Holy cow, did we just sell our house?
(I’ll pause while Sherry flails around since that sentence is a trigger).
Now that we’re through the inspection & the appraisal (and the closing date is officially on the calendar), we’re finally at the point that we feel safe enough to shout it to the interwebs (we waited until this point to share the “we sold our house” news last time too). Of course nothing’s guaranteed until we’re all signing on the dotted line in early June, but so far, so good…
First, some background: Sherry was set on selling our house FSBO (For Sale By Owner) again. She argued that we stood to save nearly ten grand – or even more – by not owing a Realtor the 6% commission. Even if we sold to a buyer with an agent (like we did last time) we’d only be out 3% instead of 6%… so the numbers were pretty compelling. But I still wasn’t so sure. I remembered the stress that we felt last time and was also curious to experience selling with an agent. We came to a compromise. We decided we’d try straight up FSBO for a week. If that didn’t work, we’d list it on MLS for a few hundred bucks ourselves (which is what got us a buyer last time) and if there still weren’t offers a few weeks later, we’d think about engaging a Realtor.
Now for the timeline details:
Friday, April 26: The Realtor who helped us buy our new house (Anne) checks in to see if our current house is on the market yet (she knew we were hoping to sell it sometime this spring). Turns out she has some buyers looking for a ranch and she thinks ours would be perfect. We tell her that we’ll be sharing the news/putting it on the market in four days. She says she’ll call us back if they want to see it then. This is a reenactment. And it makes Sherry cry laugh.
Saturday & Sunday, April 27 & 28: We spend the weekend furiously getting last minute projects done, on the off chance that we get any quick interest (we’ll write up a whole post about what we did to “stage” our house for a showing soon).
Now here’s where the days become a bit more action-packed…
Monday, April 29
- 2 pm: Anne the Realtor calls. Her buyers are very excited about seeing our house. She wants to bring them by the next day at 2pm. Yikes!
- 2:30 pm: Come down from the high of our first scheduled showing to realize we haven’t made a flyer or decided on a sale price. Uhh…. better get on that.
- 3 pm: Begin frantically cleaning the house. Since when did Clara have so many toys? And where would we be without storage ottomans?
- 9:30 pm: After some scrambling and looking at comparable homes for sale, we pick a list price and throw together a flyer.
- 12:30 am: Computer freezes while attempting to print flyer. File is lost. Too tired to recreate.
Tuesday, April 30
- 7 am: Up early-ish to recreate flyer and proofread our post with the new house news.
- 9 am: Flyer is printed. House still doesn’t look clean enough. More cleaning commences.
- 10 am: Post is up and comments are rolling in faster than we can keep up with them, but the caulk around the tub is too grimy. Where’s the caulk gun?
- 1:30 pm: House is looking presentable, but we’re a sweaty mess. Good thing Anne the Realtor will be doing the showing.
- 1:45 pm: Anne arrives early (as planned) for us to show her some of the improvements since she last visited.
- 1:55 pm: Buyers are early (not as planned) so we high-tail it out of there so they can look around without us hovering.
- 2 pm: Since we have Burger with us as well as Clara, we kill time at a nearby dog-friendly walking mall. We have some fun browsing places like Banana Republic (where Clara and Burger try out the three way mirror) and Build-A-Bear (without actually building a bear, which is a parental coup if we’ve ever had one).
- 3 pm: It’s a full hour later – and Clara’s naptime – but we haven’t received a call from Anne that we’re clear to come home. We try giving her a ring but our call goes to voicemail.
- 3:15 pm: Clara’s late for her nap and she’s getting tired of being at the mall. We assume Anne forgot to call us and drive home.
- 3:30 pm: We turn onto our street to see Anne and the buyers just getting into their cars. Wow. An hour and a half at a first showing seems pretty good. Maybe they liked it!
- 3:31 pm: Anne calls to say they really liked it and they were going to sleep on it, crunch some numbers, and get back to us.
- 4 pm: We’re excited and relieved, but have tons of comments to catch up on. Plus, we’ve had a few other house-interest emails from locals. We’re a pretty even mix of grateful, tired, and nervous.
- 8pm: We’ve sent out a few other flyers via email and have scheduled another showing for 11am the next morning. How did this house get so messy already? Oh yeah, our three year old…
- Midnight: House is reasonably clean again. We crash for the day.
