I wasn't planning on this post for some time but all during my life at momentous occasions, it seems like I've been fortunate to have things work out and it appears that this momentous occasion will be no different. I am of course referring to the sale of my current house.
We started the process of selling our house privately last fall and though we had lots of calls and showings, I had nary one offer to show for all that time. I think it was mostly due to people being scared of buying a house privately and we just didn't have the market available to us to advertise it. But since we weren't actively looking for a house at the time, we weren't in any hurry to sell unless the offer was right. Then as spring rolled around and we got more involved in looking for a new place to live, we decided that we should get a Realtor involved. I hate giving up 6% of the sales price to someone else just to sell my house but they do have the advertising budget and they would be doing the sales pitch leaving me free to spend more time at the park while it was going on. Still after seven weeks on the market, we had not a single offer.
Fortunately we are prodigious savers and had enough money saved up to allow us to put a down payment on a second home complete with a second mortgage that the bank would lend us. Still, it was my hopes that I wouldn't have to make any unnecessary mortgage payments in a home that I wasn't living in. So when last Monday rolled around and we inked a deal for our new home, my mind was soon wandering about whether or not I would ever be able to sell my current home.
On Tuesday morning, I rattled a few trees down on the plant floor specifically around people whom I knew had been interested in our house. I dropped the fact that I had bought another house and that I was motivated to sell my current one. That evening, the Realtor called to say another showing was lined up for Wednesday evening if that was fine by me. My daughter and I went to the park but when we got home there were still vehicles in the drive so we drove up the street to wait them out. As they left, I noticed that the people looking was a coworker I had targeted with my tree rattling the day before. Later that evening I had an offer.
Unfortunately it was a low ball offer that was not only lower than what I needed to get my money back, but it also stipulated that I pay their closing costs and inspections. It was also contingent on my leaving behind my refrigerator, dining room table and chairs, living room furniture and bedroom furniture, all of which we have bought quality stuff gradually over the years to replace my free/hand me down furniture. They also wanted to move in two weeks before I closed on our new place which meant that I was going to have to live out of a motel room for a couple weeks along with several guests from over seas that are going to be visiting us at the time. Not something I was keen to do.
So at last we had an offer and it was a real doozy. In fact it was almost insulting. But I knew the situation and I knew the people involved really wanted the house so I made a counter offer. All the furniture except the nearly decade old refrigerator stayed. The closing date would be two weeks after I close on my new house. I asked for a price that was two grand above what I needed to get out of it and said I would pay two grand of their closing costs. This allows them to conserve cash needed at closing and I still get what I wanted. Two hours later, the countered again by dropping the price two grand. It isn't what I had hoped but it wouldn't take long to eat up two grand worth of money heating an empty house and paying interest on a mortgage in a house I wasn't living in. Because the timing was perfect, we accepted the offer this past Friday.
So now the equity we have in our old house can be rolled over into the new house and the cash we saved up to make buying a second home without first selling our first home possible, can... well... be put back to earning interest for us and/or perhaps getting a jump start on fixing up the new place. As the saying goes, I would rather be lucky than good... and in this case, I feel extremely lucky!