When it comes to selling your house...
...and buying another, sometimes it happens in a flash.
I didn't want to jinx the deal by posting about it, but since it is all over and done with now I can tell the story of a two-hour home sale and purchase transaction.
DD#2 and her husband bought an 1,800sf, 3br, 2 bath 1950's era house nine years ago. It is in a decent neighborhood and near a very good public elementary school. They've continually improved the place over the years (new windows, floors, roof, granite counters, remodeled one of the bathrooms, new AC system, etc.) but had the almost inevitable "married, mid-30's, two kids" hankering for more room.
They live in TX in a town (pop. 100K) that escaped the housing bust. While housing isn't really in short supply, those on the market tend to be at two ends of the spectrum - junk or high dollar mcmansions - but very little in between. Friends knew they were interested in a bigger place and called them to say other friends were going to put their 3,000 sf house up for sale and build a new home. It is only a few blocks from where they currently live and in the same elementary school district, so DD gave the prospective seller a call. She and SIL were invited over for a tour of the house and loved it. It is also a 1950's era house, but was custom built on a one acre lot.
Of course they couldn't buy it unless they could sell theirs, so....another friend told DD she knew a lady who was looking for a house/investment for her 21 year old son and has been frustrated by the lack of anything other than junk on the market in her price range. The friend gave DD the lady's number and DD gave her a call. The lady and her son came over later that same day to look at it. An hour after they arrived they made an offer and reached a verbal agreement on a price. An hour after that, DD/SIL worked out a verbal agreement with the sellers to purchase the other house.
The total time elapsed from looking at the house they wanted and verbal agreements to sell their home and buy the other place was less than 24 hours.
DD and SIL called three times during these negotiations to bounce things off me. Having bought only one house before and never having sold one, they needed some advice and a little hand-holding. Thankfully they have another good friend who is an attorney and he worked with them on the contracts to both sell and to buy.
The "flash purchases" took place on January 21. Closing on the sale of their house was on Feb 18 and closing on the purchase was on Feb 22.
Twice we have listed our house with a Realtor and sold it to the first people who looked at it*, but we've never negotiated a sale and purchase within a two hour time span...
* To help balance things out, we also had a house on the market for almost 6 months before it finally sold.
Numbers is hard.
Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension