Good day! I am writing about a closing I had last week. It was certainly a peculiar case. It was one of those scenarios where the Seller purchased the house like anyone else: hoping to live there for at least a few years, maybe a decade, and then sell when they moved on to the next phase of their life.
But what happens when the next phase of your life finds you much sooner than expected? That’s exactly what happened to my Sellers. After purchasing their home, making plans for improvements, and laying out a course to make the house their own, the owner received an out of state job offer that he couldn’t turn down. This is a fear that many people have when deciding to purchase a home. Here are a few comments I sometimes hear, “What if I am only planning on living here for a couple years, should I buy?” “What if the market turns suddenly and I don’t have much equity in the home? How will I get out of the home without bringing money to the table?” All valid concerns, but not necessarily a sign of imminent danger! Here’s how my Seller navigated this tricky situation and how he came out of this scenario unscathed.
My text message alert went off. My seller said he was moving to Minnesota and had to decide what to do with the house he had just purchased six months prior. He had paid essentially full price for the home and was in a position where he didn’t have a large amount of equity built up. What to do? Should I sell or rent? We quickly ruled out renting – the mortgage payments were higher than home could be rented for, so the Seller would have to pay additional money each month for taxes and insurance. Renting was out. So he asked me, “Tim, what can I do so that I can sell, pay the commission, and break even on the sale?” We quickly made a game plan.
He had already torn out some old counter tops and made an upstairs space much more visually appealing and functional. He also had created a fourth conforming bedroom, adding further value. After walking through the home with him, I recommended that he replace several floors, update light fixtures, repaint a few rooms, and install trim in a few rooms where it was missing. After completing these updates, I hired a professional cleaner, had the home professionally photographed, and conducted a new listing video. Then we got 75 inches of snow… I had the Seller hold off on listing the home until the weather cleared and then we put the home up for sale in Mid March – a fantastic time to sell a home.
Long story short, we had happy ending: the Seller received an asking priced offer promptly. The updates looked great, the home showed beautifully, and the marketing was on point. The Seller quickly sold his home, received his money at closing, and was able to move on with his life, with very little stress!
So, what’s the “So What”?
The “So What” is that what many potential buyers fear the most happened to my Seller. But, all the terrible things people fear never came to fruition. By talking with me and creating a game plan, being willing to make necessary updates, and putting his home on the market at a great time, he was able to sell his home and even walk away with some money even after paying a real estate commission. If you’ve ever let fear stop you from buying a home, or stop you from accomplishing any of your goals for that matter, just remember that the worst case scenario rarely happens. And even if it does, there is always a way out, and the outcome will almost certainly not be as bad as you thought. That’s what professionals are for – we’re here to help you when you get in a bind. Don’t let fear rule your life – take the plunge. I’ll hold your hand and jump in with you… I’m an excellent swimmer!
-Tim Nelson, RE/MAX Affiliates, 715-529-0239