The Luck O' The Irish

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Re/Max Today

This year, a trip to Ireland to visit family was purposely scheduled during "down time", Thanksgiving week, a week when most folks are concentrating on family and dinner preparations. We had our assistant put a new listing on the market that Monday while we were gone, assuming it would take at least a few weeks to sell in the current market conditions. We admit our seller did everything right; he priced it where we recommended, $399,000, he put in new attractive frieze carpet and painted the interior a fashionable taupe with white trim, new neutral tone linoleum in the kitchen, and cleaned it to perfection. The 1949 vintage kitchen and '60's bathroom showed as well as dated interior could. The owners, now living in assisted living, had made improvements including removing the wall heater for central heat, replacing dated windows with newer style dual pane, a new driveway and garage door. The end of the court locale, newer roof, pleasant backyard all added to its attractiveness. for photos.

Traveling through Ireland we found hotels offered internet connections so nightly we checked email. That Tuesday, the day after Nancy Lane came on the market we found an email in our in box that a Realtor's client wanted to buy the house, that he knew we were abroad but they wanted the house and wanted us to figure out a way for their offer to be reviewed. I emailed him back we would be online early evening Ireland time (as it was midnight in US when I got that email, 8 am Irish time) and offered for him to e-fax the offer to us. I also sent our Irish cell phone number. That afternoon, driving along the rugged coastline of northwestern Ireland our cell rang; it was him calling at 5:30 am US time! What an early riser he was! We promised to be online to handle his offer by 11 am his time and continued on our tour of the NW coast of Ireland, enjoying windy, blustery, rainy conditions.

That evening we enjoyed a lovely hot dinner with my cousin Michael McMenamin and his wife Brenda, then turned on their computer only to realize they did not have the ability to open attachments so we left for the local internet cafe. Well, small town Ireland? 7 pm? Closed! Desperate, Don suggested we check into a local hotel offering internet service. Minutes later we were at Jackson's Hotel, a local landmark in business since 1946! The desk clerk cheerily told us they had wireless internet in the lobby and we were more than welcome to sit there on their comfy couches by their blazing fireplace (did I mention it was cold in Ireland, way up north in Donegal County?) and use their internet connector. Happily we turned on our laptop and discovered one offer and another agent eager to send over an offer on Nancy Lane after we emailed him our efax. Over the next hour we were able to review both offers by email and phone with our seller in California, and do a small counter offer to the more attractive of the two offers. With amazing ease we sent the counter offer to our seller to sign and a copy to the buyer's agent. Waiting for a return of same another email came in about an interested buyer and the request we wait an hour for their offer. A call to the agent revealed they were well qualified buyers who were offering an additional $15,000 over the current highest offer so our seller elected NOT to sign the counter offer we sent him and to wait for offer #3.

We were enjoying the beautifully decorated lobby of Jackson's Hotel, Christmas lights blinking. Mr. Jackson himself stopped by to chat, enjoying our first hand California real estate story unfolding right before his eyes. His beautiful red Irish Setter Murphy had the run of the hotel and stopped by for a pet now and then                                                                                                     . Jacksons Hotel Lobby

We let the eager Realtor at home know our counter to his client would NOT be signed after all as we awaited a third offer; his emails flew into my inbox! "Don't sell it without talking to me first! Our offer is so strong........I have already opened escrow.....We can close sooner." And then the clincher...."I just spoke to my buyer and he increased his offer, a lot!" Once we got that in writing and reviewed the third offer the seller decided to accept the very first offer, the buyer and his down payment and other terms were super strong and he had increased his offer so high as to compete with the third offer (even though we NEVER gave him a clue how much the third offer was for; we honor privacy in offers.)

It was a successful three hours we spent that night at Jackson's Hotel in Balleyboffey, County Donegal, Ireland! We will never forget that night of the twinkling lights and blazing fireplace, the friendly Irish Setter, the welcoming Irish, and the three families all bidding to buy our little 3 bedroom, 1 bath listed home in Pleasant Hill, CA. Working on vacation CAN be a good thing!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!

Comments (2)

CC (Colleen) Hine
Shorewest Realtor - Elkhorn, WI

What an awesome story, congrats, thsn goodness for the internet.  I always wanted to go to Ireland.  Merry CHristmas, Colleen (O'Malley) Hine, Keefe Real Estate, Elkhorn, WI

Dec 12, 2008 12:05 PM
Richard Riley
RE/MAX Properties SW - Orlando, FL

Luck O' The Irish indeed!  Congratulations.

Dec 12, 2008 12:44 PM