Saturday, first open house. My phone won’t stop ringing, a lot of people booked appointments to see the house even if we had an open house scheduled that day. Potential buyers wanted to see the house ahead of time. Hey why not. To see other people going in and out of our house felt really weird for me. But I got over it pretty quickly. The open house was crazy busy. I’ve never seen our street that busy ever before. Exciting isn’t it? That’s what I thought!
Sunday, second open house. It was more packed. Can you believe it! We thought the first one was busy, but it got busier the next day. Everything seemed to be looking good for us right? But we weren’t accepting any offers until Wednesday which was the so called “Offer day”, Then wednesday came, silence everywhere! no offers, nothing! nada! zilch! not even a low ball offer. I heard every car that passed by our house hoping they will park in front of our house to make an offer, but no one did. We were shocked! shocked and devastated, we couldn’t understand why. From the amount of people who came to our 2 open houses, We were imagining the same thing will happen during the offer date. We thought our street will be packed again, buyers with their agents will be all parked outside our house with their best offers in hand. But nope! Nothing like that at all. No one showed up to make an offer.
Maybe people saw how busy the open houses were, they didn’t want to be a part of a bidding war. maybe? Maybe they didn’t like our backyard, maybe they didn’t like a townhouse, Maybe its too small for them. Maybe maybe maybe. I don’t know, or maybe they think we priced it too high? maybe! few days passed slowly but surely. The showing slowed down as well. We lost our momentum. That’s basically what happened.
At this time, my stress level was starting to go up. I hated the fact that we really couldn’t do anything but wait for that “someone” to buy it. I am now down to someone instead of waiting to make choice from a multiple offers, basing from our open houses results. I’m beginning to blame our Real estate agent. Im beginning to question everything, we could’ve done this. done that, or maybe like this or like that, you know. I was freaking out. Everything was just going south. I started to think how long did we have to do this. Maintaining the house with the kids was getting a bit overwhelming. Who knows when will you get an offer.
Before we thought of selling our house, I’ve read so many articles and seen on TV about how hot the real estate is in Toronto these day, but you never hear the story of how hard it is to sell a house per se. All you hear are the good news as if everyone can sell their house in this hot market and it will get sold even before you list it. Our house is close to the subway, bus stop, beaches, Walmart, best buy, plazas, restaurants and etc. Its only 5 years old when we put it on the market. Everything is going for it. All the feedbacks were good. “Such a beautiful house”, They said “we love the floors”, “we like what you did to the unfinished basement”, and blah blah blah blah blah blah! where were those people who showed interest during the offer date? I don’t know.
I felt strongly that we have to do something. I’ve decided to talk to my husband to lower our price. But our agent had a different idea, he even wanted to push our price higher. I didn’t agree and he had no choice but to follow what we told him to do. I thought it was unusual that it was us, the seller who decided to do it when our agent wanted to increase the price. But after what happened with our “dead” offer day, I just felt like we had to do something. With the amount of people that came to our 2 open houses and it didn’t generate even 1 offer, not even a ridiculously lowball offer, something wasn’t right. The next weekend, the house listing price was lowered.
We didn’t have the luxury of time to sit on the market. We have to keep moving. We already put a down payment on the house we’re moving to and the house at that time was almost done. As days went by, I felt like I didn’t live in our house anymore. This is our first home. I love our house. but I was so emotionally exhausted waiting for that one buyer. I just wanted it sold already.
Everything slowed down, and so as the people calling to book an appointment for showing. Calls were getting fewer and fewer. All the waiting game just drove me crazy. Had to wait on other peoples decision. You wait for a phone call, wait for a showing appointment, you go out and wait for them to finish looking at your house, when some of them could just be fishing for ideas of what they could do to their house or to their own open house when they sell their own house!
The second week, an offer came. Good starting offer, no inspection required. But the next day they changed their minds. Just wonderful isn’t it! Talk about bursting bubbles!
