THIS has been a roller coaster. Holy. Moly.
So, if you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve recently purchased a new home. And were selling our current house. When we went into this process, we put a lot of thought into how we wanted to handle buying and selling at the same time. This was a first for us. We’d both bought and sold houses before, but never simultaneously.
At the time that we decided to seriously start looking for a new home, the market here in good ole’ DFW was really hot and very, very competitive. We knew that if we listed our house before finding another, the chances of us selling way before finding something that we truly loved was high. We were very picky about what we wanted in a new home and decided that we weren’t settling on ANYTHING. This would hopefully be our last move (ever), and we figured that it might literally take us years to find exactly what we wanted. Thus, if our house sold fast, we could potentially be homeless for an undetermined length of time. So, we opted to house-hunt, then if we found a home that we couldn’t live without, we’d list our house. Even if it meant getting pre-approved for less by doing so. After speaking with our realtor about it, it was a done deal. He agreed that if we could do it that way, we should.
So, we searched for a house. And after about nine months, we found THE ONE. We put in an offer and after dealing with a bit of competition, our bid was accepted. Once we’d gone through the inspection process, and knew we were sticking with our contract, we listed our house. I was all nerves. What if it didn’t sell fast? Did we want to be stuck with two mortgages?! OMGOMGOMG. Saint Joey, as he is now known, put up with me beautifully (albeit with several deep-patience-breaths worked in there).
Fortunately, our realtor had given us sound advice. Within two days of listing, we had 4 showings which yielded 2 offers. We were absolutely over the moon! Picture me screeching and doing elaborate happy-dances while Joey sat calmly nearby, telling me that he’d be more outwardly excited if I wasn’t hogging all the energy. I do that sometimes. It happens.
After discussing our options, we took one of the offers, signed the contract, and thought we were good to go. That is, until they bailed. Ugh. Turns out, the buyer of their house had terminated his contract, and because our contract was contingent on that, they had to terminate ours. UGH.UGH. So, we figured, okay… We’ll take the second offer. Our realtor contacted the realtor of the other couple who’d submitted an offer to see if they were still interested. But they had literally signed a contract on another listing earlier that morning. UGH.UGH.UGH!!!
So, here we were with two offers and no takers. Now, I know I shouldn’t have been complaining at this point. We’ve had several friends who had their homes on the market for months at a time. My hats off to you, friends. Seriously. Keeping a home show-ready is legit. I can’t imagine having to do it for months. But alas, I’m a stresser. I can’t help it. It just is. And the fact that I’m a stresser was compounded by the fact that I wasn’t sleeping. Insomnia makes everything more dramatic. I was truly afraid that we’d missed the boat by choosing the wrong offer the first time around.
That next weekend, we had 9 showings, yielding three more offers. One was a good offer, but was contingent on the sale of their home. The second was a total low-ball offer. And the third, oh, the third. The.sweetest.people.ever. I actually got to meet them because their realtor had trouble getting into the house. I had to return home to let them in. They were an adorable young couple who were accompanied by her mother. They seemed so grateful that I had allowed them to view the house as late as I did (it was nearly 8pm by the time I was able to get home). They put in a great offer the very next morning. And it was not contingent (thankgoodness). They also included a note telling us about themselves and how much they loved the house and hoped we’d choose them. They were engaged to be married and starting out their lives together. This would be their first home if we chose them. They even included a picture of themselves. It was so stinkin’ cute. And we were sold. (Note to buyers: Include a personalized note with your offer. It works.)
We adjusted some of the finer points on the contract and accepted their offer.
The home inspection went well since the house was so new. We had some minor things to fix, but fortunately, it was all stuff we could do ourselves. And then came the appraisal. At this point, we’d just closed on our new home and were itching to pack and move. But, we needed to keep our home show-ready until the appraisal results were in. So, we packed up the closets and anything hidden in the meantime. Being the impatient person I am… This was hard. I just wanted to pack everything. Like, now.
And then we got the results of the appraisal. (Cue the sad foreshadowing music)
The thing about appraisals is, they’re luck of the draw. Most appraisers are good and want deals to happen, but then a few crazies enter the mix. And we got one. Even though other houses in our neighborhood – houses without wood floors, crown molding, granite countertops, backyard landscaping, extended patio, etc. – had been selling at or above our sales price, our appraiser deemed that our home did not make value. And not just by a little bit. By $9000. That’s a HUGE amount considering that our price point wasn’t super high to begin with. Everyone was shocked. Our realtor, their realtor, us, them. Everyone. Everyone felt that our sales price was fair. Everyone but the appraiser. And unfortunately, he had the say-so on the loan amount that the bank would award the buyers. Basically, his stating that our home was valued at $9000 less than the sales price meant that the bank would now give our buyers $9000 less money for their loan.
Thus, if we still wanted our contracted sales price, the buyers would have to make up the difference in cash. Which they didn’t have. So, here we were. Owners of two houses. Finding out that our appraiser had royally screwed us over. #badday
Our realtor spoke with the appraiser, simply to find out the appraiser’s motivation for valuing our house so low. He pointed out why our house was worth the sale price, (ie: the MANY available comps and the fact that our house had all the bells and whistles (where the others didn’t)). But, it didn’t matter. I just couldn’t believe that there was black and white data available to clearly back our sales price, but instead of choosing to use that information, the appraiser chose to screw over perfectly good people instead. Most of us involved in the transaction would lose out based on the appraisal report.
At this point, our realtor informed us that our options were (1) drop the price, (2) end the contract, put the house back on the market, and hope for a better appraiser next time, (3) hope that the buyers could offer us SOMETHING… Meet us in the middle. Just SOMETHING so that we wouldn’t lose money (as we would at the appraised value after closing costs and fees). He talked to their realtor and we waited. It was absolute torture.
In the end, all parties ended up contributing something to make the deal happen. The buyers added money, both of our realtors gave up part of their commissions, and we ended up sacrificing over $4000 in sales price thanks to our shoddy appraiser. All of these factors basically added up to is splitting the difference between our sales and appraised prices. Ugh. Better than the appraised price, obviously, but still… UGH!!! That $4000 would’ve gone a long way towards the improvements needed at the new place. All because of one
turd person. You can probably guess that the non-sleeping-issue continued for me throughout this entire process. It was pretty exhausting.
In any case, everything else went okay and we closed on Wednesday. Thus, I’m happy to say that we are the owners of two homes no mo’. (Hallelujah!) So, now all of our stuff is officially at the new house, though I refuse to say that we’re “moved in” until we’re able to actually enter rooms without doing the moving-box-shuffle and/or complete any given task without a “wait, where did we pack that?”. So, this weekend we will be unpacking fools. And then the real fun begins…. (Mischievously rubs hands together)