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  • Writer's pictureJessica Doberneck

The Reality of Moving, Selling, and Buying a Home (Part 1)

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

The reason we decided to move to AZ was for Tyson to start his new job. Due to COVID-19, we knew his training would be online for the first 3 weeks - 3 months max (super vague, right?!). Just to be prepared and avoid the risk of being rushed, we felt it would be best if we moved as close to his start date as possible. We also noticed it was more of a seller's market in ID and a buyer's market in AZ, it couldn't be better timing! We finished some minor projects on our beloved Mid-Century Modest home and put it up for sale the Friday before Mother's Day weekend. We were nervous, excited, and proud of our beautiful home, but as we approached the official listing date, I had a pit in my stomach; Tyson and I both chalked it up as "cold feet." Looking back, it wouldn't have been the worst thing if we pulled out and waited a while longer to put it up for sale (I'll explain why in Part 2!). Nevertheless, we had 1 showing Friday night, 1 on Saturday, 3 on Tuesday, 3 on Wednesday, and we had an offer by 7:15 pm Wednesday night. Here's the break down of the offer:

  • Cash offer

  • 5k under our asking price

  • They wanted to close on the house in 2 weeks

  • We had to respond by 11 am the next morning

Let's take a pause for a moment and reflect on the offer, what we negotiated, and the situation it put us in:

1) Note for first time sellers: Always take a cash offer! If it's NOT a cash offer then it means the buyers will put some money down on the house (downpayment) and the rest of the money will come from a bank loan. In order for a bank to take on a home loan, they must be reassured the home is priced appropriately; they don't want to issue a huge loan if the home is overpriced. Why? Odds are the bank will own more of the house than you do (usually about 80%) and if the house is overpriced the bank will run the risk of not getting their money back. To avoid this, banks require an appraisal prior to agreeing to a home loan. An appraisal is where someone comes out to look at your home and put a dollar amount of what THEY believe your house is worth. If the appraisal comes back less than the asking price of the house, the bank will not issue the loan and the buyers and sellers would need to either negotiate a lower price or the buyers need to pay the difference (less likely of the 2). This would be good for the buyers, but it's not good for the sellers! That being said, when you have a cash offer on the table, there is NO bank involved and NO appraisal! This means no risk on the seller's end of an appraisal coming back lower than the asking price! Hence, why sellers should always take a cash offer!

2) Why 5k under asking price? The buyers know that they are saving us the risk of a potential price drop through an appraisal. Either we take their offer for 5k less or take another offer (that will most likely require a bank loan) and risk the result of an appraisal. Either way, we could come in below the asking price. This was a smart move on their part, honestly. On the other end, if a buyer does a cash offer on a house that they REALLY want and they aren't strapped for cash, coming in at asking price is basically telling the sellers, "Yo, I'm not going to play games, I just want your house, so here's your money." Since these buyers didn't do that, the reason they came in 5k less was either A) that was really all the money they had and wanted to stick to a mortgage-free house, or B) they were good at negotiating and wanted to save as much money as they could without being offensive! The take away is: If you're considering offering cash for a home, you should coming in less than asking price, it's always worth a shot to see if you can save some money; but if you are DEAD-SET on buying the home and don't want to risk someone else outbidding you, you should definitely consider coming in at asking price.

3) Close in 2 weeks! Yeah, that gave us a heart attack too! Honestly, I don't know why they did this. Normally it's 30 days! They may have been in a rush to get in a home, or they just wanted to put pressure to move the sale forward. With a cash offer, again there's no bank involved, so you can close on a house as quickly as you can get an inspection and sign the paperwork! So, 2 weeks may have been a good timeframe for the buyers, but it did NOT work for us! (See note 6)

4) Respond to the offer by 11 am: Is that normal? Well, yes and no. We got the offer at 7:15 pm which left us very little time to mull it over. More importantly, it didn't allow time for any other showings of the house! What does that tell us? We had a LOT of traction on our house with a lot of interest. It was priced well, new renovations, staged nicely, great neighborhood right by campus, the hospital, and a park; it was a hot commodity and they knew that! They knew that if they gave us a full 24 hours to respond, we very well could have gotten another 3 showings and were bound to get another offer that could be higher or better than theirs. They really wanted the house! Despite the emotional stress it put us in, it was also a smart move on their part.

