The last two weeks since we sold our house have been kind of crazy, but now we are in a little lull (the calm before the storm, maybe), so I can give an update.
For the same reason we decided to sell without a real estate agent, we had also initially hoped to buy without an agent. We looooove the agent who helped us to buy our townhome, but we were wanting to save as much money as possible. We reasoned that if a seller knew that he or she didn't have to pay a three percent commission to our agent, we could automatically offer three percent less on the home we buy, with no loss to the seller.
That's what we thought. Then we started trying to schedule property showings without an agent. As it turns out, there's a bit of a bully system going on in the real estate world. Agents don't want to work with you if you're not working with one of them. I have a philosophical problem with this. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or energy to fight the system right now. And fortunately, there was a very simple solution to the problem. We called Linda Mason, the agent who helped us buy our townhome in 2005, and she was glad to work with us again. Linda has been in the business for thirty or so years and she's good at what she does. In the end, I'm glad to be working with her again. She does so much of the legwork for us, and she is a great advocate.
We started looking at houses with Linda on the Wednesday after we sold our house on Friday. In a four-day span, we saw 16 properties. The first two times out, we saw some things that we liked, but nothing that we loved. We took a day off from looking, and then went back out again on a Saturday to see the rest of the listings that meet our criteria. Honestly, I didn't think we would find the house on that day either. I was hoping that by the end of the day, we would have a strategy and a timeline in mind.
But then we found this house. The pictures on the MLS listing really don't do it justice. But it has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths, so we could grow into it. It's also very light and bright and would be a great place to entertain. (Yay! I have really missed having space to invite people over.)
It's in short sale, so it's listed for significantly less than what it's worth. In other words, it's way more house than we could otherwise afford. And after viewing it, we decided to put an offer in. Without going back for a second look. Without taking our parents to see it. Which is not normal for us. We did both of those things later, but we felt an urgency about getting an offer in.
With a short sale, it could be a months-long wait before we hear back from the bank on whether they will accept our offer. Or it could be really short. We don't know. We have a temporary place to stay which is really flexible. So we can wait. And we will. Don't know how long. And we will keep researching other properties, in case this deal falls through. Meanwhile, we are trying not to get too attached to a house we don't own yet. So far, I'm not doing so well at that task.
I'll post again when there's news to share on this front.