Wednesday, May 1
- 5 am: Sherry can’t sleep thinking about all of the new house projects and potential buyer excitement. She begins drafting a Q&A post for you guys.
- 5:30am: I get up to go to the gym before the girls wake up. Clearly I missed Sherry rolling out of bed already.
- 7:30am: I’m back. Clara’s up. Time to get her fed and ready to go on an adventure with Grammy.
- 10am: Post is up. Clara’s with Grammy. Counters need wiping down post-breakfast. House is ready for its second showing.
- 11am: Potential buyers show up with their agent. Sherry, Burger, and I go for a walk (pretend this is a picture of Sherry, me, and Burger instead of a shot with Clara and no Sherry).
- 11:30am: Get a call from someone that we sent a flyer to last night while we’re out on our walk. They want to come see the house that afternoon. Woo hoo!
- Noon: Second showing is done. Agent says they liked it a lot, and have to talk to their lender with some questions. I let the agent know there’s another interested buyer but that no offers have come in yet.
- 2:30pm: Clara is back from Grammy’s and the third potential buyers show up. They don’t have an agent, so I show them around the house while the girls go walking with Burger. Sherry’s getting lots of exercise today!
- 3pm: Third showing is done. They seem to like it, but don’t appear as interested as the other two families.
- 3:30pm: Anne the Realtor calls. She’s sending us an offer from the first couple who walked through our house yesterday. It’s strong, but $5k below our asking price. “Thanks so much! We’ll get back to you soon!” is our response (while we sweat profusely).
- 4pm: We think things through and discuss everything a few dozen times. I call the buyer’s agent from the morning showing just to let him know that we have an offer on the table. He asks me to hold tight, they’ll have one for us within a few hours. Whaaa?!!!
- 7pm: Second offer comes in. It’s not as strong as the first. Bummer, but at least it helps make the decision clear. We call Anne back, tell her we have another offer, and ask if we can meet in the middle on the price ($3k above their offer, which is just $2k below our asking price).
- 7:15pm: Anne calls to say that the buyers have agreed to the new price and she’ll be bringing over papers for us to sign in an hour!
- 8:30pm: We sign about twenty papers with our minds spinning. Our house is officially under contract! And it’s less than 36 hours after our first showing. In our heads we’re doing a celebratory Elaine-from-Seinfeld dance, but in reality we’re too tired to move.
Now we just have a bunch of little things to check off of our list (a few inspection items, ordering a final termite inspection, and of course packing things up and getting moved into the new house). Should be a busy month!
I can’t tell you how grateful and relieved we are at how quickly and smoothly this second FSBO process has been so far (just like last time we’ll pay 3% to the buyer’s agent, but we saved nearly 10K by marketing the house ourselves and acting as our own seller’s agent). We hear the market is really coming back and it’s a great time to sell, so for anyone wondering, many other homes in our area seem to be getting contracts within a week or even a few days of listing them assuming they’re priced right and show nicely. So hopefully that’s good news for everyone!
We assumed we might end up selling our house to a reader who came to us through the blog, but hilariously enough, just like when we sold our first house, our buyer isn’t a blog reader and didn’t find out about our house because of our site at all. It was just coincidence (serendipity?) that we kept our Realtor in the loop and she happened to have a buyer looking for an updated one-level ranch like ours. So it might also be nice to hear that you definitely don’t need a blog to sell your house, although I’m sure the updates that we did certainly helped us sell it.
So far this experience feels like a stark contrast to our first time selling a home back in 2010. That took us 14 showings over more than 3 weeks, and a variety of promotional attempts (craigslist, forsalebyowner.com, MLS, a sign out front, etc). It was stressful, but even then we were grateful that it didn’t drag on for months. So we certainly are counting our lucky stars for the speed at which things happened with this house! As of right now we’re planning to move to our new house in around three weeks. Holy cow, we better start packing!
Wooo! Hope all goes well!
Congrats you guys! That is big news! Anyone old be lucky to buy a house you’ve fixed up.
Wendy @ New Moms Talk says
Congratulations on selling your house!
While this isn’t as big of news, I did successfully complete a Memorial Day/Fourth of July outfit for our daughter this past week.
Those stars have never looked so bright as when they were all done. Yep, it’s the small details!
So cute Wendy!
hey, I’m curious as to what you leaving with the house. like with your last house you left the light fixtures, drapes, master bedroom bedframe, etc. Are all the personal touches staying so you can start from scratch at the new place? details! give! and congrats for selling so quick!
