It’s important to preface this part of the story with the fact that we know NOTHING about selling a home and very little about owning a home. We bought our house in a whirlwind of crazy 3 years prior with the help of an awesome realtor who took care of EVERYTHING and owning one home does not make you experienced. SO, let’s proceed with caution and skip the “you should have known better” eye rolls.
About 3 days before we were scheduled to close we decided to touch base with our realtor friend who had been giving us advice throughout the whole process of selling. I couldn’t even tell you why we called him because the rest of the conversation made me nauseous. He asked if we had closed out our permits for the deck and gotten the Certificate of Occupancy (a required inspection certifying that the home is safe for the new owners).
I’m sorry, WHAT? We hadn’t gotten a permit for the deck, the electrical outlets that we had installed outside OR the porch columns that we replaced a few weeks prior. MAJOR FACE PALM. We were screwed.
When we bought our house we purchased it from the Bank so the Certificate of Occupancy was OUR (aka the buyers) responsibility. So we (stupidly) assumed that it was their responsibility. FUCK. Turns out it wasn’t, it was our job and 3 days before closing- it wasn’t done, or even started!
Needless to say, we spoke to our attorney ASAP, let him know the situation, and I was in the Construction Office at 8:30am SHARP the next day. We were given a 4-6 week timeline and I nearly shit my pants.
We literally lived on eggshells for the next few weeks. I all but begged them to work with me, help me and forgive me because we NEEDED to get to closing. Any delay in selling means another mortgage payment or worse- a buyer backing out. Neither of which we were prepared for.
This period of time included MULTIPLE trips to Home Depot, too many drives down to the old house to sit in an empty home with a 3-year old waiting on an inspector, and lots of tears. I was overwhelmed to the max by the to-do list that landed in our laps overnight. At the end of the day, it was our negligence that brought us here but damnit, that was a hard time.
FIVE weeks and two days. Thank heavens for the most patient and understanding buyer, ever. We closed on the house on a Thursday and we happily handed over the keys, thanked our sweet first home for the memories and got the EFF out of there.
Sometimes I think when we feel drawn to make a change or take a leap of faith and then second guess ourselves throughout the process- we are SHOVED by the universe. Given every reason (and then some!) that we need to get on with it and not given much mercy when we think twice.
This was exactly as it happened for us.
Do I miss that house? Yes and no.
Do I wish it had gone a little smoother? Sure. But we learned SO much through this.
Do I want to do ANY of this again ANY time soon? HELL TO THE NO.
We keep joking that we have been through so much lately and are still married so we must be doing something right. This has been the ultimate test of our relationship, our sanity and our ability not to pick up drinking habits. I am SHOCKED that the latter didn’t become a thing because YOU GUYS!
We are so glad to be on the other side of that life change and seriously looking forward to some quieter times.
BUT I haven’t even told you WHY we did all of this in the first place. Sigh, that’s going to be a story in and of itself. Until next time, friends. ️
MOVING! Did you think I was pregnant, I bet you thought I was pregnant. I am NOT. haha.
Almost exactly 3 years to the day we moved in- we are packing up and shipping off! Where to, you ask? That part is still a little back and forth so I’m not going to get into the messy details but we are going to be buying a new house, just not right this moment.
The exciting thing to share is that in typical Emma-fashion I did a ton of reading about prepping your home for sale, staging, and selling. So, for those interested in, planning on, or think they may ever sell a home this one is for you. This may be a 2-part post but we’ll see how it goes…
First and foremost, we did have a Realtor. He is the BEST. So, let’s start there. Find you someone GOOD. Recommendations from friends are clutch- but only if they’ve used that person before. I love to support a friend of a friend but when it comes to selling our biggest life investment we knew we needed to have the right person. Mike McGuirk of ReMax, is the guy for us. He also helped us find our first home so we knew if he would have us we would want to work with him again. Luckily for us, he was game.
Mike came over pretty early into the planning phase, took a look at the house and we sat down to talk over the numbers. He let us know what he thought needed to be addressed, what we could ignore, and what we need to be mindful of come inspection and appraisal time. This discussion set up the next few weeks of work. We needed no less than 5 different contractors to come in and address some things. Mostly little repairs that we had neglected.
Next, I hit the ground running with searching for staging advice. I knew I had read a few blog posts about how to stage your home to sell QUICKLY, so that was where I focused my effort. I did not want our home to sit on the market for 60, 90, 120 days waiting for the right buyer to see through my style, knick-knacks, and over flowing essential oil collection to realize that this is the home of their dreams. The best advice I read was:
- Keep it neutral. If you have any rooms that are painted bright colors just go ahead and paint them a cool tone. White, grey. Grey, white. Safe zone.
- Have shelves? Take everything off of them and then put back just a few things. Don’t stress about hiding every family photo, it’s nice for people to see that a lovely family lives there.
- Three big pieces of furniture per room. Move things out, sell things, burn things. Whatever you need to do to clear up each room. Filling a room with stuff just makes it feel smaller.
- All White Everything. Curtains, sheets, towels.
- Put away your personal things. Make up on the counter, toothbrushes and deodorant, shower products.
- If you’re going to hide things- put them in furniture that wouldn’t be included in the sale of the house. People will open the closets, look in your cabinets, but generally won’t touch things that aren’t nailed down.
- Don’t overflow the basement, attic or closets. You want people to see that there is plenty of storage. I bet you don’t need 60% of the things in your linen closet. Get a head start on packing.
- Open all of the blinds + curtains and turn on the lights, leave all of the doors slightly ajar (nothing worse than going to see a house and feeling awkward opening doors) play light music, and load your diffuser with citrus scents.
- Leave! Don’t hang around during a viewing. It’s uncomfortable and the potential buyers will feel rushed. Take a walk, go to dinner, take in a movie.
It’s definitely harder with little ones, but its possible. I have some ideas about that but they’re only my opinion since we didn’t quite have that kind of an experience with selling.
Yep! That’s right! We’re under contract! We’ll be closing in January and that’s a wild story in and of itself. I’ll share more about it in Part 2. Until then if anyone has any moving boxes- send them my way!
Did you sell your home in record time? Drop your best advice in the comments, you never know who you might be helping!