Two sisters, whose skills complemented each other, decided that working together would be best for both of them. They were in the real estate industry, making money out of selling investments to clients, so the prospect of joining forces to maximize their sales became an increasingly attractive idea, given that while one was good at finding clients, the other was adept at closing deals.
As experienced realtors, both were well aware of the fact that closing deals required a lot of hard work. There was something about this particular deal; however, that made them feel it would be much harder.
A 96-Year-Old-Woman Called About Selling A House
A Stranger, by the name of Joyce, called the sisters and wanted to talk about selling her home. She was hesitant, as though unsure, and it seemed like a red flag to the sisters, because all their years of experience told them that clients who behaved in this manner had something to hide.
What’s more, Joyce seemed like a novice when it came to real estate, and it was as if she called the first number that she got a hold of. This was another red flag to the experienced realtor sisters because they knew that next to lawyers, it is precisely this kind of client that is hard to work with.
Not What It Seems
Gladys and Carla Spizzirri can say they’ve seen it all. As seasoned real estate agents, they’ve encountered many of the things that regularly happen within the industry that make most agents give up. And Joyce, their new client, had a home that had this quality about it—it just looked like it was not worth the effort to try to sell.
And although the sisters prided themselves in having the ability to muscle through every ordeal, Joyce’s home was one of those things they knew would be tough. When they finally arrived at the home’s doorstep and saw the roofing, they thought they were right to have all those ill feelings toward the home after all.
She Kept Something Hid
When the sisters spoke to Joyce, they noticed something about her that seemed off to them. Clients typically feel excited and optimistic when they first meet their realtor—after all, they’re planning out and looking forward to a new phase in their life. But the sisters could see in Joyce’s eyes that she was neither excited nor optimistic. Indeed, they both felt as though she was trying to hide something from them.
It was the same impression of Joyce that they got during their initial phone conversation. As seasoned realtors, they knew that clients would, to some degree, hide details about the house they’re selling to keep the price up, and they thought that maybe Joyce was doing the same thing.
Beyond What They Expected
One of the immediate red flags the sisters got from their conversation with Joyce was that she told them she’d been living at her home for close to 70 years and hadn’t done any renovation on it since then. No repairs had been done to the flooring, either. Indeed, the only update she did was to have the kitchen fixed many years back.
Naturally, the sisters thought that the home must look like a war zone since any home that old, without any update at all, would. This, of course, made them hesitant even to visit the home, which they fully expected to be borderline unlivable.
The Day of Reckoning
Carla and Gladys knew all too well the various evasions and excuses homeowners will make to hide little details about their home that might bring the price down. Most of the time, it would be to hide mold problems, leaky basements, roof and flooring issues, and the like.
As experienced realtors, they were pretty much used to all how homeowners keep mum, or even outright lie, about these things. They were soon to find out, however, that what Joyce was hiding from them was much bigger than they could have anticipated.
When the time came for Gladys and Carla to visit and do a more formal inspection of the house, they found themselves worried about what they might find. What was the condition of the place, and was it even livable? A house that hadn’t been updated and, for all practical purposes, been left to rot for 70 years seemed like a terrible thing to try and sell.
To make matters worse, the only person who’s ever lived in the home for so long was a 96-year-old woman, who clearly wouldn’t have had the strength to maintain the property to the degree that would make it remotely sellable.
They Were Shocked
The day had finally arrived for the sisters to travel many miles and see the house. As they stand by the doorstep, they both prepared themselves to peer inside and see what this 96-year-old woman had been hiding from them. When the door finally swiveled open, they saw the home’s interior and were shocked as it wasn’t remotely close to what they expected.
Indeed, no matter how the outside of the house looked unremarkable, the interior of the home could nowhere be near anyone’s expectation, let alone these two seasoned realtors. The house’s interior comes with a jaw-gaping surprise! The old lady, the Spizzirris thought, deserved a ton of credit.
Back in Time
Before stepping inside, all the expectations they had of the house were based on both the one photo the old lady gave and her seemingly evasive personality over the phone. They weren’t even sure that taking on Joyce as a client would be a good decision, given her description of the house, and the big possibility that it may not be sellable.
Gladys even half-assumed that they’ll need to get a home loan to have it fixed first before they can sell it for a profit. But now that they saw the interior of the house, they realized they were mistaken. It was nothing like they expected. Indeed, Gladys and Carla share that it was the first time they saw any home like it.
What They Expected
On the way to visit the house, Gladys and Carla spoke to each other in the car and formed two likelihoods in their mind—two possible conditions the home was in, with each being just as likely as the other.
One was that the house would look more than a bit feeble, would have a plumbing system that’s outdated, and would be filled with junk. The other possibility is that it would be so plain and ordinary that the mere sight of it would elicit a yawn. None of the sisters expected, however, that the home would look this good.
It Was an Absolute Beauty
They were more than pleasantly surprised. Not only was the home gorgeous, and not only would they be able to sell it for more money than they previously expected, but the condition of the house was so good the sisters knew they needn’t bother acquiring plumbing services or the like.
