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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Selling house at market price

   
Author Topic: Selling house at market price
Glenn Arnold
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My wife inherited a share in her mother's house, and she and her 4 siblings are now in the process of trying to sell the house. We've had it appraised, and it is currently priced about 20k less than the appraisal price, with two siblings actively trying to continue to push the price down.

One of those brothers tells me that a house can be sold by listing it for sale "at market price" and it will simply sell, like a stock. I don't understand how this can work as a pricing mechanism. Is there anyone here who can explain this to me?

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scholarette
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I have no clue what they are talking about, but appraisal looks at the current market. When it is appraised, they pull up the most recent similar homes to sell in the area and look at them.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
with two siblings actively trying to continue to push the price down.

Unless one of them wants to buy the rest of the sibs out (or wants the money fast more than they want a maximum price), this makes no sense to me.
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fugu13
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quote:
One of those brothers tells me that a house can be sold by listing it for sale "at market price" and it will simply sell, like a stock. I don't understand how this can work as a pricing mechanism. Is there anyone here who can explain this to me?
Of course, that isn't how stocks really work, either [Wink]

It isn't like the asking price you put on the house is final, anyways. Actual housing sale prices are frequently different from list prices; I routinely hear about people making an offer at a lower price and having it go through, nowadays.

I've never heard of that particular "asking price", and I expect most realtors would be against it, as it invites lowball offers (and you're unlikely to get much competition in a lot of markets).

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Samprimary
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To list it 'at market price' likely means not to purposefully overvalue it, sticker-price style, and hope for a big bite or something where they won't be able to negotiate it down to its reasonably appraised sale value. This is discouraged nowadays in the wake of real estate in this country slightly dying on fire a wee bit a few years ago (as one can remind her sibling). It chases away too much interest. If you have it priced less than its appraisal, this has already been done, and more, and your brother doesn't know what he's talking about, I guess?
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
Unless one of them wants to buy the rest of the sibs out (or wants the money fast more than they want a maximum price), this makes no sense to me.
They want the money fast. And they want us to buy their share, so they can get their money fast.
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fugu13
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If you can swing it, get together with the ones who are willing to wait a bit and offer to buy out their shares for a real lowball price (make sure you're really sure it is a lowball price), maybe . . .

Check up on the realtor and make sure they're doing a good job of putting it on the market. Have people been interested in the house? If the price is as low as it sounds like, I'd hope there're some nibbles at very least.

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Glenn Arnold
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There have been a couple of people looking at it, but no offers. There are tons of houses to choose from, many at fire sale prices. The market really sucks.

In the meantime, a group of 5 students saw the for sale sign and offered us $500 apiece to rent it for the school year. Of course, it could sell before the school year starts, but I doubt it. I pass the same for sale signs everyday, many of them have been up for several years, but I only know of one house that has sold.

In this market, I don't know that even appraisal has much value. There isn't enough sales volume to draw any comparisons. That's why the subject of "market value" came up. What is market value when there aren't any buyers?

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fugu13
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quote:
There have been a couple of people looking at it, but no offers. There are tons of houses to choose from, many at fire sale prices. The market really sucks.

Unless that's over a pretty short period, yeah, that sounds like it still isn't priced low enough for the surrounding market. Doesn't mean it won't sell, does mean it might take a while (to find someone who finds that particular house appealing enough to spend a bit more over similar houses).

quote:
In this market, I don't know that even appraisal has much value. There isn't enough sales volume to draw any comparisons. That's why the subject of "market value" came up. What is market value when there aren't any buyers?
The value at which there are buyers [Wink] .

edit: the college student offer doesn't sound bad (I bet the renting market's a good bit worse there, especially for houses). Becoming a landlord is its own hassle, of course.

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advice for robots
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Especially the landlord of college students.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Especially the landlord of college students.
That was a significant concern of the family.
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katharina
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There is a cost to keeping the house on the market. There is a cost to pricing it low.

As long as you aren't underwater and unless someone has loads of free time to devote to maintenance and landlording duties, I'd sell it as cheap as possible just to get it out of the market. Don't buy out the siblings - you are all in this together - but pricing it low seems like a good idea, and if it is still not moving after a month or two, price it lower.

