The house is sold ― and the papers have been signed. Closing wrapped just a few minutes ago.
Considering what happened when I prematurely posted our good news before, Dan and I wanted to wait this offer out before we said anything publicly. We accepted what I refer to as "offer #3" back on November 7. And because of the First Time Homebuyer Act ending on 12/1 (meaning everything had to be wrapped up by then), the whole process moved very quickly. Timeline is below:
- Binding Agreement Date: November 7th
- Due Diligence Ended: November 17th (meaning between 11/7 and 11/17, the buyers could pull out of the deal without explanation, without recourse)
- Financing and Appraisal: FHA and ran through closing (due to short close)
- Closing Date: November 25th
- Move out date: Saturday, November 28th at 11 pm
Our goal in selling the house wasn't to try and make a big profit; instead, we hoped to sell at an okay price then make the most of this down housing market on the "buy" side. Because Dan bought the house before we met, this was my first experience with the whole house buying/selling process. It's been exciting, challenging, frustrating and sometimes a little emotional. But the late nights in September to get the house ready to list, keeping the house clean for three months straight and stressful negotiations were all worth it in the end.
I may think of additional advice later, but here are some things we learned in the process of selling our home:
- Your house is only worth as much as someone will pay for it.
- Not everyone will love your house as much as you did (we had nearly 30 visits before we even got our first offer).
- You can't assume the first offer will stick.
- A hardworking, professional, honest, well-selling agent (or team of agents) is invaluable. We are grateful to The Peters Company (Keller-Williams) for the selling, following up, and helping with negotiating and closing the deal. In this down economy, selling and closing a house is tough business.
- Professional photography makes a world of difference in terms of giving online viewers a great first impression of your property. (FYI - we didn't pay extra for our professional photos for our listing; this was included when we listed with The Peters Company)
Closing ended on a good note. The buyers told Dan that they fell in love with the house the moment they stepped in the door. They were disappointed to hear previously that it was under contract then were grateful to find out they had another chance to buy it. The buyers were also very happy with the solid records we've kept about the house (everything from appliance instructions and explanations about what plants were used in landscaping to work orders and termite inspection reports).
From here, we move into an apartment for the next five to eight months. It will be fun to live in a different area for a little while (the Virginia-Highlands!) and to start house hunting.
Cheers to the next chapter of this adventure...