Apparently, Joyce was as good a housekeeper as can be. At her old age, she was able to maintain the house so diligently, with no one to help her, and the Spizzirris had no idea how she was able to do it.
It Gets Better
As Gladys and Carla walked around inspecting the house, it seemed like it gets better as they check further from one room to the next. It was like electricity coursing through their veins with all the beauty they were seeing. They felt like, for all intents and purposes, inside a time capsule, with every room having designed and decorated so meticulously.
It dawned on them that this could be why Joyce seemed so distraught over the phone. This home, after all, was her whole life. They knew that Joyce put a lot of effort into maintaining the house, which was why she was so reluctant to sell it.
Will it Sell?
The only downside that Gladys and Carla could see was how the house’s design had a lot of feminine elements in it that most men might find unappealing. From the color of the curtains, to how the decorations in each room looked, the design had women in mind, and since men—lawyers, in particular—form a huge part of the real estate market, Carla and Gladys thought that it could be a problem.
The sisters talked among themselves and asked what they might be able to do to remedy the situation—redecorating the place, after all, might cost a fortune until they saw another room in the house.
Best Part of the House
After seeing room after room designed to appeal to women, the realtors were getting worried about how the house may not appear appealing to men. That is until they saw the basement, which was just as beautiful. Indeed, the sisters thought to themselves that if anything appealed to men, this one definitely would, since it is the very epitome of a man-cave.
The basement had wood paneling and a wet bar—everything a man could want for his man cave. What’s more, the furniture and decorations were neutral and would be appealing to either gender. It was definitely an area that any attorney would love.
Not So Nice Backyard
It wasn’t all that surprising to the sisters, however, that the backyard was less than stellar. It looked very basic and ordinary, had fake grass, and a single rundown shed. The photo of the house previously sent to them was after all of the house’s exterior, so the sisters fully expected the backyard to be just as ordinary.
But this was far from the deal-breaker that some might expect it to be, and Gladys and Carla knew this. After all, it wouldn’t take much effort to redirect one’s investments toward having the backyard fixed.
Being the seasoned realtors that they were, Gladys and Carla knew that a home that looked good from the outside can still have all kinds of problems and kinks lurking from behind the curtain. Indeed, some homes might look well made but have mold underneath the flooring. While some might have a busted pipe inside a wall, or might have a design flaw that doesn’t bring it up to code.
Although Joyce’s house seemed to be in perfect condition, Gladys and Carla knew that they’ll still need to bring in a professional that can go through everything with a fine-toothed comb.
Behind the Curtain
When the professional home inspectors arrived, everyone was worried that they might find something that could thwart the sale of the home. Nevertheless, inspecting the house was an essential part of ensuring there wasn’t anything that still needed to be fixed. Soon enough, the inspectors got to work, going through every inch of the home, looking for design flaws, molding, gas leaks, or damages to the structure.
And when they were finally done, they announced that the home was in perfect condition. Indeed, they said that the house seems to be in the same condition it was 70 years ago when it was practically brand new.
After the good news, they were given by the home inspectors, Gladys and Carla were excited to get the home listed and available on the market. They listed the home on the same day the inspectors told them that the house was in perfect condition. At first, they couldn’t decide on the price the home should be listed for, but eventually, they settled on $699,000, which they both agreed was fair.
And just as the sisters expected, they were swarmed with calls left and right. It turns out that many people are interested in buying the home that a bidding war ensued. The degree of interest in the house hardly surprised them, but it indeed became a little more than they could handle.
Just a few moments after Gladys and Carla listed the house, a lot of people began expressing interest, with a few people even considering taking out a mortgage just to be able to buy the house. What’s more, many shared pictures of the home in and around social media, and people who saw it loved the home’s design so much that it started attracting the attention of news outlets everywhere. Soon enough, the story about the beautiful old house was reaching viral proportions.
Some even commented that the home shouldn’t be sold, and should be preserved as a museum instead. Others expressed worry that the new homeowners might disrupt the natural beauty of the house.
Joyce Had Done Something
It was simply unbelievable to some that the house looked so beautifully intact, the flooring was still original, and that it has for all practical purposes been kept this way since the 1940s. Some weren’t too happy about the idea that Joyce had renovated the kitchen a few years back, thinking that the original look, whatever it was, would have been better.
Joyce had a perfectly reasonable explanation for going through with the kitchen update, however, and it was that the appliances in her old kitchen were galactically outdated. Indeed, they were too old to the point of being useless.
A Passion for Design
It turns out that Joyce, even at her old age, had a passion for design. And she thought of the decorations and the furniture of her home all by herself. She designed the house the way she wanted it, which made the home doubly special to her. Which is why the question in so many people’s minds is why, after all the effort and investments she put into it, did she want to sell it?
The simple reason that Joyce gave is that she wanted to retire and intended to live in a retirement community where she can live out the rest of her days. It was, after all, lonely in the old house, and she wanted someone else to appreciate it.
What Will Happen to The Home?
One of the major concerns that people had is that the new homeowners might renovate the home, making it different from how it currently was. Which they say would be a shame, considering how beautifully preserved in time the house is. Many felt that whoever bought the home will one day decide to modernize it, and maybe install a home security system, making the home just like any other.
