Don't. Count. Your. Chickens. 🐔
As in...don't count your chickens before they've hatched. For real estate this means don't say you've sold your house until it has actually recorded. Don't assume it's a done deal when you sign the purchase and sale!!!! I've seen deals fall apart the DAY OF CLOSING! Yes, you read that right. The Buyer goes to the title company to sign their closing docs only to find our the Lender just called and pulled their financing. I've seen deals fall apart because a high maintenance Seller needed one more set of initials and he was tired of driving to town to get the fax and send it back so he flat out refused. Even though EVERYTHING else was completed and the money wired to the title company. Seriously.
So only a handful of people know the exact story behind the sale of our house for this very reason. Not because I'm superstitious or even faithless but because I've seen super weird stuff happen. I was trying VERY hard not to count my chickens.
And Friday we recorded so now I can tell you my impossible story.
Again, I've been doing this for over 10 years so I have a fairly good grasp on my Oroville market. I've watched the market rise and fall, change, stall, and inventory go up and down. Even though we only recently decided to sell our house and move, I've been watching what my house was worth for years as the sales changed the values around me. I'm always curious how long I'd be upside down in the house and what it would take to pay it off if I absolutely had to sell. That information was front and center at the end of June when we decided to take this leap and list.
Let me say that we purchased our home in a relatively good market but it has certainly softened since we bought in 2010. We had a very simple residential home on the south side of town. Not too long ago there were real estate signs in practically every yard around us...all of them comparable to ours: 3 beds, 1 bath, in town...ours had a couple of advantages: corner lot and giant garage. Many homes were sandwiched between others with no covered parking. But other than that, I knew what to expect from our home. IF WE WERE VERY LUCKY we would break even. I was sure of it. Could back it up with comps. I did an official CMA (comparative market analysis) like the ones we do for other listings on my own home and the results were less than favorable. I actually sent an email to our title company asking for closing costs on my worst case scenario so I would know how much cash I'd have to bring to the table to close and not actually have to short sell.
I told Ken all of this and we decided that the bottom line was a move to Boise was the best thing for our family even if it wasn't the best time to sell our home. I'd never been under any illusions that we'd ever really make any money on the sale of our home no matter how long we lived in it because the market changes so often. Oroville is simply not a place where you can easily flip homes for profit just by living in it a few years.
So we listed. I knew a home like mine would likely attract first time home buyers with no down payment so I assumed I would need to cover someone's closing costs. I factored that into my list price along with closing costs and commission and added a tiny bit of room so I could negotiate.
The pros of my listing: large corner lot in town, giant garage, new flooring, updated windows, well cared for and staged pretty well ifidosaysomyself. Most importantly: almost no competition of inventory. Suddenly there were very few options in town to buy in our price range.
Cons of my listing: only 1 bath, no central heat or air, appraisal values feeling a bit like a crapshoot.
I DO have to say, Rocky did a fabulous job on our photos. Oroville isn't exactly the kind of place where you also spend $1,000 on a fancy photographer to manipulate the way your home looks in real life. Rocky has several beautiful cameras and an eye for real estate photography and that does just fine thankyouverymuch.
Monday by 5pm: listing hits the MLS (multiple listing service)
Tuesday: 2 showings and an offer (yes you read that right...an offer the next day)
Wednesday day: another showing. (This amount of interest is a bit unusual)
Wednesday evening: another offer. (Say WHAT?) Both offers were the same price but different details.
So we asked for highest and best which means, "you guys are at the same number and you might not know you're competing with another offer so double check your numbers and come back with your very best offer cuz I might not counteroffer..." also...this is sometimes called a bidding war. NEVER thought I'd have a bidding war on my hands.
Both offers came back strong. But one of them was ultimately OVER ASKING PRICE with an escalation clause!!!!!!! An escalation clause means they want the house so bad they are willing to beat anyone else's offer by a certain amount up to a maximum number. (BTW, in 10 years I've only ever seen 1 escalation clause. This summer, my home was one of 4 escalation clauses that came through the office. so. weird.)
Oh yeah. And it was cash. 💵 NO APPRAISAL.
The only hitch was that this Buyer had to sell a home in order to have the cash to buy mine. However, they were coming from a much larger Washington city so after a phone call to a RE/MAX office in that area to chat about their market I felt confident that I wouldn't be waiting forever for the sale of their home.
And I was right.
Friday: accepted their offer and opened escrow
They listed their home 2 days later, accepted and offer on their home within 2 days of listing and passed the home inspection on it the following day.
Then we had our home inspection and THEY ASKED FOR NOTHING. That almost NEVER happens. It just doesn't happen. No matter how short or long the list everyone asks for SOMETHING. They didn't.
Finally: we closed on time. So very rare. Nearly every deal needs an extra day here or there for all kinds of reasons. or 2 weeks. or a month. We didn't. Neither did the sale of their home. Closed exactly when it was supposed to so we could close when we were supposed to.
No home inspection call-outs.
Closed on time.
God made the way for us to move. Sure, our sale could have had none of these things and it would have just been the usual run around that often happens when you sell a house and we still would have trusted that God wanted us to move...but the path was so clear it just amazes me. And Ken has heard enough of my stories over the years that as our sale unfolded he was every bit as shocked as me for how smoothly it happened.
For sure the easiest residential sale I've ever seen 10 years.
Bonus: we really felt like our kitty Phoebe wouldn't make a move to Boise very well so I went looking for a new home for her. After a few leads didn't pan out I posted a picture of her on local Facebook groups. Somehow our Buyers saw the posting and knew it was me (I'm not sure how...I don't use my last name of FB) and she contacted her Agent. They said Pheebs could stay with the home and they would adopt her. 🐾🐈
SERIOUSLY???? What kind of a God thing is it that our own territorial cat who loves that home as much as we did would actually get to stay with the home as new owners took over?
God is so good.
So it's goodbye Blue house (as Liv called it) and hello 5th Wheel in my sisters backyard
Idaho is home but Washington has been good to us. I loved that blue house. I'll miss putting in the garden each year, decorating for Christmas, Liv's nursery. The fabulous neighbors we came to know and love. I made that house my home. It will be missed. But it's time for a new adventure and a new home. 💙