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Sold our house in 34 days…
Old 09-09-2009, 12:06 PM   #1
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Sold our house in 34 days…

Unbelievable, and a little weird… (Long post, no rant .)

We put our current house on the market the first of August, in anticipation of moving into the “investment mcmansion” in October or November. Priced it just over the top end of what the comps would support- $359K (~5% higher than highest 2009 sales price for the same floor plan in the neighborhood.) To really make it shine, we spent that 5% getting it ready for sale- new paint in/out, granite, stainless appliances, etc…) We priced it high, wanted to test the market, and weren’t really in a hurry to sell it- and could always lower the price later.

The day we put it on the market, the same house 4 doors down went into foreclosure, was snapped up by an investor for $240K. He spruced it up (countertops, carpet and interior paint-probably spent about $10K) and put it back on the market for $309K… which killed our comps. We got a lot of lookers, lots of positive feedback, but everyone felt the price was too high. The other house is in escrow, we heard it went for $300K

Then out of nowhere, we received an offer on Friday for 329K, all cash, no mortgage, from an out-of-town buyer. They apparently had toured it twice (their Realtor hadn’t left a card), , said it appeared to have been meticulously maintained and updated and absolutely loved the way it was furnished… which is where this gets interesting… they wanted everything -appliances, furniture, rugs, pictures, accessories, knick-knacks…even the bedding. They thought DW must be an interior designer, and wanted the entire package. They also requested a quick closing- in two weeks or less.

We countered, accepting their cash price ( anyone getting a mortgage wouldn’t be able to get an appraisal much over 300K anyway) and told them we might throw in a few furnishings but that we were not going to sell it completely furnished at that price ( I naively suggested we let them have it all, so I wouldn’t have to move any of it, but got “the look” from DW…) .

We negotiated for a couple of days and ended up throwing in the living room furniture , dining room set, a 6-year old TV, 10-year old W/D, a 12-year old garage refrigerator and a list of ~25 specific décor items (i.e. “ the blue vase on the entertainment center, the rug in the entry hall”) We had to photograph every wall in the house before we started moving anything out so they could re-create the exact look after we were gone… Final points were- they wanted our bedding… because it matched the wall colors so well - and wanted to know where we purchased our bedroom furniture so they could buy the exact same set- and put it right back into the indentations in the carpet…

At that point it crossed the line from somewhat amusing to kinda creepy- who wants to sleep on someone else’s used bedding- especially after we celebrated the sale? To me, it would always feel like you were a guest in someone else’s home if you had to look at all their stuff everyday.…

One neighbor joked that if the new owner shaved his head and grew a white goatee it would really be just like we had never left…

Closing is scheduled for two weeks from today. Their have sold their home in the Midwest- it is in escrow- the sale closing next week is the only contingency.

We are out shopping for new furniture, helping to spend our way out of this recession...
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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A big congratulations!!! Just goes to show it takes only one buyer. For you, that buyer is looking to be moved in before the trees in the Midwest start dropping their leaves!

Very smart to spend the $$ to spruce things up rather than give the buyer a credit to do so.

So are you homeless for the next couple of months?
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Congratulations - excellent job in this market. I hope we are so lucky when we downsize.

One lesson learned is that it's worth every penny to fix up a place even though you plan to move out shortly. It pinches to do all that and then walk away from it, but the psychologic impact on the right prospective buyer probably leads to a net gain in the end -- if not in money, then in speed of sale (which translates into money anyway).
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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Wow. Great job. Congratulations.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Congratulations !
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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Westernskies, congrats on your quick sale. Reminds me of our own house sale in 2006. Sold in July and closed 30 days later. Lady was living in town renting until she could find just the right house. Her hubby was in New Orleans contracting and making a bundle out of the Katrina disaster. We had the house on the market three days when she knocked on the door and wanted to see it right then. She fell in love with it. Called her husband on the cell and described every room, how it was laid out, what was in every room, the pool and waterfall in more detail than I could ever have done. She demanded he get on a plane and fly over "before someone else buys it". Gave us a check for $2500 to hold it one day for her and we put that in writing. He flew in the next day, bought it and signed the sales contract right then. Full asking price. We closed 30 days later, closed on our new house the next day. All our stuff was in the moving van for two days. Fastest I ever sold, bought and closed on two houses. You all know what happened three months later. The bottom fell out of the real estate market. For every one like this there are four or five that are pains in the a**.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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WesternSkies, congratulations!

I did sort of the same thing when I bought my present home in 2002. The prior owner was a widow my age who had died in a car accident. I had little to no furniture due to divorce and LBYM efforts. The widow apparently had had *exactly* the same tastes as me, probably due to being a single woman of my age and generation. I loved the furniture. So, after the house was in contract I had my realtor ask theirs if the sellers (the dead widow's two daughters) would sell me the furniture as a separate transaction.

They were glad to get rid of it, with the exception of a few pieces that they kept for nostalgic reasons. I paid $1250 for a house full of lovely furniture, as well as appliances that were not included in the original contract for the house. What a deal!!

I didn't feel like I was taking on the widow's persona or living her life. I just felt like she and I had the same taste in decorating.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:33 PM   #8
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WesternSkies, congratulations!