Of course, there’s nothing anyone can do about it—whoever bought the home will have the right to change it as he sees fit. And only time will tell what the house will end up looking like in the years to come.
Downside to Buyers
One of the conditions Joyce set that could be a deal-breaker to prospective buyers is the condition that the furniture of the house won’t be coming with it! Of course, potential buyers will be upset, considering that the furniture of the house is a big part of what made the home as beautiful as it was. It was what gave the house its unique and vintage look.
Joyce’s daughter didn’t want to part with the furniture, because it had a lot of sentimental value to her. After all, she grew up in the house and had a lot of good memories in it, particularly when she was young and still had student loans to pay off.
She Lived Here For 70 Years
Most of us can’t imagine living in the same house for decades. But Joyce lived in this house for 70 years, ever since she was in her early twenties. Indeed, the house contained all her life’s memories, and she was understandably hesitant to let it go. Every inch of the house had a hold on Joyce as nothing else did.
From the picture of Joyce’s master bedroom, one can see that everything was kept in perfect condition. From the flooring to the house’s color schemes and its furniture, it looked like a picture of a hotel room from the 1940s.
A Palatial Bathroom
It seems there’s no shortage of people who find Joyce’s design style fascinating. Her tastes are different from most, but there’s just something about it that is so appealing from a design perspective. The colors she chose perfectly match the decor, blending into the furniture so seamlessly and making everything look fantastic.
In an interview for The Daily Mail, Joyce said, “I like soft colors, and I like things to match and flow well together. I prefer tone-to-tone to bright colors.” Joyce’s approach to color can even be noticed in the most minute of details. Even small items like the bathroom towel or the tissue holder were precisely colored to match the flooring.
The Overall Design
Joyce’s home is truly a masterpiece. And it’s probably safe to say that it is the only one of its kind. It has three gorgeous and vintage-styled bedrooms, two bathrooms, and intimate-looking Victorian fireplaces all throughout. Entering the place transports one into the past—that’s the degree of its charm and beauty.
Although the house’s design shows the inspiration for elements from the 1940s, some items incorporated were also from other decades of design, too. So no room is the same; each is different and blends in with one another so perfectly that the house as a whole just work from a design perspective.
Wonderfully Thought Out Features
And the fact that the home is 70 years old didn’t preclude it from having all the modern conveniences that one might need to be able to live a comfortable, modern life in it. Indeed, the laundry room that is pictured has all the modern equipment that one might need to get his clothes clean.
The new homeowner won’t need to get plumbing services, too, since all the piping works just fine. What’s cool about the house also is that all the cabinets, doors, and anything with a hinge on it, look modern as if they were just installed only yesterday.
Will Joyce Sell?
The sisters now knew that Joyce’s initial hesitation over the phone, which they previously thought was because she had something to hide, was, in fact, due to her reluctance to sell. But when they asked Joyce a second time, Joyce insisted that, like a lawyer, she’s already made up her mind into selling the house, despite having maintained the place for over 70 years.
The house was her life for so long that Joyce knew she’d have a hard time leaving it. She already made her decision, though, and at her age, she thought that it would be best for her to live out the rest of her life in a community.
The house of Joyce was not just a gem in itself. On account of the house’s beautiful interior, it also has another thing going for it. The neighborhood, where the home is situated, is a sought for the area. Financial advisors and realtors alike are aware of the prices, which have steadily increased in the area for years.
Gladys and Carla were well aware of the fact that even if Joyce’s house wasn’t as splendidly designed as it was, it would have still fetched a fortune simply because of its location. So not only was the home beautiful, the neighborhood is equally just as impressive as well.
The phrase so often repeated in the real estate industry is “Location, location, location,” which meant to instill in buyers (or sellers) that the location of the property is more than half of what’s important about it. People who’ve made investments in the area where Joyce’s house is located could attest to the fact that the returns were more than spectacular.
When Gladys and Carla checked the home prices, they immediately knew that Joyce’s home would be able to fetch a fortune. Indeed, after crunching the numbers, they’ve concluded that they could sell it for $968,000.
Joyce Didn’t Want to Back Out
It was reasonable for Gladys and Carla to think it possible that Joyce would back out from selling the house. The level of interest the listing has garnered, and the fact that the house was Joyce’s for more than 70 years, were perfectly good reasons for Joyce to change her mind about selling.
But at the end of the day, Joyce made it clear that she made her mind about selling it, and that she wouldn’t be backing out. Mortgage rates in the area were high, and she was looking at getting a fortune for the home, so she wanted the sale to push through.
A Wonderful Deal
In the more than 30 years that Gladys and Carla had been working as real estate agents and investment planning experts in the Toronto area, they’ve never seen a home like Joyce’s. Indeed, the experience was so unique that they did not expect such an encounter ever to happen again. Joyce’s home was among the best and most unique homes they’ve seen thus far, and they were glad about having to experience dealings for it.
Joyce was also a character that they felt lucky to have met. She was a lovely woman who was unique in her own way. She taught them more than a few life lessons. Who knew that a phone call from a stranger would be so life-changing.