5) What we negotiated: 2.5k less than asking and we close in 4 weeks - Whew!

6) Side Note: WE HAD NOT EVEN LOOKED AT HOUSES IN AZ YET! We literally thought we would be couch-hopping till we found a place. While negotiating back and forth we had so many plans tossed up in the air to accommodate the timeline of this offer. We could move in with our parents back in CA, we could rent an apartment in ID, heck we even considered buying a complete fixer-upper and flipping it within the 2 months before Tyson started work! But, in the end, we just wanted to keep things simple and get into our next house. Also, the idea of putting all our stuff in storage sounded dreadful! So, the next step was to get to AZ ASAP! Buuuut... Before I tell you about our trip, you need to know about the 2 other trips we ATTEMPTED in this ridiculous process! • We originally had a flight booked for a few weeks before we put our house on the market. We figured we would go house shopping, find "the one," put in a contingency offer (which is where our offer is contingent upon our house selling), go home and put our house up for sale! But, as the trip was approaching so was COVID-19; it was raising uncertainty everywhere, especially when it came to traveling. We did not feel good about our plans, so we canceled our flight and got a credit through Frontier Airlines. No biggie. The trip was on hold and we figured we'd go when we felt it was safe and/or absolutely necessary. • After our house had been on the market for a couple of days and it looked like it was going to sell fast, I planned a new trip for 2 weeks out! I got flights, an Airbnb, and car rental - this was the real deal, we were officially going to AZ and were totally pumped about it! Well, come to find out, the day we were scheduled to land in AZ, was the day these buyers originally wanted to close on the house! Even after renegotiating closing to 4 weeks, that left us as sitting ducks for 2 weeks and then 2 weeks to pick a house and move. Not feasible. • So, I again rescheduled it all. We got our money back on the Airbnb (thank goodness! Bless up for them!), rescheduled the car rental (after HOURS of being on hold, transferred, and hung up on through Fox Rent A Car and their retailer, Economy Bookings). But as for our flights, the only earlier flight we could get through Frontier Airlines was well over $800 one way/person, which was almost quadruple the cost of our original flights and the amount we had on our credit from the previous 2 cancellations. Mind you this was after hours of also being on hold, transferred, etc. with Frontier Airlines. BOOOOOO!!!! We decided to keep our credit with them to use at another time, and got much more affordable flights through Delta! (Hallelujah for Delta, people! Why did I ever stray from the motherland?!) Needless to say, IT WAS INSANE!

We pack up our bags, drop our daughter off with my saint of a sister, and head for the airport! Now, I will say if you're ever flying from UT to AZ, get a window seat on the east side of the plane - it's a beautiful view! As the landscape below grew more populated, our hearts began to race and the airplane window was our new face mask! Having been to Phoenix before for his work orientation, Tyson was so excited to be back! I, on the other hand, still had a little residual stress from all the frantic trip planning and worried about what would happen if we didn't find a house. I kept telling him, "I'll be excited once we land."

Little did I know... Remember that pit in my stomach? This is where that doubt, unfortunately, resurfaces but this time, with good reason.

{To be continued...}


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2 comentarii

Jessica Doberneck
Jessica Doberneck
15 iul. 2020

Eileen, we will ALWAYS miss your Sunday dinners!! Wish you guys we’re still our neighbors! 💕


01 iul. 2020

Interesting and informative. Keep the posts coming. We sure miss you, but you probably are not missing our hot tub in your climate. I hope you miss our Sunday dinners, though.

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