Thanks Roybns! We’re leaving all of the light fixtures and almost all of the window treatments/curtains. We’re also leaving everything built in (the laundry built-ins, the dining room built-ins, and the double desk in the office :)
When you say ALL the light fixtures, does that also mean you’re leaving behind the capiz light fixture in Clara’s nursery this time? Even if you don’t put it up in her new room, I’d think it’s too much of a memory keepsake to leave behind. Plus, it’s so pretty!
Yup, we’re leaving it behind but they know that if at any point they want to replace any fixtures (if they’re not their style) they can call us and we’ll come grab them! We just didn’t want to strip lights out of this house since we love finding/making new ones (it’s one of our favorite projects) so we didn’t want to just bring them all with us and leave the current house bare :)
Heidi P. says
Ack! Crazy crazy crazy – everything’s happening so fast!
I don’t know why, but I’m so sad that you’re leaving the light fixtures! Hahaha. Especially the fish basket one! Maybe b/c they’re my favorite update too? Oh well :)
And the Elaine from Seinfeld dance in your head – hahahaha thank you for that!!
Im sad about the fish basket one too but it’s just perfect for that spot by the fireplace and reflects so pretty in the mirror :)
Aww, I’m sad that you’re leaving your desk. It was $6 (for the cabinets)! Haha. I still remember thinking that was a crazy amazing deal. Can’t wait to see what you guys do in the next house!
And congrats on selling so fast!
Haha! They were the best deal ever. Oh the memories…
Yay for selling so fast!…As far as light fixtures and curtains, I’m actually surprised they didn’t offer to buy some of your furniture, too!
They actually did ask about our couch… but we’re leaning towards bringing Karl with us and removing part of him to fit in the new living room. He’s just so comfy and great for our family (so dog and kid friendly!).
Please tell me you are taking your kitchen and laundry appliances that you got such an amazing deal on! I wouldn’t want to gamble on getting such a good bargain the next time.
In our area it’s super standard for all appliances in the kitchen and laundry room to convey (I actually think it would be hard to sell a turn-key house without those since it wouldn’t be turn-key, haha!) so the washer and dryer stay. We tend to have fun stalking deals and finding new ones though, so here’s hoping we find another deal- and maybe get to try something else out (variety is always fun…)
I love how all of us are attached to your light fixtures! And I also NEVER thought of taking them with me if I moved until you and Katie B moved some from house to house. and since the new house has all those awesome mauve swags….why not leave your curtains at the current house?!
Haha! It does have some pretty sweet floral swags going on!
Anne @ Planting Sequoias says
Congratulations! I love hearing all the details about the process. Thanks for sharing. :)
Can you elaborate on what made the first offer stronger than the second? Was it just price or were there other factors?
Price and the amount they were putting down (typically the more they put down in cash at closing, the less you worry about the loan falling through, etc).
Annabel Vita says
Holy Toledo! (Sorry, had to, it’s my hometown). I wish we were having such luck. Ours has been on the market for three weeks with no bites. :( My own 3yo and I are separated from the husband/daddy, so we are anxious!
Good luck packing! I’m so jealous!
All the best of luck Amy! We learned with our first house that sometimes dropping the price (I have no idea what yours is, but if it’s even a little “hopeful” bringing it down can make a huge difference in the amount of showings/interest you get). Hope it helps!
Roo // NEON FRESH says
YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!
[Insert Arsenio Hall WOO WOO WOO GIF here]
Congrats! That is wonderful. Selling is so stressful and I’m glad it wasn’t prolonged.
Gabriella @ Our LIfe in Action says
OH SNAP!!! That’s awesome but I must admit my face mimicked John’s mouth agape expression. LOL. Seriously, why are we so shocked…look at all the work you’ve done. It’s beautiful. :-)
Kristen | Popcorn on the Stove says
Janelle @ Two Cups of Happy says
I feel like all of my comments have started out like this lately, but Congratulations!! Good luck with the move and everything.
I knew it would go fast! Goes to show how much your hard work pays off. I am surprised that it wasn’t a reader that snatched it up though! Whoever it is clearly has fantastic taste!
Patty @ Home and Lifestyle Design says
Congrats!! Your home is beautiful, the people buying it are very lucky.
Congrats! Great post, I’m exhausted just from reading it. My favorite part, BY FAR, was the reenactment photo. I cry-laughed, too.
