Getting a home on the market to sell is tough. Doing it in a week is even tougher. Doing it in a week while in the midst of a basement renovation… Well, it got done, so it is not impossible but it certainly felt that way for a bit!
As I mentioned in my last post, we already had a realtor picked out. We chose a well-known realtor in the area, and we had actually worked with her before when we considered selling our home a few years ago. She is a no-nonsense woman, and that is what we wanted. We knew her results, trusted her guidance, and felt confident that she would be the one to help us sell our home quickly. She didn’t let us down.
Thankfully, we are pretty organized people. And we also have good (neutral) taste when it comes to decorating, so our realtor told us we didn’t have to do much at all to get the house ready. We took a few knick knacks and pictures down. We cleared the tops of dressers and bookcases to look more streamlined. And we cleaned the house from top to bottom (including hiring window washers and carpet cleaners.) After all that, the basement was the only big thing left to do. We stayed up until midnight almost every night the week before the house went on the market. It was a tiring week. Our bodies ached, our stress levels were high, and we were eager to see the light at the end of the tunnel. By Friday afternoon, we were on our way up to Providence to look for a rental when we got the notice that the listing was up. Our house was officially on the market. 2 hours later, our realtor called to tell us that the major storms we were having caused water to come into our basement. We are so grateful she went to check on it. While we had disclosed the water issue (in the unfinished part), it was still stressful thinking that a buyer could have seen that. Our realtor assured us, though, that it was a blessing. She took pictures of the water so that if anyone asked, she could show that it wasn’t a big deal at all and could speak to it with first-hand experience. We loved that spin on it.
By Saturday we had an offer. It was a low-ball offer, though, and we were pretty upset about it. Seriously, why would someone low-ball with an offer on the first full day it’s on the market? Crazy! We stressed all weekend about whether we were going to have to bring money to the table at the end. Our listing price was exactly what we needed to break even. If we got below that, we would owe money in order to pay for the realtor’s fees. It was putting a damper on the entire move experience, and we were seriously worried. But deep down, we had to keep reminding ourselves that a big impetus for the move was to get out from being house poor and start fresh financially. Bringing money to the table just might have to be our reality to break free.
By Sunday we had three offers. Joy! We were ecstatic to hear that we were getting the desired results. We knew that if enough of the right buyers were out on the same weekend and looking at the other houses in the area in our price-range, most would see that even though our stats were low with the one bathroom, our house was a gem. We had hoped and prayed that a multiple offers would come in so that we could feel better picking one rather than having to settle. We were being rewarded for our hard work, and it felt great.
By Monday night we had six offers. Yes, six! Because we were out of town all weekend, our realtor had told buyers agents that she would not be presenting offers until Monday night. It gave more buyers time to write up contracts. (And yes, the first people to put in a contract on Saturday came back with a better number.) Our realtor presented all the offers to us, and we dutifully went through the details of each, finally deciding on the best one. Quite a few signatures and initials later, we were officially under contract.
The next week was full of waiting as well. The appraisal was the biggest hurdle in our minds, so getting that to come through was cause for another celebration. Radon test, termite inspection and home inspection came next, and all came out clean. At the time I’m writing this, we’re about 11 days away from settlement, and I don’t see any reason this sale will not go through. Everything is going smoothly, and it’s all moving quickly. The fact that everything is happening the way we wanted (getting the rental home we wanted, selling our house so fast, etc.) makes us believe that this truly is the right step for us on our journey. The path is being laid out before us, and we’re skipping along with a bounce in our step. (Except I can’t really bounce much since my back hurts from all the packing – more on that to come!)