Selling a home is no joke.
With all the false alarms we had (see part 1), when it came time to actually list, we were mostly ready. What was worth touching up had been touched up, the last of the cabinets were painted, showers recaulked, everything staged and all the crap packed away in our oh-so kind friends who let us store it there for a few months.
The hardest part was being gone. And having a dog. Who barks at strange people.
We made the listing active late Thursday night, so all those looking that weekend would see it on Friday. Then we stayed gone. All day Friday, and all day Saturday, and until 4pm Sunday. We kenneled the dog, for her own sake, and we basically barely lived in our house that weekend. We slept in our beds but ate all meals out, because 4 kids eating one meal produced about an hour of clean up work.
By Saturday we had three offers and went into a best and highest scenario (aka a bidding war).
My financier husband reviewed the financials each of the buyers brought to the table. We wanted to go with someone who had a strong lender and down payment, that way we would avoid any last minute surprises on the financial side. Not to mention, that speaks to the potential buyers solidity and reliability.
We actually were ready to go with the second highest bid, just because they seemed the most eager, but since they couldn’t come up the highest bidders number, they were out. Not to mention, if you put in a number well above asking, you’ve already shown you’re not playing around and want the house. We hashed out a few more details and contracts were signed.
That was the easy part.
The inspection is never fun, but it’s especially not fun when you get someone who is basically a crook. Having lived in our home, we knew full well what was wrong with it (windows needed replacing, there was a minor leak under specific circumstances underneath the kitchen sink, part of the floor popped, etc). The inspector caught none of the things we thought would be an issue, and made an issue out of things that weren’t a thing. The biggest one being the structure of our home.
Above our garage is a tiny attic space we have never been in. Upon going into this space, the inspector pronounced that there had been changes made to the trusses in that space and that without a letter from a structural engineer, the structure of our home was in jeopardy. Hah!
We had our roof done several months prior, so we called out our roofing company to see if they would look at (they have been great to work worth, and so helpful!). After checking it out and taking their own pictures the foreman of our roofing job pronounced the inspector an “idiot who knew nothing about construction”. Long story short, the part that had been “altered” was a brace to hold it upright until the roof went on and had been there since construction. If anything it was additional support. He drafted a letter, which we sent to the buyers, which they sent to the idiot inspector that insisted we needed a letter from a structural engineer.
I don’t blame the buyers…if I had something saying the structure of the house I was about to buy was in question, you better bet I’d want all the confirmation that it was not.
Our relator was just as stumped as we were, and even a google search didn’t yield much in the way of one. We started networking, reaching out to friends in construction, or ones that were engineers. On a whim, I posted something on Facebook and one of our long time baseball family friends reached out saying they were a structural engineer, and would be happy to check the specs and write a letter. Praise God!!!!
He confirmed that stupidity of the inspector…apparently it wasn’t the first time he’d heard of them doing this, and within hours had a us a letter that worked to the buyers satisfaction. In that time we also tuned up the AC units, and did a few other minor fixes.
We knew appraisal was going to be an issue. There had been a few homes that had been foreclosed on and investors bought, so there were some super low numbers as comps. We were also one of the first houses to close during the sellers market as prices were on the upswing, so there was only one number really in our favor.
The first appraisal was slap in your face, low. Basically what we had paid for the house, not taking into consideration any of the updates we had done to the house. Like $20,000 off low. Which we needed, because we had bought a foreclosure and were already knee deep in renovations at this point. Thankfully the buyers were incredible gracious and reasonable (and knew the number was too low), and agreed to another appraisal.
That weekend, feeling heavy hearted by the whole process, our pastor preached on Joshua and Jericho. I think everyone has a Jericho in their life at any given point. Something that seems insurmountable, and that only God could do. We knew an appraisal for the right number was exactly that. And I felt God telling me to walk around me house 6 times that night.
So we started walking. That night, and then prayed. The next night and then prayed. The night after that, and then prayed. Then it was basically a monsoon out, so we just prayed. Of course things got delayed (because banks), but a week later, we had our appraisal date, and we went back to walking, and praying. We had community group just before and asked all our friends to be praying with us. We even had one come walk with us. While we were tempted to blow our sons trumpet, we thought the neighbors might not appreciate that. We already looked pretty cooky walking around our house at night.
The appraiser came. We gave him comps our relator had pulled up for it, a list of the improvements we had made and told him the situation. He was super nice. Chris chatted with him (he works with appraisers all the time on the corporate side) about logistics.
Then we waited several LONG days. Our relator called and waited until we could both be together to tell us the incredibly exciting news that the appraisal came in EXACTLY where we needed it and were praying for!!!! God totally did the miraculous. Our neighbors rejoiced as well as their home values went up 🙂
Since the appraisal delayed the process, we pushed closing back two weeks. Our contractor was very grateful for the extra time.
Mid May we closed on the old house. We really like the new owners. They are from Romania, and have a little girl who is the same age as one of our boys who is at the same school. We bump into them at school and they give us the packages sent to the wrong address. They told us we could stop by at any time to come see our old house. So sweet.
It was a huge sigh of relief to have the page turn to the next chapter, with everything tied up neatly. Well, at least with the buying/selling part. Renovation is no joke, and a still on going process!