Up to this last month it has been my experience that buying a house is much easier than selling one.
Kay and I put our house on the market about a month and a half ago. Prior to going on the market we took our seller agents advice and staged the place. That was three weeks of storing, cleaning, and painting. We had an appraisal done so we knew about what it was worth, then priced it at a value that would help it move. The house was on the market 11 days then went under contract. We spent this last week moving our stuff to storage and friends houses. Yesterday we closed the house to a very nice couple. The entire experience, while tiring, was probably as smooth as I have ever seen for selling a house.
OMFG. At this moment, while typing this, I have hives on my legs and arms from what I am pretty sure is stress. This morning Kay and I signed the termination of contractual agreement on a house that we were supposed to close on next week. This signing occurred after the third (not first, or second) time that I told my buyers agent to cancel the offer. I was 30 minutes away from going to look at an apartment and then going to the local school we want Eli in to beg them to take them while we find another house. (This is not the end of the story, you can go to the last paragraph if this looks tl;dr.)
Three and a half weeks ago we saw this house on the first day it was on the market. It had six showings that first day and even more lined up the next day. The sellers agent just happened to work across the desk from our buyers agent. Our buyers agent had shown us a number of houses the day before and this one pinged all of our needs. Basement, large back yard, good school district, right foot print, price range at the upper end, yadda, yadda.
We tried to negotiate on price thinking it was a bit high, the sellers would not budge, but did give some closing costs. We ordered the appraisal and an inspection. The inspection came back with a medium ticket issue and a bunch of little things.
Over the 4th of July weekend I got a serious case of buyers remorse. I saw a number of houses in the area that were similar that cost the same with better upgrades (kitchen, consistent hardwood floors, better condition), or other houses with less amenities (basement not finished) for a LOT less money. For the moment I had the feeling we were getting taken. But after reading about buyers remorse and realizing more than half my issue was mental, and that the house itself hit on all our wants/needs I got past it. I told myself that when the house appraises for the agreed on price then all would be fine.
Last week we find out that THE HOUSE DID NOT APPRAISE!!! It was over priced by $10K per the appraiser. The sellers and sellers agent said the appraisal was seriously flawed. We allowed the order of a review. The appraiser took the “information provided by the seller” and refused to budge on the appraisal price. Back and forth for a few days. Our buyers agent was telling me that even she agreed with the sellers agent (who works in the same office) about the appraisal. Did not matter, the banks appraiser was not budging.
(In all the negotiations
Yesterday morning I put a stop to it. I told the lender to stop entertaining reviews by the seller. I have a week to get my family in a stable living arrangement, and that means either we close on this house, or I terminate the agreement and get us moved into an apartment. I told my buyers agent to tell them to terminate the contract (first time).
The seller agent came back with a counter offer, the appraisal price but no closing costs. I countered with the appraisal price and all the original closings and repair costs. I was told by my buyers agent that it was not going to happen. At this point I really could care less if I get this house. Terminate the contract (second time).
My buyers agent calls me an hour later. She wants me to give them $1K off the closing. If we will move just a little bit then the sellers, the sellers agent, and the buyers agent will work together to get the rest of the closing costs money. I have never heard of realtors undercutting their profit to make a deal happen. I ask “why would you do that?” and basically get the “bird in the hand…” response. Oh, and I keep hearing “the appraisal is wrong” to which I say “do not say appraisal again”. Kay and I agree to the $1K less closing and I am told that they will make it happen.
My buyers agent called me and said she could not make it happen. Time to terminate the contract (if you are keeping count – third time). I found a nice apartment complex in the area that will do a three month lease and will allow the two cats for a non-refundable amount. Got the phone number of the Principal for the school we want Eli in and am planning how to grovel him in for a few months while we find a home in that school district.
While on the way to taking Eli to diner and Aikido my buyers agent calls me. She re-iterates the contract agreement we tried for last time and tells me “you won”. I say thanks, but I really do not feel like I won anything. I feel like I have paid apprasal price for a home in an economy where doing so is not the norm. But I am happy to have a house that has all the items we are looking for. So “thank you very much”. I am informed that later that evening I will have an amendment to the contract to sign for the new home sell price/closing costs.
That evening I get a call at 10pm. The wife of the couple has gone AWOL. (Did I mention that the couple selling the house are divorced?) She is not avialable to sign a contract. Will I sign an extension to noon the next day? Sure. I can do noon the next day.
This morning I get this call from my buyers agent: “The sellers agent has someone from the appraisal review commission on the phone and wants to review….” I interrupt her “terminate the contract now” (4th). The termination agreement shows up and I electronically sign it (for both Kay and I, she skipped town to leave me with all this and the boy to galavant with her family). I let my buyers agent know that the signed termination letter is available. I let her know that I will be getting a 3 month lease on an apartment and commence plan “Principal Grovel Omega”. We can start house hunting once more in a few days. I sigh a sigh of relief. That is over.
A half hour later I get a call. There is an amendment to the contract for the appraisal amount and the closing costs that we last agreed on. Both sellers have signed. All I have to do is sign the contract and we have a house. My buyers agent says “Sign the bitch”.
My response text message is sent to her shortly after: “Bitch signed“.
We have a house.