There are always buyers, at the right price.

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ElJay
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I sold my house last year, and it took 3 offers and 7 months. (The first two offers backed out for reasons that basically boiled down to first-time homebuyer cold feet.) I was ready to lower the price twice, and my realtor talked me out of it. The median time on market in my city was 5 months at the time, so when you count the places that are listed at fire sale prices and go the first day, you've got to have some on the other end, too. It ended up selling for pretty close to asking price.

I think you should definitely be priced competitively, but you can't compete with foreclosures and short sales. And you don't need to, because buying those properties comes with headaches that most people aren't willing to deal with. It might take some time, and you might end up lowering the price again, but there's no magic number that will make it sell, except for to one of those "We buy ugly houses" type of companies, which would be a LOT less than "market value."

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Aerin
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ElJay has actually sold a house while I have only read about it and bought one, so her advice is better than mine.
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ElJay
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I do definitely agree that you shouldn't buy out the siblings. The idea is ludicrous, to the point of what kind of idiots are they for even asking?

And don't get me wrong. . . the seven months before it sold were plenty stressful. But I came out much better than if I had dropped the price 10% and sold fast.

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Glenn Arnold
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My only interest in starting the thread was to find an answer about the "issue a sell order at market price" thing that my brother in law told me.
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pooka
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I've never heard such a thing, and I've been around real estate more than I cared to be. My mother in law was a million dollar realtor back in the 80's and has observed all our transactions.
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Samprimary
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I'd buy out the siblings and then rent the house until it could be sold, but that is because I'm young, idealistic, financially meddlesome, and would love to exploit good renting markets, what with more and more people being unable to afford homes and such. And, what else, what's the word? Oh, yeah. Naive.
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katharina
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If your brother in law is trying to "issue a sell order" and sell the house without actually finding a buyer, then he doesn't know what he's talking about. No, that's not a thing. A house is not a commodity.
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Goody Scrivener
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
They want the money fast. And they want us to buy their share, so they can get their money fast.

I'd be tempted to get those two to agree to a price, buy them out, and then list the house at whatever I felt was truly appropriate and keep the excess. That would teach them to be greedy and pushy.

But it's a bad idea to actually do so because it can foster bad feelings and grudges among you when the ones that were bought out find out they've been given short shrift, and I'm sure the rest of you don't have the money available to just buy them out.

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scholarette
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My mom was executor of my grandmother's estate. My grandmother died when real estate market was pretty much bottomed out. One of my cousins rented the condo and my mom tried to convince the others that they would do better to continue renting to my cousin and wait a few years. They refused and said sell it now. Another of my cousins said, hmm, dirt cheap house, already have a renter, I'll take it. She had it appraised and offered my mom appraisal value. My mom also had a realtor price house and my cousin's appraisal looked accurate. Figuring in the cheaper cost of not hiring a realtor, it seemed better than anything they could do and was the same as my mom had told them at the family meeting. So, she sold it to my cousin. A few of my other cousins were furious at her. How dare she accept so little for the house. Grandma paid three times that much for the condo, what was my mom thinking. Point of story- people are crazy and no matter what you do, there will be someone who thinks you dealt unfairly.
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Glenn Arnold
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Buying them out is not an option. My wife would like to own the home, because of its emotional attachment. The same brother in law how says we can sell it at market price told her that since she's already 1/5 owner, and the rest of the siblings would sell it at a discount price, that a bank would "write a mortgage for that all day long." Of course, she checked with the bank, and we simply don't have the money to make a mortgage payment.
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Aerin
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I don't know where this brother-in-law is getting his information, but it all sounds like wishful thinking on his part so far. None of it is recognizable as accurate.
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odouls268
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
My wife inherited a share in her mother's house, and she and her 4 siblings are now in the process of trying to sell the house. We've had it appraised, and it is currently priced about 20k less than the appraisal price, with two siblings actively trying to continue to push the price down.

One of those brothers tells me that a house can be sold by listing it for sale "at market price" and it will simply sell, like a stock. I don't understand how this can work as a pricing mechanism. Is there anyone here who can explain this to me?

