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Trying to Purchase a Home in COVID-19 - Continually Lose Out, with Offers over Asking Price?

DaveNV

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That's a beautiful room, Dave!! If the rest of your house looked like that, it's no wonder it sold so fast.
Thanks! Yes, the entire house looked like that. We spent a lot of time making sure the place was as near-new as it could be. For a 17 year old house, we'd done a lot of upgrading, and we wanted the new owners to appreciate what went into it. In the case of the image above, that was a family/media room over the garage. When we bought the house it was an unfinished bonus room, with bare studs for walls, and a particle board flooring. We built it out, finished it as an upstairs family room, and we enjoyed the heck out of it. The cubby spaces between and next to the gable windows are lighted storage areas, so the owner has room for their stuff. Christmas decorations need to be stored somewhere. :)

Dave
 
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geekette

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I think there is room for both types of houses in the resale market. Our buyers paid us (indirectly) for all our work. Your buyer will pay for the opportunity to do their own thing there. I hope you sell for a great price, and move to your new adventure with a good head start. :)

Dave
Actually, Joe the Flipper that was just here does like the place, sees the potential. In my area, the older less improved started-life-as-bungalow offers opportunities to surpass The Joneses. We spent plenty of time out back, where you really get the reason for being here. The privacy cannot be beat. He will take it higher end, but likes that it is funky. He said he enjoys the unique properties as he has done plenty of 3br shotgun ranches and likes a different playground. The multiple levels present challenges, but obviously I wasn't going to point that out. I did, however, show how easy it could be to make the basement walk-out...
 

JanT

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Holy cow!!! That is a lot of cash sitting out there. That would scare the heck out of me!! Way too risky for me.

Our close friends in the community in which we live, have cashed out $500K worth of investment in the past few months because they believe that the stock market will crash badly due to high unemployment rate. Then recently, they decided to move out of our community across town - about 45 min drive away to another country club community. They are eyeing a $900K home. Their current home will sell for about the same. They are preparing to sell their home and buy this other home, and get some sort of bridge loan for about $400K. There is alot of cash sitting out there.
 

WinniWoman

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We sold our Washington house without any staging. The rooms were obvious for what they were intended to be, so we felt staging was unnecessary. The place was spotless, paint was fresh, hardwoods in excellent condition, carpeting was brand new. The buyers didn't have to do a thing to move in and live there. There was a reason it sold so quickly. Staging might have complicated things.

The one item we left behind that may have been "extra" were the cushions for the window seats in the upstairs media room over the garage. Those were brand new, ordered specifically to fit into that seating area. It was a $350 investment that I think made the room really stand out.

View attachment 26453

Dave

Beautiful room! I agree!

When realtors came to our former home they all said no need to do staging as it was perfect the way it was. Sometimes being OCD pays off.
 

Panina

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The risky thing is if you have a mortgage and you cannot get out because you own more then the market price is. For those who pay cash, even if it becomes worth less then you paid, it is not so bad if you could afford it. If the market value goes down chances are wherever you are going the market went down too. Yes there is a loss of cash but the first purchase meant you could afford it.
 

WinniWoman

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Please post the Regulation that shows that submitting a letter to the buyer does "in fact" violate Fair Housing Regulations when submitting a written offer to the seller. I think many of the TUG members would like to read it (as well as myself).



.

Our buyers wrote a very sweet letter to us, since they had a house to sell. We did not accept their first offer, though, because of this contingency. However they did come back with a better contingency of renting their house (which would end up being to us!) and we were so happy to sell it to them because they reminded us of ourselves when we were their age and buying the house and they also did not hassle us for anything. And they were to become our landlords for a few months while we lived in THEIR former home!
 

WinniWoman

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I think there is room for both types of houses in the resale market. Our buyers paid us (indirectly) for all our work. Your buyer will pay for the opportunity to do their own thing there. I hope you sell for a great price, and move to your new adventure with a good head start. :)

Dave

Where we used to live buyers wanted all the work done but didn't want to pay for it. LOL! Even with all the gorgeous and private land we owned...
 

