Yesterday, we accepted an offer on our house. It has been an interesting experience. When the family that is buying it has their showing last week, I never thought in a million years that they would actually put an offer in. They guy didn’t say a single positive thing the entire time!
Yesterday, we moved nearly all of our worldly possessions into a storage unit. I got a $1 deal for a 10×30 unit. It was at least 50% larger than we really needed, but it was so nice to not have to worry about stacking boxes above our heads and trying to be a Tetris grand-master to get it all to fit. It also made unloading the truck into unit a lot faster than previous storage unit move-ins.
Today and tomorrow are all about giving it a final, deep cleaning. The buyer asked the realtor about a professional cleaning. My wife used to be a Molly Maid and I once worked as a janitor. We are professional cleaners… just not currently. 😉
The house selling experience has been an interesting one. I’ve gained a fair amount of insight that I hope to not use for a long, long time to come.
Make Stipulations when selling a house
Probably the most important lesson I learned in all this is to make stipulations as the seller. Because this buyer is paying in cash, we accepted a lower offer than we would have otherwise. That’s because cash offers are quick. No bank assessments, just a contract to sign and a check written. We expected to be able to close before the end of the month and avoid another month of lot rent and mortgage.
Well, it turns out that they have to give 30 days notice to break their lease. They want to close mid to late Februrary. That means we have to make another nearly $750 worth of payments and will only see our mortgage balance decrease (and therefore our proceeds increase) by about $100. That means that our bank balance will be well over $600 less than we anticipated after we get our proceeds.
The counter offer we had made to their original offer was a $500 loss to us (i.e. we would lose $500 of the down payment we made when we purchased last year). But we saw that as coming ahead of having to wait a month or even more to close. I should have stipulated that the price was contingent on closing by the end of the month.
Anticipate Buyer Stipulations
Another thing that bit us in the butt was the buyer’s stipulation of a home warranty. After all of the complaining this guy did at the showing, I should have anticipated something like that. A 1 year, used mobile home warranty for a single-wide is $320. Since that was his stipulation for accepting our counter of $21,600, I couldn’t exactly respond with a new price of $21,920. That would have been fairly obvious that I was just putting the price back on him.
So, instead of a $500 loss, it is a $820 loss. Factor in the extra housing payments, we are out $1460. Considering that our down payment was $5000, we are loosing nearly 30% of it.
Needless to say, we aren’t very happy about the whole situation. Our realtor understands our situation and is delaying the signing of the contract until after they get approved to rent from the park in hopes of drumming up more interest as leverage to get this buyer to increase his offer or move up the closing.
Have you ever sold a home? Did you learn any lessons the hard way?