Double check with your local fresh market, but as I understand it a high quality cut of house can go for $7-$12 per pound, depending on the freshness and the marinade.
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Glenn Arnold
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Well, the college students rented the house, starting last August, and the last of them were out in May. We grossed ~$24k on the rental, and the students also paid the heat and electricity through the year. Brother in law refused to accept any proceeds from the rental, and insisted that renting was a bad idea.

In March, we finally got an offer of $210K. Brother in law says to take it, with no negotiation. The house was listed at $229K, so my wife suggested a counter offer at $225k. OTHER brother in law suggests splitting the difference, and countering at $219k. First brother in law is against this, is afraid of losing the buyer, but he's outvoted, and they counter at $219k. which is accepted.

In the meantime, another family offers $195k. Two brothers in law say to ignore such a low-ball offer. While inspections and negotiations as to what needs to be fixed is going on, the other family raises their offer to $208k, but the real estate agent doesn't notify us of the updated offer. Then they raise it to $218k, and contact my wife through our accountant (who goes to their synagogue), asking why there has been no response at all to their offers. Why haven't we counter offered? My wife tells our accountant that we have an offer at $219, and they raise their offer to $223, and send a letter asking us to please give them a counter offer.

Brother in laws (both of them) say this changes nothing, and refuse to deal with new buyer. They raise their offer to $229k (asking price). Both brothers in law claim that although we are not in contract yet with the first buyer, that we have been "bargaining in good faith with him" and it would be unethical to back out of the deal now.

End of the story is that brothers in law got their way, and closing was scheduled for tomorrow at $219k, with brothers in law each contributing $1000 to the buyer to pay for unnecessary electrical upgrades.

We were waiting for the appraisal to come through, since this is pretty much the only thing that can kill the deal, if the bank decides not to give the buyer a mortgage. My sister in law kept asking the real estate agent what had happened to the appraisal? and finally the agent said the appraisal was OK, but that the closing date might change. Sister in law asks "what did the house appraise for?" and my wife asked why the closing date might change, since everything was supposed to be set if the appraisal was OK.

Brother in law's wife sends an email, copied to everyone including the real estate agent saying that "Mary and Peggy need to learn that selling the house is not about them." Of course, because my wife and I live 7 miles from the house, we (and by we I mean mostly my wife, Mary) has done pretty much everything, from cleaning and painting, to finding the documentation that the oil tank was legally abandoned, to having contractors and inspectors make sure that the house was ready for sale. Peggy previously bought out a third brother in law who really needed the money, and both of them love the house, and the memories of their mother, who also loved the house. Brother in law's wife? 20 some years ago she told my mother in law that it would be beneath her dignity to visit her in her house, and did not set foot in it again until after my mother in law died.

None of this changes anything I guess, but I just needed to rant.

Oh, and in response to Kat (Not that she's on Hatrack anymore): A house is not a fungible commodity, but it is a commodity. That was part of the argument I had with my brother in law.

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Orincoro
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Dear God. Every time I have a discussion with my mother About her finances, I remind her to update the wills and appoint an executor/trustee so that this cannot happen. Of course, she hasn't done it. Maybe I'll share this story with her. The prospect of having to work with my three siblings on such a project is frightening- and I consider them all trustworthy and fair minded women.

May I ask, why you didn't all, at the beginning, sit down and elect one of you to lead this effort? Was tht somehow unmanageable, or could you not agree on who it should be?

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Glenn Arnold
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The house was not part of her will. Roughly 10 years before she died, she deeded it over to her five children, with the proviso that they would not sell it out from under her while she was still alive. The executor of her will was the brother in law (he's an accountant) that has been a pain since the beginning, but the "estate" was insignificant compared to the value of the house.

As the process unfolded, there has been a sort of gentleman's agreement that the decision making process would be by vote: five siblings, one vote each. In the beginning, there were two brothers, whose only goal was to sell, at any cost, and one other brother, who tried to stay out of it, but when an issue needed to be settled, often sided with the other brothers. So for the first year the idea of renting was vetoed by the brothers, who insisted that the only possible goal was to sell. After my sister in law bought out one brother in law, she had two voting shares, but the contentious brother in law didn't acknowledge this, so he basically ignored the voting from then on.

