A sunny day makes everything better. We’ve been in Barranca for two weeks, with only an occasional hour of afternoon sun. It felt like we had been here for months. Yesterday, the sun was out early and it stayed out all day. I didn’t realize what a difference sunshine makes until yesterday, when everything felt better in the brighter light.
This week included July 28, the national day of Peru, Fiestas Patrias. Thursday and Friday, the 28th and 29th, were national holidays, followed by the weekend. Children have two weeks of vacation from school, and many people visit the beach. We aren’t crazy about all the traffic the visitors bring, the trash they leave on the beach, and the disco that thumps music until 6 am on some nights. I like the flags that wave over most houses, the tradition of cleaning up around houses and repainting the facades, and the general cheerfulness that the holiday brings.
We dreaded Fiestas Patrias this year because all business comes to a halt for the long weekend. We’d like to get our house in the hands of a responsible realtor and begin to plan our trip back to the US. We knew that no progress would be made this week. The good news is, we seem to have been wrong…
After spending six months in an exclusive contract with a local realtor, we were happy to have that over. Nothing happened. Disappointed and a bit confused by the lack of any interest in our house since we were last here, we chatted with a neighbor who is building a group of apartments down the street. Miguel is a charming guy, and a great neighbor. He pointed out that he is in the neighborhood full time managing his project, and his sister-in-law, someone we know well, is a realtor. Her work is largely in Lima, but she grew up here and understands the ups and downs of having a house on the beach. She spends holiday weekends here, and has a space in her mothers house, just a few doors down from us. Miguel thought that if we worked with Bertha, he could help out showing the house as needed. We were bowled over by his offer.
I contacted Bertha, and rather than setting a time after the holidays to chat, she said she was coming out to Barranca for the holiday weekend and would stop by. The next afternoon, we got together and chatted about the house, our plans, and hers. We walked around so she could see all the rooms, and in the end, we agreed to work together starting Monday. Jonathan sent her photos of the house. We already felt that it would be possible to leave for the US. Bertha is a cosmopolitan person, familiar with both city and beach life in Peru, and should be able to get our house sold for us.
We pointed out to her that we do have one lead pending that predates our new agreement. Back in February when we were here, Jhon, who lives down the beach, stopped in to say he knew people interested in buying the house, and that he’d line them up for us. We encouraged him, but promises are easy to make. Jonathan got in touch when we were returning, and he assured us that his group was still interested. Last weekend, when we expected a visit, no one showed up. That’s not an unusual outcome here. Monday afternoon, there was a knock on the door, and it was Jhon and three men, ready to have a look around. We gave them the tour, and they seemed interested, surprised at how nice the interior is, and how well maintained. That’s a pretty common reaction to our house.
After some muttering among them, the group left with promises that an offer would be forthcoming. We figured that would be the end of it, but on Saturday one member of the group returned to chitchat. His aim seemed to be to feel us out about whether we’re serious about selling, and how far below our asking price we’re willing to go. We settled on his returning with an actual offer on Monday afternoon. We may get an offer, and we’ll see where the negotiation takes us.
All in all, things are looking up. After our first week here, when no one turned up to see the house after various promises, we were discouraged. The gray weather didn’t help. Our mood is better because of the sunny day, and because perhaps something is happening on the real estate front. We’ll see where it goes. Even if we don’t sell the house immediately, it will be in the hands of someone we trust, and that will allow us to move on for now.