I haven't been posting much lately because I was busy selling my house. We moved last year, and our old house sat through the winter while I prayed to the great and powerful Realtor (registered trademark) god to protect it from each week's tornado warning. In case you haven't noticed, Ohio has four seasons: starting in the March we enter the "prime season" for tornadoes, followed by the "wait for it, it's coming" tornado season peaking in August, followed by the "not quite so likely, no wait, here comes another one" tornado season, which takes us into December when Ohioans huddle around the Christmas tree in the basement singing carols along with the sirens during "you gotta be @*$% kidding me!" tornado season. Who says the weather in Ohio is boring?
This made the move to the new house something of an adventure due to the fact that scheduling movers and renting trucks between tornado warnings is not an exact science. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I was loading furniture while the tornado sirens were wailing. An interesting phenomenon occurs under these circumstances. Numbed by an a average of three tornado warnings a day, the typical homeowner will, upon hearing the warning being issued, walk out on the front porch, sit down, and watch the weather do absolutely nothing.
"Is that a funnel cloud?" someone will say, his voice rising in anticipation.
"No, that's a rain shaft," his wife will answer. "I don't see any rotation."
"You didn't see any rotation yesterday when my lawn mower ended up in Lake Erie," he says.
"According to The Weather Channel, that was a microburst," she says. "And you should've had your mower put away."
"Silly me. I thought I might get the backyard done after Severe Thunderstorm Warning Number Six," he says. "I forgot we were still under a Bend Over And Kiss Your Tuckus Goodbye Warning for another 27 hours."
It's at this time we hear the radio announce our county is now under a Zombie Invasion Alert. Not again.
So, somewhere in the middle of all this my wife and I managed to move and start the process of selling our old house. Step one: contact a Realtor (registered trademark) and watch her post a "For Sale" sign in the yard.
Step two: establish the home's actual value, then deduct about 10% based on the current economy, housing market trends, and how many protesters were occupying Wall Street on that particular day. Then deduct the commission, various other ancillary costs, and divide that number by the number of seconds Kim Kardashian was married. Simplicity itself.
Step three: replace the "For Sale" sign that was blown away during yesterday's tornado. To the usual message, the agent adds an additional message to the top of the sign to entice lookers. "No Radon."
Step four: hold an Open House, an event where your former neighbors go through your house and make no offers.
Step five: the Realtor (registered trademark) takes a prospect through the house. After the tour, he announces he loves the house and would like to make an offer. But since his small business - a sports card shop - went bankrupt, fell over, caught on fire, and then sank into the swamp, and the banks only point and laugh whenever he walks in, and the IRS wants his fillings, and his car was repo'd during the house tour, he would like to know if you would accept a six-pack of Natural Light and a yo-yo for a down payment.
Step six: after careful consideration, you decline the offer. Damn this economy; you're holding out for Yuengling.
Step seven: the agent replaces the "For Sale" sign after the last one was stolen by a zombie. This one adds "Aw, c'mon. The inside isn't that bad."
Step eight: wait three months for anyone to even look at the place, then lower the price. Agent adds to the sign, "Desperate, but not Dangerous."
Step nine: Another prospect goes through the house. After the tour, he announces he loves the house and would like to make an offer. But since his small business - a Saturn dealership - went bankrupt, and the banks told their security to shoot to kill if he tries to enter the building, and the IRS wants his left testicle, he would like to know if you would accept his Nancy Sinatra record collection and a ball of lint for a down.
Step ten: You decline while duct taping the "For Sale" sign to a trash can filled with cement.
Step eleven: Out of the blue, somebody tours and makes an offer in REAL AMERICAN MONEY! After some back and forth, you reach an agreement, and it's over. After 11 months of agony, the transaction takes about 72 hours. You're done. You're free.
Well... almost. The new owner asks if you can get that trash can filled with cement down off the roof.