I did sort of the same thing when I bought my present home in 2002. The prior owner was a widow my age who had died in a car accident. I had little to no furniture due to divorce and LBYM efforts. The widow apparently had had *exactly* the same tastes as me, probably due to being a single woman of my age and generation. I loved the furniture. So, after the house was in contract I had my realtor ask theirs if the sellers (the dead widow's two daughters) would sell me the furniture as a separate transaction.

They were glad to get rid of it, with the exception of a few pieces that they kept for nostalgic reasons. I paid $1250 for a house full of lovely furniture, as well as appliances that were not included in the original contract for the house. What a deal!!

I didn't feel like I was taking on the widow's persona or living her life. I just felt like she and I had the same taste in decorating.
...but the difference is that we aren't dead yet...
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #9
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Congratulations, as long as they don't take over your identity as part of some terrorist plot or something. Nice buy especially in this market.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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...but the difference is that we aren't dead yet...
That is true!! But otherwise, the story is much the same.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:24 PM   #11
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Wonderful!
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:30 PM   #12
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Congrats!

I agree -wanting the same bedding is a bit out there.

Regarding the furniture, they could be decorating challenged OR don't want to go thru the hassle of moving all their dated/older stuff. It's tough to get things rebalanced in a new setting.
When we do the relocation deal in 10 years, I don't plan to take much with me. I have a lot of all wood antique furniture (of no great value) that would be difficult to move without damage. I plan to sell it directly to friends or have it all appraised and sold for me.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:37 PM   #13
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Congrats!

I agree -wanting the same bedding is a bit out there.
Now that you mention it, even I didn't try to get bargain bedding that way. I never even asked for it, and she had some really fabulous bedding, too. OK, that part is a little creepy.

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Regarding the furniture, they could be decorating challenged OR don't want to go thru the hassle of moving all their dated/older stuff. It's tough to get things rebalanced in a new setting.
In my case, I was working long hours and had a lot of other commitments and I just didn't have a whole lot of time to go furniture shopping. It was wonderful to just move my clothing and what few other things I had into the house, and to be able to relax and enjoy what I thought was a beautiful home at the end of a long day right from the start. Also, I admit that I loved getting such a bargain, too. I could see that the furniture fit the rooms nicely, before buying. No problems with getting furniture that is too bulky for the room, or too dark for the room, and so on.

Quote:
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When we do the relocation deal in 10 years, I don't plan to take much with me. I have a lot of all wood antique furniture (of no great value) that would be difficult to move without damage. I plan to sell it directly to friends or have it all appraised and sold for me.
I am just going to take a few antique tables, a chair, and one bed when I move. This time, I will have all the time in the world to shop and decorate my new home in Missouri, and I am going to have a blast doing it!
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #14
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Hurray! I am very happy for you and your wife. She must have done one bang-up decorating job! This is quite a feat in this slow real estate market. Although looking at the other zip code thread currently running it seems that homes in some desirable areas are actually appreciating. I sold my previous home very quickly after my husband passed away 6 years ago. I didn't even have it on the market. I got a phone call out of the blue from a colleague of his who apologized to me profusely for contacting me so soon with a business proposition, but she came flat out and asked me to keep her in mind if I wanted to sell my house. I had been toying with the idea and invited her over. She raced over that evening and made an offer on the spot for the house "as is". She revealed she was going through a divorce and wanted a new place for herself and the kids. My lawyer did the closing gratis. I had to hurry up and get rid of lots of stuff and race around trying to find a new abode. I bought a spec house under construction but came close to living in a hotel with my stuff in storage.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:05 PM   #15
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I'm super impressed and so happy for you and DW!!!!!! I might have to get some tips from you when we get ready to sell our second home.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:25 PM   #16
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Congratulations. Shows that if you get the price and decor right that property will still sell.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:38 PM   #17
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On the furnishings, we bid on our house and wanted the shower curtain in one of the bathrooms. It almost exactly matched the wallpaper in the bathroom, so we thought, "What the hey! The owners can only blow us off." The owners blew us off.

Then just by happenstance about 6 months later we found the exact same shower curtain along with matching ceramic soap dispenser and cup at Macy's while on vacation. So we bought the set.

When we sell the house, we would gladly sell the shower curtain to the buyer.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:09 PM   #18
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One lesson learned is that it's worth every penny to fix up a place even though you plan to move out shortly. It pinches to do all that and then walk away from it, but the psychologic impact on the right prospective buyer probably leads to a net gain in the end -- if not in money, then in speed of sale (which translates into money anyway).
I'm know this is why our house sold so quickly in our small midwest town where the normal listing time is a year. It was a ton of work (we did all the painting) and cost a bit (decorating by a professional as we had no clue but learned alot) but we got the result we wanted which was a closing before the snow flew.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:11 AM   #19
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Congrats on selling the house so quickly. Your wife must be an exquisite decorator. I am sure that I could learn a lot from her. I was not blessed with the decorating gene and don't like to shop.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #20
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Quick update and Thanks to all those who posted congrats!

Looks like we are closing on Monday. Buyers house sale closed on time and they waived all inspections on ours.

The buyer has been pushing so hard it's starting to piss DW off asking for early possession, moving up the closing date, etc. We committed to a date and we ain't changin'... I have always believed early possession is like handing the buyers your checkbook the quickest way to queer a deal They are circling the block in their Uhaul very anxious to move in, but what they need to stop and realize is that we have to move, too... The new house still needs a ton of work finishing touches before we can start moving our stuff in- which we will do this weekend.
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