Of course, five siblings each have one spouse, and except for the one brother's wife, most of us tried to keep our profile low. My sister in law's husband even avoided commenting after he and his wife had bought the other share, so he definitely had a right to. I was pretty much silent for about the first year, but from time to time I get so fed up I shoot off a nastigram. But the one brother in law's wife has been putting in her criticism since the beginning, with no self restraint of any kind. She claims that she is being "professional" but basically spends all her time bossing my wife around from 2000 miles away, and then asking "who put (my wife) in charge?" because my wife is the only local contact point for the realtor, etc.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Dear God. Every time I have a discussion with my mother About her finances, I remind her to update the wills and appoint an executor/trustee so that this cannot happen. Of course, she hasn't done it. Maybe I'll share this story with her. The prospect of having to work with my three siblings on such a project is frightening- and I consider them all trustworthy and fair minded women.

May I ask, why you didn't all, at the beginning, sit down and elect one of you to lead this effort? Was tht somehow unmanageable, or could you not agree on who it should be?

I've had the same conversation with my mom a few times. I only have one brother, so the whole voting thing would never work even as an idea, and he's a spoiled princess who is used to getting his way. Age hasn't dulled his sense of entitlement. Appealing to his wife is the only way to get him to relent when he really wants something.

I think some day in the far distant future, the day before my mother's funeral will be the last day I talk to him, because he'll committ such egregious acts of greed and douchebaggery following her funeral that it will be unforgiveable. And that makes me more sad than it would have a few years ago, because I actually like him now.

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Orincoro
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My aspiration is to have my parent's estate so watertight and hammered down by the time they're gone, that there will be exactly one meeting regarding the financial disposition of the estate. One and done- nobody gets cheated, nobody feels put out. Unrealistic, I'm sure, but at least I'm not a materialist. I won't be one to lay claim to any of their possessions- but I do hope my mother lives long enough to do what previous generations did have time for: giving most of their things away. A house full of things to fight over, not to mention a house, is in my eyes a burden nearly as much as a gift. But my mom seems suite reasonable on the matter. She plans to sell down and give most of their things away so that she can retire to a smaller life when my father passes. That's exactly what I would want for myself, but I'm sure it's harder to face such decisions at that stage.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
My aspiration is to have my parent's estate so watertight and hammered down by the time they're gone, that there will be exactly one meeting regarding the financial disposition of the estate. One and done- nobody gets cheated, nobody feels put out. Unrealistic, I'm sure, but at least I'm not a materialist. I won't be one to lay claim to any of their possessions- but I do hope my mother lives long enough to do what previous generations did have time for: giving most of their things away. A house full of things to fight over, not to mention a house, is in my eyes a burden nearly as much as a gift. But my mom seems suite reasonable on the matter. She plans to sell down and give most of their things away so that she can retire to a smaller life when my father passes. That's exactly what I would want for myself, but I'm sure it's harder to face such decisions at that stage.

I saw you use "aspiration" here, and it confused me. Aspiration is "breathing", right? But is it also a conjugation of "to aspire"? Apparently so.
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Orincoro
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It is not a conjugation of "to aspire," it the verb's substantive form. But yes, it is a common substantive form of the verb.


I'm just randomly reminded of the time when a college professor once marked me down for the use of the world "concomitant," and when challenged, he told me he didn't know what it meant. Something I always keep in mind now.

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kmbboots
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Whenever I read about something like this my gratitude for my mostly* reasonable and amazing siblings (and their reasonable and amazing spouses) is renewed. Along with some relief that my parents will leave behind nothing of monetary value at all.

*We have our moments of unreason but never about "stuff".

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
It is not a conjugation of "to aspire," it the verb's substantive form. But yes, it is a common substantive form of the verb.

But isn't conjugation a modification from the verb's basic form? So modification to the substantive is conjugation, yes? Or can it only be used to modify for subject agreement?
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Orincoro
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Typically conjugation refers to verbal inflection to person and time. The substantive is not inflected, thus, not a conjugation in the accepted sense. The substantive constitutes a completely seperate word; it is not a form of the verb because it is not a verb. Which is why not all verbs have substantive forms, and why many substantives are simply rendered as the gerund form of the verb (nevertheless, these are gerund *nouns* not verbs), and not all substantives are paired with a verb, which is why we use auxilliary verbs more than in some other languages. But gerunds nouns do inhabit a class in between nouns and verbs, where there is some ambiguity as to their function.

