as she writes this. Maybe it is because she was raised as a Christian Scientist. Jill Zeller also writes under the pseudonym Hunter Morrison

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