Haha, is that not THE FUNNIEST thing you’ve ever seen. For like ten minutes last night I just laughed and wiped tears from my eyes. John was like “you’re still laughing at that picture?!”
Ha, ha! I could see John’s photo before I read all the text and I kept thinking it should say “Dramatic re-enactment” like on true crime shows. And then it did. YHL never disappoints!
bridget b. says
wow! good luck with everything.
Holy cow! That’s amazing! Congrats to you guys!!
[email protected] the Manor says
Yay! Fingers crossed tightly for you guys!
Holy Moly!! So fast~ Congratulations you guys. I am sad I won’t get to buy it and move to Richmond…You will just have to visit Portland again and make the next house sellable for me to buy! Haha just kidding. I am so happy for you.
Aw, we love Portland! We hope we get back there again (if we did within a year it would be an annual tradition for three years running!).
I totally feel you about the stress to get everything packed up. I just moved into a house with the boyfriend, and had less than 72 hours to get everything moved from my apartment to the new house. I’ll be thinking about you!
Good luck with everything Alex!
So glad it went so smoothly! A friend of mine just sold their house crazy fast, too. They had three offers in the first 24 hours of it being on the market. With interest rates being so low, it’s also a great time to buy.
That’s amazing! We hear the same thing! Suddenly the market is hot again!
Congrats! A condensed amount of stress is much better than having it drawn out. Best wishes w/ the new place!
Yes! I feel like we were so tired and nervous and freaked out and sweaty but it was a sprint instead of a marathon! Haha!
That’s crazy! Who *doesn’t* read your blog?? :)
Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms says
Congratulations! That is just so exciting…but a little sad. I am SO excited to see the new house projects begin but I think we all fell in love with your house through the blog. Thanks for sharing all the details (as always)!
I feel the same way Megan! Part of me was like “nooo! I don’t want to let my baby go!” and the other part of me was like “ahhh, we get to move into the new house! Wahoo!”
John @ Our Home from Scratch says
Congratulations! I’m a bit jealous since we’ve had our place on the market for two weeks with no REAL prospects. I hope the next month goes by smoothly and quickly so you can start enjoying your new home!
Thanks Kerry! Best of luck with your new place!
Big congrats! Wow…what luck to sell in less than three days. The market is starting to come back, that’s for sure. I keep up with houses in our neighborhood (where we are renting and hope to buy eventually) and it seems that most are selling in two weeks or less if they are, as you say, staged nicely. I was surprised that one of my favorites sold so quickly recently given that the kitchen was still 1990s blah. But the rest of the house was really fab and it had the elusive second bathroom in a neighborhood with a lot of turn-of-the-century and 1920s bungalows where one bathroom is the norm. Anyhoo…congrats again and I look forward to seeing what magic you guys perform on the new place! Just remember to breathe!
Aw thanks Caroline!
congratulations! so happy for you guys!
cant wait to follow the journey !
Sarah from a fine line says
Wow! That’s such an exciting story! I’m a freelancer (and have been for less than 2 years), so my husband and I am in the same dilemma when it comes to house shopping. I love hearing about all of your home buying and selling success, after all who wouldn’t want to live in your gorgeous home?! Congrats and best wishes with the new house, I can’t wait to see what you do with it!
Congrats!! It took us over a year to sell our Condo in February. But around the time we sold our condo, the market was coming back up and our realtor was busy busy busy and closing on houses left and right.
Wow! Congrats on getting it sold! So glad it’s coming back in your area too!
Sesselja Thorberg says
Wow! hope everything goes well. And at the same time.. time for a new project for you!
What a whirlwind! Congratulations on selling- I kind of silently squealed at my computer (yes… I’m at work…) when I read this post. I’m so happy for you guys, and really can’t WAIT for the adventures to begin at the new house!!
Thanks so much for letting us in on your PROCESS! : the thought process, some of the roller coaster ride of emotions and the whirlwind of events! Buying or selling a house is one of the biggest deals many of us participate in, and it’s usually something with which we’re not too familiar. Gives me the courage and inspiration to move toward letting go of our sweet little ranch and dreaming a little bigger.
Of course Paula! Best of luck with everything!
Sarah @ Play 2 Learn with Sarah says
Congrats! That’s amazing! My neighbors just did the FSBO thing and sold to the first person too! Things are looking up! Can’t wait to see all the fun you have in the new house!
