Sometimes I wonder about myself. I sold my apartment. At first, euphoria, then dread, and now back to euphoria. Since I left my parent's house, I have never been able to stay in one place. The house in Oakland was an exception; 18 years. A therapist once told me, that was my destiny. I would always have to know I could leave. Childhood drama.
Selling my apartment, was not a new idea. Actually doing it, was. My apartment, is beautiful. My building is a disaster. Corrupt building management, racist and nasty neighbors (not all), and the reality, that I really did not want to live in a building with 100 apartments half filled with crazy people. Living in Argentina has its drawbacks like any other place. Yet, I will stay here. Maybe I have become crazy as well.
It happend so fast. Not even my agent could believe it. I met him at a dinner with friends. He seemed like a nice guy. I told him I was thinking about selling my apartment. He gave me his card. I thought about it. The economy is on the upswing here. I have always been able to time my real estate sales at the right time. I figure I could put it up for sale. If it sold, great. If not, nothing lost.
I called the agent with the card. My friends told me he is a hard worker. He came, we talked, I signed the contract. Poor guy. He had no idea what he was in for. The majority of the agents in Buenos Aires have no clue. They do not know how to market to buyers. All you have to do is look on the sites. Staging a property? Agents take pictures of bathrooms complete with underwear hanging in the shower. Bedrooms with unmade beds and clothes all over the floor. Rooms with all the junk just thrown in. It is amazing anything gets sold.
When I saw the copy my agent wrote for my apartment, I wanted to kill him. The photos. "Take it down!" I told him. Here there is no multiple listing service. When agents list a property on their page, it gets loaded on various sites like Argenprop or Zonaprop. My agent works for REMAX which at least has a good website. My agent is shocked. I tell him why the preview of my apartment is a disaster.
I wrote the copy...in Spanish. I had a friend proofread it. Not too many mistakes. Most were mistakes that were stupid. My written Spanish is improving. My agent came with his computer. I directed him how to take the pictures, the angles. Then we loaded my copy and the pictures in the order I knew would snag buyers. I explained to him that sites work on algorithms and if you don't position things properly, they don't come up in the search. A foreign concept. The search engines on these sites suck. That is why it is doubly important to make sure the preview is well done. Only in Argentina, does it take 3 - 5 days to load across sites.
The calls came in. In a week, my agent brought 8 people to see my place. I watched and listened. A waste of time. I ask him how he qualifies these people. Uff. He tells me "There are not many sellers like you." Duh. He tries to test the water with some of these people, what they want to offer. I tell him "I am not going to give away my apartment. I don't need to sell, I want to sell." He doesn't like this. He has no choice but to accept. He and I are $6000 USD apart on what I will accept for my apartment. It does not seem like much if you live in the USA, but when you live in Argentina, that is $90,000 pesos, which is a lot. New appliances, AC, the painter, the paint, and probably more.
Then one day while I am at work he sends me a Whats App. "I need to show your apartment today." "Impossible." I write back. "Both elevators are broken." For almost a week I am going up and down 17 flights of stairs. This is not the first time this has happened. He writes back "Not important, I told her that they were maintaining them and she still wants to come." OK, well if someone wants to walk up 17 flights of stairs, they can come.
At 6:00 pm they were at the door. A woman walks in with my agent. She walks from room to room. "What a beautiful apartment." She says. "Did you use an architect?" "No," I tell her, "I designed everything." She comes back to the living room. "I want to buy your apartment." I look at my agent. OK, I am the negotiator. I start to give my spiel about the value of my place. She interrupts me. "I'll pay asking price, but I want some of your furniture." I blink. "Yeah, sure, just not my bed." I love my bed. She tells me to leave whatever I want. She loves it all. OK. Just like that I sold my apartment.
I started packing up 11 years of mess. I told myself when I left California I was never going to accumulate so much stuff. That was 3000 sq ft of stuff, this is 1000 sq ft. I realize that I am no longer tied to my things. Except my mixer, blender, and food processor. My kitchen stuff and my bed. Nothing else matters that much.
Maxi and JerryBrown are nervous. They know something is going on. They stick to me when I am in the apartment. "Don't worry guys," I tell them. "We are going somewhere better. Somewhere with either a big patio or terraza. You'll see. You will love it." They don't look convinced. ""Just wait. You will love it. Change is good."