If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that my wife and I bought a condo in San Francisco three years ago. We also have an old (built in 1900) Victorian home in Worcester, Massachusetts that we’ve lived in since the mid-nineties.
We decided earlier this year that, given the slight up-tick in the housing market, along with continued low mortgage rates, it might be a good time for us to try to sell our Worcester house and put an end to this bi-coastal nonsense.
And so for the past several months, my wife and I diligently
worked to get our Queen Anne Victorian house ready to go on the market. We
had some repairs done, carpentry work performed, rooms painted, and hardwood
floors refinished. We moved and rearranged
furniture, and depersonalized and de-cluttered the place. We even bought a few new items for the house and property to make the place a little more appealing to prospective buyers.
Our first showing was scheduled for 6 p.m. that very same evening that the house was listed. Like good sellers, my wife, our dog, and I left the house and went out to dinner.
I heard from our realtor about an hour later. He told me that the showing went very well and the family who viewed the house really...really...liked it.
Three hours later we got another call telling us that we had received a full asking price offer! By early afternoon the next day, my wife and I had, with a few minor modifications, accepted the offer.
Our house sold on the very first day of the listing to the very first people who came to see it and for full asking price! BOOYAH!
Fantastic news, right? Well, yes and no. We received a great offer the day the house went on the market, but some significant hurdles were yet to be jumped before we could celebrate a successful and incredibly fast sale.
The dreaded home inspection had to be conducted. Our real estate agent warned us that the home inspector selected by the buyers was a real stickler and was somewhat inflexible. That wasn’t exactly something that we, as the sellers of a 113-year-old house, wanted to hear.
The inspection was scheduled for nine days after we accepted the offer. And then we had to wait another two days to receive the list of what the buyers wanted us to repair or replace before closing.
So after the initial euphoria of receiving a great offer on the first day the house was on the market wore off, we entered into a two-week long, highly stressful and depressing holding pattern.
As expected, a handful of issues did surface at the home inspection, but none appeared to be “deal-breaker” issues. We knew even before the inspection that we would need fix a few things, and we agreed in advance to take care of them. But the buyers also wanted us to address a handful of other items.
None of the items on the list would be particularly costly, but we said no to the buyers’ requests. Well, the truth is that it was my wife who stubbornly said “absolutely not,” and refused to even consider the other items the buyers asked us to fix or pay for.
She told our real estate agent that we would address those few things we knew about prior to the inspection, but that was it. “We're not going to put another dime into this place,” she said. “Either they want this house or they don’t. If they want to walk away, so be it.”
And then she told our broker that if this deal fell through,
we’d take the house off the market. She is one tough cookie!
The good news is that, after a week of back and forth emails and phone calls with and between real estate agents and attorneys, and, at times, some contentious negotiations, the buyers, somewhat reluctantly, we’ve been told, agreed to take care of everything except those several items we had previously agreed to address.
Finally, after what seemed to be an excruciatingly slow moving, drawn out, and frustrating two weeks, we have a fully executed Purchase & Sale Agreement.
Bottom line: while the buyers have been “pre-approved” for a mortgage, their
mortgage company has to send an appraiser to our house to validate
that the appraisal value supports the mortgage
amount the bank had agreed to lend them. And they have almost another month to satisfy that mortgage contingency.
Our realtor has assured us that this is just a formality and that it is very rare for a deal to fall through based upon a low bank appraisal. Still, it’s just one last hurdle to jump over before we can say that it’s truly a done deal.
And so now we need to wait around for the proverbial fat lady to sing, and with our luck, she will probably come down with a severe case of laryngitis.