HEADING TO HEATH: WE SOLD OUR HOME
Well, we sold it, but it was a job! Now will it stay sold?
Welcome to Our Open House
The real fun of selling our house started one Saturday morning when we put our custom sign out in the yard, with a box of full color flyers attached, and sprinkled a trail of open-house-signs (some custom, some from the home improvement store) from the major thoroughfare a couple of blocks away to our front yard. I filled the air with Glade and baked some chocolate chip cookies, then opened the front door.
That first weekend we were only on the ForSaleByOwner site, because we wanted to see what kind of traffic we’d get. They were also filming the virtual tour that day.
During the weekend open houses, we were overrun by neighbors, had a few drive-bys and were visited by one guy who saw us on the FSBO site. We were surprised to discover we’d missed the price point by $10K. By the end of the first day we’d raised our price. This was another part of the reason we hadn’t gone very wide with our online presence. We wanted to test the water a little bit.
By the next weekend, we were on more sites with our higher price, but we were still getting mostly neighbors at our open houses. We did have a couple of folks set appointments to see the house during the week, but most of the calls were from agents trying to list our house.
One of the last people to come through that second weekend, came with an agent and made an offer, but the offer was ridiculous and I got pretty depressed.
The third weekend brought two very interested couples, but no offers. One of the interested parties wore us out with emails during the next week and said he was going to make an offer, but he just kept asking questions. Finally, the fourth weekend rolled around and we opened our doors again, but only on Saturday, because we had plans on Sunday.
Bill was excited by some of our visitors, but I didn’t put too much stock into people who wouldn’t leave an email address or a phone number.
Narrowing the Field
All along our question-asker kept asking questions, but then he got very, very quiet. So, we were gearing up for the fifth weekend of open houses, when late on a Thursday afternoon an agent called and asked to show the house. I’d planned to spend Friday perfecting my housekeeping, but Bill and I performed a whirlwind cleaning and opened our doors a couple of hours later.
The couple and their agent stayed forever, but when they left they said we’d get an offer the next day. Bill and I were both thrilled, but we were also afraid to be thrilled. Lo and behold, the next morning we had a full price offer with no strings attached. We negotiated a few details back and forth throughout the day, but by dinnertime, we had a deal. We were going into escrow!
Due Diligence and the Loan Contingency
We’d sold the house, but we had some hoops to jump through. Right off the bat was an appraisal and a home inspection. We’d already planned a vacation and as we boarded the plane, the buyer’s agent was calling us about warranties and flood zones. We thought we might be fielding real estate calls all vacation long, but what we told them as we found our seats seemed to satisfy them.
Will the Money Go Hard?
One item that we negotiated hard for was the condition that if the loan was approved, then the buyer had to up their deposit and the funds would go hard. That meant, even if they backed out, we’d have a nice compensation for it. Was the loan approved? Did the money go hard? Find out next week!