Good thing another offer came. They booked a “presentation” at our house. Like what we see on tv, where buyers stay outside and their agent goes in and out of the house with how much they want to offer and they decide if its a deal or not then they do this until they get a deal or maybe no deal at all. It was an interesting experience to see the agents hustle it out. At the end of it, we had a deal. Nice!
Sold? not yet! that deal was far away from being done. There were conditions to be met. Our agreement was for 5 days. 5 days for the buyer to deal with their financing and do the house inspection, if everything goes well, only after that it can be officially sold. So many things to wait for right? I just want to scream at this point! And because of the registered offer on the table we cannot entertain other offers for that 5 day agreement. As a seller, you are left to hope and pray that the deal would go thru. I thought what if the deal doesn’t go thru? what if the buyers didn’t get their financing approved? As the seller, we wasted 5 days, we will be back to zero again. and we get to do everything all over again. Yikes!
Showing appointments slowed down more and I have 5 days of waiting to do. I am again left with the waiting. I hated every bit of it. But mind you if you have a bidding war then you won’t have any problems. good for you! but we didn’t.
I got a call for a home inspection appointment. I was so thrilled when I got the call. It felt that it was getting closer to the finish line. When they got to the house I was a bit confused that the buyers showed up with only their real estate agent. They asked me a couple of questions about the vents and asked me where I bought the picture ledge by our hallway. In my head, I was thinking, Why would they do a home inspection with a real estate agent. Real estate agents are not home inspectors! I didnt want to think negative about it but my gut feeling was maybe they have changed their minds.
Fifth day came, our agent informed us that the buyers financing didn’t get approved they said. I was devastated but I kind of knew it coming already. So there goes our five days! We are back to zero. Zero! Now spring has sprung! More competition on the market.
Then a young couple came to see our house. I actually decided to stay home that time because it was raining. The agent arrived ahead of the buyers because the buyers were taking the bus to get there. I told the agent that she can look around the house while waiting for her clients and the kids and I stayed in the basement. I heard the doorbell rang and decided to check the security camera to see the potential buyers, I was just curious. And when the agent opened the door, I saw their faces lit up as they entered the house. I knew right there and then that they will buy our house.
They put in an offer, did the house inspection with a real home inspector. The house was officially sold! It was the 3rd offer. 3rd times the charm indeed!
Stayed in the market longer than everyone expected. A lot of showings, a lot of walks to the park with the kids and anywhere we can walk to, while passing time until the showing was done. A lot of busy weekends. 4 open houses, can you imagine! I think all our neighbours saw our house already. But hey finally it’s done. We can live dirty again! Hahahahahahhahaa!
Make sure you give your self enough time for situations that you can’t control. What if it stayed longer in the market. You have to be ready for that situation and have an idea what to do when that happens. Or what if it got sold quickly, you have to have a plan for that as well. We were told so many times that our house will get sold quickly, but it didn’t.
There was another house for sale in our neighbourhood when we were selling our house. They sold it with out a real estate agent. We live in a very high demand area. It’s not a bad idea. You can go online and there are companies that can help you and will give you all the guidance you need to sell your house on your own.
Make sure to keep the mess to a minimum. During the day time my son and I stayed in one of the rooms, where he can play freely. And I can easily fix it when there was a showing. Showing appointments for the house can be anytime. You want to make sure that your house is always ready for showing. Last thing you want is you’re rushing, because you will forget something. What I did too that helped was I made a list on my phone which I checked every time before there was a showing for me not to miss anything. Just to make sure I got covered.
Eating. We bought food outside. Because again showing can be anytime. You don’t wanna be in the middle of cooking when someone calls for a showing, and your house smells like garlic and onions, though personally, I won’t mind that at all. But you know you’re selling a house not food. We bought food outside and used paper plates, we didn’t have to deal with a lot of dishes that much. I think you can still cook just don’t cook anything with a funny smell that lingers around.
And after all the waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting, when everything has been signed and done, finally I can look out in our front yard and there was the SOLD sign! Thank god!!!!