Selling a House

Up until I gradually moved in with my fiancé, I lived in the house I grew up in.  My parents moved there when I was about two and have never moved.  So until this recent move, I had never experienced it before.  So many people kept telling me how awful moving was, so I knew to expect it.  They were right.  It was a week quite an exhausting week of packing, moving then unpacking. But something no one ever warned me about was selling a house.

We put my the house up for sale at the end of October, with an impression it could go quickly.  We began our search for our new place and hoped the house would sell before we found a place.  Upon discovering where we knew where we wanted to live, we put ourselves on the wait list for our current building.

Just after putting the house on the market, we quickly learned how stressful selling a house can be.  For starters, while it’s nice to have notice, you don’t always get it when people show your home.  So the best thing to do is keep it as clean as possible at all times. You think it’s easy until you realize you have to clean your dishes every time you eat, then wipe down the counters.  You can’t leave any dirty laundry around, ever.  You shouldn’t leave your clutter on any tables or countertops. It’s best to keep everything dusted and spotless. Cleaning that you would normally do weekly, you should really do daily just to keep everything pretty spotless. Well that’s the last thing you feel like doing after work when you also have to make dinner, possibly do laundry and anything else.

Sometimes we would have a couple days in advance for notice, while others would call wanting to look at the place that day.  What became a pain for us was having the cat.  Since she attacked the realtor once, we didn’t want to risk her attacking anyone, so we would have to shove her into her little carrier and hang out in the car somewhere for an hour.  Did I mention car rides are her least favorite thing…ever? And you can’t just turn down a showing.  You accept them all.  You need every opportunity to sell the house.

Over time, we had quite a few successful showings and open houses, however no one was serious. Our biggest downfall was the stained carpet thanks to the previous owners. Time and time again we would constantly hear how those were just a deal breaker for people and we just weren’t in a spot to fix them, however were completely willing to work with the price, even though we had lowered it to begin with. I don’t think people wanted to fork up the money or do the work themselves.

Fortunately/unfortunately we got a call in January that it was our turn on the wait list, so while that was incredibly exciting, the house hadn’t sold. We knew if we waited we might lose on an opportunity so we decided to take the plunge. We decided to wait as long as we could to move, which was 30 days.

We hoped it would sell, and there was one lady that was really interested, so we felt maybe it would all work out. However move-in day came and went without an offer.

At this point every time I got a call for a showing, I pretended not to care, and didn’t get my hopes up as much as I used to, but I still did deep down.  Deep down I wondered if that call would be the final one. And I constantly checked my phone and email, either for a showing or possible offer. Constantly checked.

It’s really challenging and frustrating, especially when you’ve moved.  It was such a risk to take, but we knew if we passed it up, the place we wanted wouldn’t have been available.  I know it wouldn’t have been. We were the only ones that saw the place we have now and had anyone else looked at it, they would’ve scooped it up. It weighs on your mind knowing there’s a house miles away and you’re never there and people are going in and out of it.  There were even some people that saw it then left doors unlocked.  You really start to wonder if it will ever sell and the realtor’s contract was set to expire in April.  We weren’t sure what we were going to because at some point we were going to need the money and would have had to rent it out.

A few weeks ago we went out with my parents and they cleaned carpets. What could it have hurt? His mom also was so generous and spent about a week doing a thorough cleaning.  It really made a difference. But no bites.

Just over a week ago we had a late Friday night.  Our usual routine at a Mexican restaurant that’s close by with cheap drink specials on Fridays.  It’s in walking distance, so it’s nice to be able to have drinks at dinner. We had a fun night then came back home and went to bed. Late night. I woke up around 11 a.m. to my phone ringing; it was our realtor. He rarely calls, so I cleared my through and answered.

He greeted me, followed by saying, “This rarely happens….” which sounded odd, only for him to inform me we had an offer. He described it as “clean” which I didn’t quite understand. Turned out it was a cash deal. It was lower than what we wanted, so we met with him the next day to fill out the paperwork.  We countered, and they needed to respond by that Tuesday, so it could have been up until that Wednesday before we knew what they’re answer was. I was incredibly nervous they would just walk. It wasn’t a typical situation, but neither was the type of deal they were making.

Monday came, Monday went.

Tuesday came, Tuesday went.

Then, it was Wednesday. I constantly checked my phone, as I usually did. I was even tempted to email the realtor just asking if he had heard anything.  At this point, I figured they’d just walked or something fell through.

I was preparing for a meeting at 4 p.m., and figured I wasn’t going to hear from him.  Or perhaps he was going to wait until the evening when my fiancé and I would be able to talk together.

About 3:52 p.m., my phone rings. It’s my realtor. I answer and he begins the conversation with the whole, “this rarely happens this way.” I knew they walked. They had to.  It had been to long. Only to find out they accepted our counter. Sold.

What a relief!

While we had that relief, it wasn’t the end. They still had to post the earnest money, then after that, the inspection.

The earnest money has been posted, and the inspection is tomorrow. We aren’t in the clear just yet. I hope soon.

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