Published DateYup, I did my homework. I drove by this place a couple of dozen times over the past six months and it was still for sale. The "For Sale By Owner" sign was beginning to look a little tattered and although I had seen several people stop to look I was pretty sure it was still available. I originally got turned on to it from a classified ad in The Laconia Daily Sun and then I saw similar ads for it in the Monitor a month or two later. Clearly the owner was have problems finding a buyer given the fact that it had been on the market a long time. I thought I would see if I could make a deal. It was exactly what I had been looking for.
I took a chance early on Memorial Day and drove into the yard. I don't really like dealing with FSBO's, but hey, I know the business. This was the first day the sun had been out in a week and I was sure the owner might be in a good mood and ready to make a deal. He had to be getting a little desperate. I don't like to buy anything too old as I don't want to have to do a lot of work on it and I don't want to buy anything too new as you might as well buy something just built. I pulled into the drive and got out of my car and almost immediately the front door of the house opened and Chuck lurched down off the porch anxious to greet me.
Even driving by I could tell it was in great shape, clean, and ready to go. It was even the right color; 50th Anniversary Red. What other color would you want on a 2003 50th Anniversary Corvette convertible? What? Did you think I was looking at the house? I'd seen Chuck around the cruise night circuit and was told by mutual acquaintances that he was a pretty good guy, very meticulous, and very knowledgeable. Chuck proceeded to tell me the history of the car and that it had only 35,000 miles on it. It was the car that he and his wife had always wanted. He said he had done this, done that, new paint, new brakes, custom alloy wheels, and brand new rubber. In fact he had to paint the car twice as it didn't look quite right the first time.
So "What do you want for it?" I asked. "Well, you won't find another one as nice as this and I really don't have to sell it right away. (I've heard that somewhere before.) I'm looking to get $42,500 for it'" he said. Like I said, I did my homework and that was way too much money. The Kelley Blue book on this fine automobile tops out at $27,000 in excellent condition but I've seen them as high as $32,000. I told him he was quite a bit high on the price. "Well," he says, "I got a lot into this car with new paint and the new brakes last year. And those wheel and tires weren't cheap! My wife is kind of attached to it you know." I pointed out that I expected that the car should come with good brakes and tires. Kind of essential to driving it, don't you think? He said the car was "pretty rare, one of a kind almost." I pointed out I knew that there were a mere 14,022 of these made and I only counted a couple dozen other for sale on the Internet. I don't think he liked that. Car owners often think theirs is the best.
I asked if he had gotten any offers. He said he hadn't but that he only had been trying to sell it since last year. He said he was going to advertise in the Boston Globe to see if he could find a buyer down there that would appreciate how nice the car is. He said he needed to reach out to a wider group of buyers. He asked if I wanted to make an offer and I told him I'd pass. I didn't want to insult the guy so there was no sense in going down that road.
"What do you do?" he asked. "Oh, I'm a REALTOR," I replied. "Hey! I'm going to be selling my house! Would you be interested in taking a look sometime? It's really pretty special. My wife just loves it here. It belonged to her grandfather. I've got a new roof, just replaced the carpet, got new countertops, and I just had the furnace worked on! I don't really have to sell right away, but if I could get my price I'd be out of here! We just need to find the right buyer."
"Ahhh, give me a call when you are really ready...."
Please feel free to visit the new, updated www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Roy Sanborn is a REALTOR® at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.