WinniWoman

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That's a beautiful room, Dave!! If the rest of your house looked like that, it's no wonder it sold so fast.

Regarding staging, it really depends on what someone defines as "staging." De-cluttering, deep cleaning, and removing family photos can work wonders. Most people cannot visualize themselves living in a home when other people's stuff is in it. If a home is full of clutter, family pictures, etc. it throws them off and they can't see past it. A dirty house? Nasty carpet? Oh my goodness, that is the worst and can literally tank a sale.

For us, we go a bit further. We've sold 3 homes in the last 14 years and each time, we stripped the houses down to where they basically looked like model homes. Nothing on the counter tops (which is a huge pain but the look is impeccable), minimal decor, packed away unnecessary clothes in the closets, etc. Every person that went through our homes talked about how much they looked like model homes. All of our realtors have talked about the importance of giving people the feeling they are walking into a well-cared for home.

We've been blessed for certain in that we were able to sell so quickly. The first one never even got on the market before it sold. The second one sold the first day it was on the market. The 3rd one is the home we just sold and it was on the market for 60 days. But, we listed it in the midst of Covid-19 and it was a luxury home and sales of those are/were a little slower around here. Now, we're basically "homeless" and building a plan for the future as we face off against the disruption of life caused by Covid-19, and a country that seems to have gone off it's damned rocker in every aspect.

You described the way we live normally. LOL!
 

Luanne

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It would be nice to not have to deal with staging, etc.
When I look back, all of the houses I have bought were empty when we viewed them. I preferred that. I didn't get distracted by furniture, or accessories, that weren't to my taste. I could picture what the house would look like with my stuff. However, when I've sold houses they did have furniture. Only one was "staged" and that was just replacing our living room furniture with some we rented. The last house we sold got emptier by the day as I was selling off all of the furniture we didn't want to take with us. Definitely no staging in that house.
 

VacationForever

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So a quick update on our situation. After the whole ball of wax in getting pre-approved for the mortgage 100, I chickened out. I told my husband I was stressed over potentially being stuck with 2 homes and I was not mentally ready to walk away from our amazing home with unbelievable views. We killed the idea of moving and we will stay put. My husband asked me to revisit my decision after the end of the year. :)
 

WinniWoman

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So a quick update on our situation. After the whole ball of wax in getting pre-approved for the mortgage 100, I chickened out. I told my husband I was stressed over potentially being stuck with 2 homes and I was not mentally ready to walk away from our amazing home with unbelievable views. We killed the idea of moving and we will stay put. My husband asked me to revisit my decision after the end of the year. :)
I think you are being smart. Anyways go with your gut. You do have a fabulous place right now anyway!
 

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Our close friends in the community in which we live, have cashed out $500K worth of investment in the past few months because they believe that the stock market will crash badly due to high unemployment rate. Then recently, they decided to move out of our community across town - about 45 min drive away to another country club community. They are eyeing a $900K home. Their current home will sell for about the same. They are preparing to sell their home and buy this other home, and get some sort of bridge loan for about $400K. There is alot of cash sitting out there.
If bottom drops out it just means they are in a good shape, remember that they cashed out $500K.
right
but timing the stock market's highs and lows can be difficult ....
 

geekette

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So a quick update on our situation. After the whole ball of wax in getting pre-approved for the mortgage 100, I chickened out. I told my husband I was stressed over potentially being stuck with 2 homes and I was not mentally ready to walk away from our amazing home with unbelievable views. We killed the idea of moving and we will stay put. My husband asked me to revisit my decision after the end of the year. :)
Two Ideas:

Claim your Zillow listing and set up a Make Me Move.

Look into cash buyers. It will give you an idea of the right-now walk-away potential. You don't have to accept any of their offers, but gives you an idea of the size of check you could get fast. Markets change, tho.

I am calling another 5 cash buyers to set up appts for next week. I expect to accept an offer by end of next week as the starting one is too low to consider, yet Zillow has price increasing by 6-7k per month. Where that uptrend ends is anyone's guess...

Out before leaf season is my big goal. Not paying Oct expenses would be handy, too!!
 
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VacationForever

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Two Ideas:

Claim your Zillow listing and set up a Make Me Move.