So happy for you guys! The new owners will be lucky to have a house that was so well taken care of. :)
Vicki A says
“The Realtor who helped us buy our new house (Anne)” – I thought for a moment you’d named the new house Anne – haha.
Congratulations guys, so glad it was such a smooth process :)
Haha! That would be awesome.
Wonderful! Congrats, you guys! Things do seem to be bouncing back in the central Ohio housing market too… hope this means good things for the rest of the house-hunters out there.
So excited for you! And very, very eager to follow along! I know we all say it pretty frequently, but thanks so much for sharing such an intimate part of your lives with us. High fives for all of you from some of your Columbus fans!
Also? While it’s hard to imagine that there are people out there who HAVEN’T read the blog… I find it oddly satisfying and comforting that such a well-loved house is going to buyers who weren’t star-struck readers… that they just fell in love with it like you did! Sounds like it will be in good hands!
Aw thanks Rachel! We feel the same way. This way it’s clear they LOVE the house itself and it has nothing to do with us at all :)
Kelly @ View Along the Way says
Wow, that is craziness! Maybe I’m just a softie, but I always get a little emotional at stories of everything just working out so beautifully. Congratulations, you guys!
Aw thanks Kelly! I’m the same way!
Tanya Maia says
You guys are so unbelievably blessed and highly favored! I’ve never met you, but I’m happy to hear good things happening to good people!
Best of luck!
Aw, thanks so much Tanya!
Michelle (aka mybelle101) says
Omigoodness….my heart is pounding just reading that! SOOOOO excited for you guys!! The houses in our area (Central Coast, CA) are flying off the market, too. Our in-laws had 4 offers BEFORE their rental home was even “officially” on the market. Ca-ray-zay!!
Wow! It’s so nuts to hear how fast things have picked up!
robin @ our semi organic life says
Wow congrats! What a whirlwin week!
Congratulations! What an awesome whirlwind!
My husband and I put our house on the market a year and a half ago–left it on for 6 months with lots of showings, no offers, and several comments that ours was their “second choice” (which, in the game of selling a house is equal to last place). We then took it off the market as I was 7 mos pregnant at that time and had NO desire to be packing and moving with a 2 year old and being 9 mos prego or dealing with a newborn!.
Once things were a little settled after the baby arrived, we put it back on the market, and had an offer in less than a week! Unlike you, we didn’t have a place to move to, so me, hubby, 2 year old, newborn, and 50 lb puppy moved in with my parents–YIKES! Let me just say, fun for all :)
Now we have moved into our new place–totally in love with it!–and I just have to figure out when I’m going to unpack!
Wishing you guys all the best, and am loving enjoying the journey with you.
Wow! That sounds like a whirlwind Heather! All the best with your new place!
Congratulations!!! I’m happy for you but I’m sad too, it’s going too fast for me!!! :)
Oh no!! It’s for real … we’re definitely moving! The mixed feelings are horrible. I’m really creeping myself out here! I so love that ranch. Sigh! Good luck with the packing. :-(
Haha! We’re really doing it Sandy! I feel the same way sometimes. Bittersweet for sure.
Lisa E says
Holy moly! That was fast! Not surprised because of all of your hard work, but in this area, things aren’t moving so quickly still so surprised because of that. So happy for you. Thankfully you are full of energy because now is the hard part! All the best and congratulations!!!!
hillary c says
So exciting! When we started looking for our house the market was moving pretty slow, fell in love with the house at the first showing, offer accepted within 2 hours of placing it the next day, and we should be closing on our first house (a flipped 1960s brick ranch) in 2 weeks. We will also be moving in 3 weeks!!! SO EXCITED. This is our first home and can’t wait to put some of you guy’s ideas to use in our new home. It is move in ready but decorating must be done! Excited for you all and can’t wait to see what you do to your 3rd house while we fix up our first!
Lindsay J says
Congrtulations!! I am so happy for you all. The new owners will have an awesome home to enjoy.
Congrats on the quick sale! Our first house didn’t sell, we rented then tried again. Before the house was officially on the market, while minor spruce ups were going on (to include airing the place out, with doors and windows open) someone wanted to walk through. Sold without ever having an official showing. Proves that when the market is there and a house is in good shape, it’ll get sold. Can’t wait to see what you do with the new one. (I will miss your old kitchen though.)
That’s amazing Theresa! Wow!