Is This Really Going To Happen? Tales from an innkeepers crypt: Fourth in a series about Kari, my assistant
This article is the fourth in a series about my housekeeper/assistant Kari, who has worked for me for a year and a half now. You can find the first article at: House for sale, the second at
Keeping it All Together and the third at Broken Dishes
You remember Kari, my housekeeper/assistant at the Bed and Breakfast? Well Kari and her husband, Marti, want to buy my bed and breakfast. but first they need to sell their own house. They tried to sell it themselves...spruced it up with new paint, new stove and had the washer that Kari broke repaired.
They decided to put it up on Craigs List and put a sign out in front. Good start, I thought. But, unfortunately, that's all they did...... except for talking to Marti's 78 year old ex-realtor grandmother, who told them not to advertise in the paper because ads were too expensive nowadays. So they waited for two months, while I pleaded with them to get a realtor. "Are you getting any bites?" I kept asking. "Well, three people walked by today and slowed down to read the sign." was Kari's response.
It took them two or three weeks to get four pictures up on Craigs List and all they put up was a picture of the living room (good), the dining room (good) of one small bed room,with a dilapidated twin bed covered in a faded satin comforter (bad) and one of the sink in the bath room ??? ( very bad). Kari told me they were going to link to a page with more pictures of the kitchen, garden, master bed room and master bath, but it never happened. Well, actually Marti, the procrastinator, finally did put up a link, but it didn't work.
Needless to say, I was pulling my hair out with frustration. I didn't want to move forward with selling them my house until I was sure they would sell theirs. They had been dragging their feet since last summer when they first showed an interest in becoming innkeepers. I had doubted it would happen then and I was doubting that it would happen now. Every time Kari came to work I asked her how the house sale was going. "No action yet" she'd reply with a smile. She didn't seem the least bit concerned that only three people had inquired in almost two months.
Finally, after weeks of absolutely nothing happening, I suggested again that they get a realtor.
"Oh no" Kari protested, "we can't afford a realtor" They had priced their house rather low but needed to come out with enough cash to purchase my Bed and Breakfast outright; that was the deal. After that, they could move into my Victorian home and have three years to buy it on
a land contract. In the meantime I planned on moving to Austin, TX near
I really thought they could get more for their house than they were asking, since it was in great condition. It's a small, charmer with 3 bedrooms in a cul de sac situated in an excellent neighborhood.
Finally, they saw the light! After wasting two months waiting alone every week-end for no one to come and buy their house, they got a realtor. The house sold to the very first person he showed it to. The buyer made a low-ball offer, Kari and Marti actually countered with only $500 lower than the asking price and the buyer, knowing what a good deal it was, accepted the counter-offer. Done!
Their realtor had signed them up, put a ton of pictures on the internet, and made sure the deal was done before the April 30th first time buyer incentive cut-off. It sold within a week. What a professional! Who knew? ....certainly not Kari and Marti. Their newly found realtor even agreed to raise the asking price so they would have the money to buy my bed and breakfast. Although somewhat worried about the ability of these two thirty year olds to run a bed and breakfast, I am still willing to go along with it.
Next thing is to work out separate contracts with my real estate lawyer for selling both the business and my house. We started mapping the property contract out quite a while ago and have changed it many times. It started out as a "Lease to Rent" and has ended up as a "Bond For Purchase", Kentucky legalese for Land Contract.
And so you'ld think that was the end of the story.....not so fast......there's still another installment: "The contracts: An unbelieveable meeting""