My sister claims we sold our house by accident. Maybe so, but technically, I maintain that we sold it at the bus stop. It certainly makes a better story.
Here is the full synopsis of dramatic events that have transpired in recent weeks. Only God could bring events together in such a timely manner. I really believe that He has put all the right conditions in place and is shoving our complacent behinds right out the door.
- In late 2006, we decide that 2007 is the year to sell our house.
- Within a month, Kent and I BOTH get promotions at exactly the same time, which confirms that financially, this is a good time to think about taking on a larger mortgage.
- We know our home needs repairs and other work before we can sell it, so we call a couple of contractors for estimates.
- Less than a week later, one of the contractors, looking for an investment opportunity, offers to buy our house “as is.” Our house was not even on the market yet. It’s a low offer, but we get excited about the possibility of a quick and easy sale with no hassles or headaches, combined with no out-of-pocket repair costs and no realtor commissions, and decide that’s worth something to us.
- We do a tremendous amount of research to determine how low we’re willing to go on the sale price, and in the meantime we start house hunting as we negotiate with the buyer. We find a house that we fall in love with, in a nearby neighborhood which will not require Maia to change schools.
- Throughout the process, we ask everyone we know for advice, including anyone who will listen at Maia’s school bus stop.
- Apparently, I blab to all the right people. Just as we are about to come to a verbal agreement with the original buyer, one of the bus stop parents—who also happens to be a realtor—tells me that he might have a buyer interested in acquiring our home as a rental investment.
- Our negotiations with buyer #1 go on hold while the neighbor/realtor inspects our property on behalf of his clients, who are not local.
- Within 24 hours, an offer from buyer #2 comes in that beats buyer #1, with the added bonus that it is a cash offer with a significant deposit. They too agree to take it as is and make the needed repairs themselves.
- It turns out that the new buyers happen to be the in-laws of the realtor/neighbor, who agrees to waive all commission in order to secure the best possible deal on their behalf and maintain family harmony.
- We accept the deal. Who knew you could transact such big business at the bus stop? I sure didn’t!
- Now, with contract in hand, we are ready to proceed with buying our new home. But there is a roadblock in that someone beats us to it and puts a contract on the house before we can present our offer. Shady ethics are involved on the part of the listing agent, who blocked our initial attempt to put in a timely offer in order to push through a deal for his own buyer clients, resulting in a larger commission for himself.
- Our only saving grace is that the first contract is full of contingencies, with a “kick out” clause that the sellers can exercise if they get another acceptable offer. We spend several days negotiating said acceptable offer, after which time the other buyers have 48 hours to come up with additional cash and remove their contingencies or cancel the contract. We spend two nail-biting days knowing that the fate of “our” house is in the hands of our competition.
- In a bittersweet victory, the other buyers cannot fulfill on the contract and must cancel. We were simply in a much better position to move forward quickly, but I feel a bit like a criminal, knowing that our gain was someone else’s loss. It did not have to be that way. Had the listing agent been more honest up front, we would have had the house in the first place and saved stress and disappointment all around. But the experience keeps us humble and reminds us that not everything is destined to always go our way.
- Meanwhile, our credit is so outstanding that lenders are aggressively fighting each other to get our business and literally throwing money at us. There is certainly a lot to be said for the benefits of fiscal responsibility!
So we’re moving. Soon. Very soon. We have packing to do. We have furniture arrangements to plan. I think we need to borrow some of my mother’s graph paper.