Look into cash buyers. It will give you an idea of the right-now walk-away potential. You don't have to accept any of their offers, but gives you an idea of the size of check you could get fast. Markets change, tho.

I am calling another 5 cash buyers to set up appts for next week. I expect to accept an offer by then as the starting one is too low to consider.
I have thought about setting up Make Me Move. Our home is one of a kind and when it was first sold in 2008 it was priced at $1.8M. Obviously after the real estate crash, condo prices suffered the most. I think it would take someone who appreciates our amazing view to consider buying our home.
 

geekette

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I have thought about setting up Make Me Move. Our home is one of a kind and when it was first sold in 2008 it was priced at $1.8M. Obviously after the real estate crash, condo prices suffered the most. I think it would take someone who appreciates our amazing view to consider buying our home.
In my extremely limited experience, this being my only one-of-a-kind home to sell, the cash buyers either have the vision or they don't. The guy today appreciated the uniqueness of it, yesterday's guy was a picture taker, another made an offer sight unseen. My realtor doesn't seem to have the vision for the place, he just wants to move it and be done. Perfectly okay, but causes us to disagree on pricing.

Homes either speak to someone or they don't. My cabin in the woods in the cross section of country and city is unique enough to spark and inspire some people, yet, leave others cold (my sister was always loud and proud about how much she hates my place). It presents a great opportunity for a city dweller to taste country without giving up convenience. Its days of being a cozy 80s retreat are numbered, but I sure kept rustic charm going and hope whoever lives in its reincarnation truly enjoys the deer and hawk families.
 

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About 18 months ago when I was selling my Son's house I messed around with Opendoor and Offerpad, two companies that offer you a clean way to sell your house without putting it on the market yourself. Both operate about the same way but I went through the process more thoroughly with Opendoor. The first thing they did was give me a conditional offer from which I had to subtract their relatively large fee. But the kicker comes after they inspected the house. Their inspectors are extremely thorough. After the inspection is complete they come back with a reduced offer based on the deficiencies uncovered by their inspectors. The end result is that they wanted me to pay for things that would do no more than increase the value my Son's house for their benefit when they ultimately put it on the market. I didn't go forward with them as their adjusted offer was ridiculously low. The benefit I derived from the process was the information I pried from their inspectors as they did their thing. I corrected none of their perceived deficiencies and easily sold the house for more than I expected using a traditional Realtor...

George
 

geekette

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About 18 months ago when I was selling my Son's house I messed around with Opendoor and Offerpad, two companies that offer you a clean way to sell your house without putting it on the market yourself. Both operate about the same way but I went through the process more thoroughly with Opendoor. The first thing they did was give me a conditional offer from which I had to subtract their relatively large fee. But the kicker comes after they inspected the house. Their inspectors are extremely thorough. After the inspection is complete they come back with a reduced offer based on the deficiencies uncovered by their inspectors. The end result is that they wanted me to pay for things that would do no more than increase the value my Son's house for their benefit when they ultimately put it on the market. I didn't go forward with them as their adjusted offer was ridiculously low. The benefit I derived from the process was the information I pried from their inspectors as they did their thing. I corrected none of their perceived deficiencies and easily sold the house for more than I expected using a traditional Realtor...

George
great anecdote! Had not heard of either of them before. Sounds like they are testing the theory that "there is a sucker born every minute." Some people may indeed jump through their hoops.

My brother was a sucker. His realtor ("lady of the lake" had most all listings in the neighborhood yet nothing was selling) had him sink a lot of money into "fixes" and "improvements". Nobody bought his house so he walked away with less than nothing. Mine is As Is, and it is helpful to leave behind what I don't want to move or dispose of and I refuse to further empty my bank account at this point. Not all cash buyers operate the same way. I don't expect "an inspector" but we'll see what is really in an offer.... will report back!
 

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Good for you, one step closer to your goals.I bet it will make a big difference, your house will sell overnight!
 

WinniWoman

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Do let your neighbors know that you are planning to move. A neighbor here just stopped by with a cash offer for my place.
Wowee! And?!!!
 
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