Contributor: Leslie Stein. Leslie is an inspirational speaker and the author of the book Penny Perspectives: Let Go of Happily Ever After & Invest in Happily Ever NOW, a collection of true stories, each with a life lesson learned by picking up pennies. She has been accused of being a “pathological optimist” (which is fine by her!) and thinks life is best lived by focusing on the positive, finding the silver linings and believing that everything happens for the best possible reason.
“The economy is bad.” “July is a horrible time to put your condo on the market.” “You’ll be lucky to break even … but don’t expect to make a profit.”
These are just a few of the stories I heard when I decided it was time to sell my Washington, D.C. condo in the summer of 2010 so that I could move to Las Vegas and pursue my dream of becoming an author and motivational speaker. I suppose you could say the statements were all “true” inasmuch as you could back them up with data. Most people like data to help them make difficult decisions. Not me.
After four years of picking up pennies and learning the most astounding things along the way, I’d learned to use a different source of information for decision making: my gut instinct!
It all started with the realtor I chose. I went against the grain and DIDN’T choose the big-deal realtor that knew my neighborhood inside and out. There were a lot of reasons, but it ultimately came down to one thing for me. Dina, the realtor I picked, believed in my property. She believed in the pricing and the timing and thought it was market-ready without a single change. She even let me keep up my “penny wall,” a collection of penny-related art and other items that buyers would see right as they walked in the door.
The other realtor had given me a listing price $40,000 lower, said to wait three months before putting it on the market, and said the penny wall had to go–had to! My gut told me something had to go alright … and it wasn’t the penny wall!
Within a few weeks we’d finished all the necessary paperwork, listed the property, gotten picked up as the “deal of the week” by a local real estate blog which generated a great deal of interest in the property (MAJOR score!!), and were ready for the first open house.
Dina brought baked goods to make the house more appealing. I vacated the premises so as not to freak out potential buyers.
When we touched base at the end of the day, Dina said the crowd had been steady and there had been a few serious potential buyers. She also said she wished just this once we could pick a buyer based on energy match because there had been one couple that came through that LOVED the penny wall because they too pick up found money.
Take that, doubting realtor–they LIKED the penny wall!
The open house was on a Sunday and by Thursday there were still no official offers. Dina said we could give it a few more days but that if we didn’t get an offer soon, it probably meant we’d priced it too high and would have to drop the price … a prospect that didn’t thrill either of us.
Friday morning rolled around and still … no offers. I was starting to panic.
That morning I had a conference call with some people from a leadership program I was in at the time. One of them suggested writing myself a check for the full amount of the offer. “You know … so the Universe knows exactly what you want,” she said.
Sounded like a good idea to me! I pulled out some old business checks, wrote myself a fat one for the FULL asking price, and put that day’s date on it with three arrows pointing to it (in case the Universe wasn’t clear that I wanted this to happen FAST!).
And since there’s nothing good about watching a pot until it boils, I grabbed my neighbor and we headed out to the ‘burbs to enjoy the summer sunshine at my sister’s pool. I even turned my phone off so I could focus on soaking up rays while reading my trashy novel. Whatever news might come in would wait until my tan was a little darker and my story ended happily ever after.
When I turned my phone back on, there was a voicemail from Dina. We had gotten an offer. But not just one. Not even two. But THREE!! One for every arrow I’d drawn pointing to the date on my full price offer check. How’s THAT for a little law of attraction magic?!
Long story short … all the offers were good, but I had to follow my heart and pick the one that came with a letter. A letter from a young couple just starting out who had fallen in love with the place the moment they saw the penny wall. Yes … I sold my condo to another avid penny picker-upper!!
I found out later that when they first walked in to see the property and came face-to-face with a wall of penny art the woman turned to her boyfriend and said, “It’s a sign!”
And it was.
A sign I was letting the condo go at the right time (did I mention I had been struggling with this decision?!). A sign that I was selling it to the right people (she’d been picking up pennies as long as I had and was saving them for their wedding). And a sign that trusting your gut never leads you astray (especially when it tells you to pick someone who believes in you over someone who wants to change you … or your property!).
That’s my two cents on listening to your gut, letting go when it’s time, and selling your condo penny-style.
What’s YOUR two cents?
What is your gut telling you that you just can’t ignore anymore?
What “check” do you need to write yourself so the Universe knows you mean business?
Where can you let go a little, relax, and enjoy life until the answer you’ve been waiting for arrives?
Yours in good-news making,
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All posts are edited by Mollie Player.