To say that listing weekend was a success is a bit of an understatement. My broker told me that she needed to keep her phone on the charger and to stay on top of messages while we were out and about looking for a new house for my little family. I remember looking at her in disbelief that my quaint little house could be something that people would be scrambling to see. But she reminded me that the house was cute and that the price was great.
Out of 24 showings, the house received three offers. My broker and I had said that we’d accept offers until around 6 pm that Sunday evening. My thinking was that if someone wanted my house or wanted to make an offer, they’d know for certain by dinnertime on Sunday. Plus, I thought it would give a fair opportunity to anyone who wanted to see my house.
That Sunday night, my broker came over and sat with me at my dining room table as we looked over the different offers that came in. I noted in my paperwork that my washer and dryer would be going with me to the next house. This didn’t stop two out of three people from asking for them.
The First Offer
The first offer was from someone who was willing to offer a certain amount, had a first-time home buyer’s loan, was willing to offer an earnest fee, and asked for my washer and dryer.
The second offer was from someone who offered a staggering amount for the house, had an FHA loan, also asked for the washer and dryer, but didn’t note anything about putting down any earnest money or a TOM fee.
The last offer was from someone who offered a reasonable amount, had a conventional loan, was willing to pay a certain amount over appraisal, had an amount of earnest money they were willing to put down, and did not want the washer and dryer.
First, let’s answer your questions about earnest money and TOM (“time-off-market”) fee. What are they? Well, both are money that you put down towards a house as a sign of good faith that you really intend to move forward with purchasing the home. The difference is that earnest money is credited at closing, while a TOM fee generally is not. Also, with a TOM fee, this means that the seller will not accept any other offer on the property for a certain period of time. All of this, and more, can be negotiated between the buyer and seller in writing with their realtors or brokers.
Stability Is Important
Now, you’ve probably figured out that I went with the third offer. Why? It seemed more stable to me. What does stability matter when selling your home? Don’t forget, I was also buying a home. I needed a stable buyer on my old house so I could afford the purchase of a new home. I didn’t want to go through the process on the new house for the offer to fall through on the old house.
The only thing I requested of my buyer was that they allowed me seven additional days after closing to get all of my belongings out of the house. You’re probably wondering why I did this when I could probably get everything out the first day. While I agree with you there, I did that in case there was any reason why I needed to go back to the house or if I did forget something. My buyer agreed to this, and we went under contract.
After going under contract with my buyer, I was able to put an offer on my next house. I had two houses in mind that I wanted to put offers. One was the house that I bought, and the other was a house not far from the other, but it was newer and had all of the things on my list. However, the second house was smaller and had a higher HOA.
A Good Broker Goes A Long Way
My broker discovered that the house I bought was still accepting offers, and we put in our highest and best. A few hours later, my broker called me and said that my offer was accepted. When I found out, my son and I were visiting with my neighbors across the street, and I told them that we’d be moving. They were excited for me and maybe a little sad to know that I was definitely leaving.
What came next was then deciding what inspections I wanted to be done on the next house and finding out what inspections were going to be done on my old house. Want to know what happened with those inspections? Check out our next installment of the real estate adventure.