Friday, May 29, 2015

How to Buy AND Sell Your Home

My first home buying experience seems so long ago but in reality, it has only been two short years. I can honestly say buying a home is one of the most stressful situations I have ever endured. I thought it was bad the first time, but boy was I wrong. The second time (and may I also add, my last) has been waaayyyyy worse. Double escrow you say? Yeah, that sucks. Here I thought I wouldn't have to go through that experience for years to come.  That is what I get for thinking the Universe isn't always listening and always answering what you put out.

As soon as my family and I had found our Dream House, we knew we were going to have to get things moving and fast. Within 48 hours we had been pre approved for a loan, met with our realtors (the same dream team who helped us buy our then-current home), put our home on the market and had our offer accepted on the new house...whoa.  Since we needed the funds from our current home to put towards the new home (contingent, they call it) we needed to lock into TWO escrows at the same time.  Thankfully, after just 48 hours we had offers on our then-current home to choose from and could move forward making our dreams come true.

The next 45 days were a complete blur of stress and packing...inspections, appraisals, termite reports, oh my! If you have ever bought a home then you know all about the crazy process that is called escrow. Now, take that insanity and times it by two. Double the appointments, double the paperwork, double the headache. And that wasn't even the fun part....let us not forget the joys of packing up an entire house!

Thankfully, despite a rather hectic escrow on the buying side, it is finally done. We were able to apply the funds from the sale of our old house to our new home. We survived yet again and I can tell you, with confidence, I will never be moving again!

Sunset off my bedroom balcony...
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the ups and downs of buying AND selling your home:

  1. Bring in the professionals. We used the same team we used in during our first purchase. We had a great experience working with them and trusted them completely. We knew our realtors and broker had our best interests in mind and would do everything in their power to make this an enjoyable process. If you don't already have a team in place, do the research to find one that is right for you.
  2. Get educated.  Make sure your team is taking the time to educate you on current market trends. If you aren't sure of something or want more information, seek it out. Often times, Zillow and other sites may not be accurate, but at least you can bring it up with your realtors to ensure you are getting top dollar for your property.
  3. Prep your home. Lucky for us, we didn't need any staging before we could list/show our home. With a little sprucing up and some fresh flowers throughout, we were in show condition overnight. If you are not a clean freak like me, prepare to either become one, or shove your crap into all the closets to make your home showable. Remember, you are selling the thing, you want her to look her best!
  4. Be willing to play the game. I am way to emotional and sensitive to be a real estate agent. I get totally consumed with what the other party is feeling, therefore, I could never, ever have that job. Thankfully, I leave all the hardball playing to the pros. Buying and selling is all about negotiations. What price, what repairs, how long, contingent on what...I mean it is enough to make a person sick. Hopefully all parties will just want what is fair, but that isn't always the case. Be willing to stick up for what you think is fair but also ready to meet in the middle to close the deal.
  5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Unless there is a major issue with your loan, the inspection of the home(s) or the appraisal, you are pretty much in the clear. If any of those roadblocks arise, then it may not be meant to be. But if you are able to manage the mayhem then don't let the other things get you down. We faced quite a few challenges this last time, but I knew at the end of the day it was all in order and it would all end well. We just needed to be patient, positive and do whatever small nonsensical things were asked of us to get it DONE.  Keep it together and focus on the big picture.
Buying and selling homes is surely not in my future beyond watching shows on HGTV, I am done! However, it was a great learning experience and has provided me with a wealth of knowledge. I won't lie though, soooooooooo glad it is over!

What experiences have you had buying or selling a home?

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