For example: "He is running" (Pronoun+aux+gerund verb)

"He likes running" (pronoun+verb+gerund verb/noun) (where the gerund noun could be replaced with an infinitive to illicite the same meaning)

"his favorite activity is running" (poss.pronoun+adj+noun+aux+ger.noun)

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Whenever I read about something like this my gratitude for my mostly* reasonable and amazing siblings (and their reasonable and amazing spouses) is renewed. Along with some relief that my parents will leave behind nothing of monetary value at all.

*We have our moments of unreason but never about "stuff".

Funny, it makes me appreciate that no one in my family has anything worth fighting over.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Whenever I read about something like this my gratitude for my mostly* reasonable and amazing siblings (and their reasonable and amazing spouses) is renewed. Along with some relief that my parents will leave behind nothing of monetary value at all.

*We have our moments of unreason but never about "stuff".

Funny, it makes me appreciate that no one in my family has anything worth fighting over.
Exactly. When my grandmother passed away, one of my sisters (who was kind enough to go up and fetch all the stuff and give it garage space) spread all of it out like a freebie bazaar and tried to get us to take stuff. I ended up with a couple of dishes and a set of very strange bookends.
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MattP
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My wife's grandmother did that when her mother passed away. I thought it was fantastic. Nothing was very valuable, but everyone got a couple mementos and everything else went to a charity thrift store.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Whenever I read about something like this my gratitude for my mostly* reasonable and amazing siblings (and their reasonable and amazing spouses) is renewed. Along with some relief that my parents will leave behind nothing of monetary value at all.

*We have our moments of unreason but never about "stuff".

Funny, it makes me appreciate that no one in my family has anything worth fighting over.
We don't really have anything of excessive value. Most of its of emotional value. Some family hand me downs of my grandmothers, and some of my moms jewelry that I bought her. Other than that I just say sell it all, but my brother is the type to rush in, grab the pricey stuff then swear he had no idea what happened.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
My wife's grandmother did that when her mother passed away. I thought it was fantastic. Nothing was very valuable, but everyone got a couple mementos and everything else went to a charity thrift store.

We do have some very valuable things. But my hope is that my mother lives a long retirement, and gives these things away herself in her own time. I certainly don't want any of it, but two of my sisters are now setting up permanent households, and that's how these things go. Hopefully whenever it comes to the dispersal of this stuff, they'll be colleagial about it all. My father was luck enough to not lose either of his parents until he was in his own 60's, which won't happen for us. In the end, he took one item, asking for it specifically- I found that to be quite ideal.
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Glenn Arnold
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Speaking of emotional value, my wife has gone through the house sorting things according to her perceived value for each of her siblings. Her mother had a drawer of special things, like boy scout awards, mother's day cards, baby pictures, etc. My wife divided the contents of the drawer according to which child was related to the memento, boxed them up and shipped them to each of her siblings.

In particular, she sent her brother's baby pictures to him. She got an email from his wife telling her not to send any more junk from the house.

More recently, we held an estate sale, and tried to find homes for as much as possible, but we were careful to let family know what items were available, in case they wanted them. My daughter wanted some furniture that had been my wife's, and my neices each wanted a bedroom set, one of her brothers wanted a poster my father-in-law had made out of the newspaper when the Mets won in 1969, etc...

Brother in law says we need to get the silverware appraised. My wife asked if anyone had sentimental attachment to the silverware, and her other brother and her sister both agreed that sentiment would outweigh monetary value. Brother in law says we won't know that until it's appraised.

As it turns out, no one is particularly attached to it, and my wife started looking around for an appraiser/auction house to see what we could get for it. Brother in law says apparently he wasn't clear. Says HE has a sentimental attachment, and HE wants the silver.

(I realise I'm confusing three possible brothers in law here, but you can tell which one I'm talking about)

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rivka
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Family.

You can't live with 'em, and you can't shoot 'em. Unfortunately . . .

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Kwea
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Fine. Have it appraised, and then tell him he can have it as part of the financial balancing at the end. [Big Grin]
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