Monday, 15 October 2012

And Just Like That, Our House Is Sold

Last week we accepted an offer on our house, the first and only offer we have received since putting our house on the market at the beginning of August. Not a bad result in our suburb where houses can and do sit for over 12 months before the right buyer comes along. We didn’t even try to get more money out of them, mostly because their offer was so close to our asking price we didn’t think it was necessary, but also because the whole thing just felt so ‘meant to be’ that I didn’t want to mess around.

Just when we had decided that we weren’t getting any interest and needed to reassess.

We figured with the First Home Owners Grant for existing homes coming to an end and the ever growing reminder of Baby Bond’s arrival looming we had decided that rather than sell, we would keep our house as an investment, find somewhere cheap to rent and get underway with building the dream home we have been striving for. Rental demand in our area was favourable for doing this and it meant that suddenly we had something solid to work with in preparing for Baby Bond requiring a more permanent residence than my belly. Waiting in limbo is not fun when the nesting urges kick in. I needed a plan people!

Prior to this we had only had 2 other interested parties view our home, neither of which expressed an interest in coming back for a second inspection. I know our place is no palatial homestead, but I had hoped for more interest than we had been getting. Of course we blamed the lack of interest on everyone else, the banks are not lending money right now, first home owners were being cautious with the change of grants available, the agent needs to pull his finger out, blah blah blah. All of this was true, but regardless, these factors were largely out of our control so we would have to take alternative action. 

Only days earlier I had spoken to our long suffering broker about our latest plan and provided him with all the new paperwork. Things were underway, it was looking likely that we would be able to keep the home we are in now with it paying for itself and at the very least rent it out until the market improved in a couple of years time.  


Fast forward to 8:45am last Thursday morning and I receive a phone call from our Real Estate Agent as I am doing the day care drop off and heading to the gym. He says that he has a couple interested in looking at our house and would it be okay if he could bring them through in about half an hour. It's fine if I'm not home because he has a key and can take them through.

Hell no it's not fine! That place looks like a toddler bomb has exploded in there, with the added appeal of last night’s dishes still sitting on the bench. Spag bol air freshener is totally not going to be the next big thing, trust me.

I tell him as much and we agree to give me a couple of hours to make the place presentable so I head home and clean like the wind for an hour and a half before I hear the gate open.

Shit. They are on time.

On every other inspection and open house, the place has not only been cleaned within an inch of its life, but I have applied all the wanky “dressing” I have gleaned from all my late night Selling House Australia study. Not this time. This time there were no department store tea towels concealing the state of my oven, no bowl of oh-so-now green apples displayed on the dining table, no freshly fluffed, never used towels folded and laid with care in the bathroom, no ‘mood music’ providing that certain laid back, welcoming feel to the house. The washing up may have been done, but it was left draining on the sink, still bubbly from my last minute rushing. 

Hell, I didn’t even get to mop the floors! 

Instead I emerged from the house still in my gym clothes, pink faced from scrubbing everything I could, in all my puffing, third trimester glory. 

Talk about selling a lifestyle. 

I swiftly grabbed the dog before he has the chance to lay a fresh one on the lawn and told them I would leave them to it.

I figured that they would probably only need 10-15 minutes tops to have a look around, again, my house is not that big. They were in there for half an hour! I took this as a good sign. When the agent called to say they were finished I headed back expecting them to scurry off as soon as I came in, but the first thing they said to me was how lovely they thought the place was. Of course the husband admired the garage (they all do, its ridiculously oversized) but they were both obviously interested, especially when they started asking about the neighbours, and we all know I LOVE my neighbours. A bit more chatting and the couple left so I could get the real feedback from the agent. 

He gave me the run down, then amongst the small talk he casually mentions they have made an offer. 

Wait, what was that?


He gave me the figure and it took me a moment to register what he was saying. It was more than fair, so close the our asking price that I saw no need to play any negotiation games. Of course there was a condition - they would need a 30 day settlement. It was a bit rushed, but given the situation I figured the earlier we can be moved and settled before Baby Bond arrives, the better. As Mr Bond was working, I of course said that I would need to speak to him first, but already I felt that it was the right thing to do. Sure we could try to keep the house as an investment, but with running our own business and another baby on the way, I wasn't totally comfortable with stretching ourselves that far. Particularly if it meant that we would have to sacrifice and cut back on building our new home. 

Do not come between me and my dream kitchen, okay?

The timing seemed perfect as we also had a place to move into that was ready to go and at a very reasonable rental price that would be more than suitable for our needs and best of all, I knew the house well - it was Clever Baker Friend's old place! 

See? I told you it was meant to be.

Now that the appropriate inspections have been carried out and the signatures are on the contracts it's going to be a whirlwind 3 weeks before settlement date is upon us and we have to be completely out and relocated.

Um, I best get packing!
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