One super fun fact about buying a home is everything either requires very precise timing or sitting around waiting. As I’ve expressed multiple times before in this blog, I am a TERRIBLE sit-around-and-waiter. The worst person ever.
I’m really not sure how people manage selling a home while simultaneously purchasing one. Basically, your home really isn’t yours (or in the case of selling, NOT yours) until the day of closing. The only thing I can possibly compare the fun and games of purchasing a home to is playing Super Mario Brothers, where some mistakes will just make you lose your fireballs, a subsequent mistake will make you teeny tiny Mario and the next mistake will make you dead. Except in the game, you can use another life if you have one, and maybe don’t have to start all over from the beginning if you’re far enough along. But if you’re DEAD-dead, you start alllll over from level one. Hey, doesn’t that sounds uplifting?
A partial but not remotely complete list of things that could possibly make you start all over again:
- You put in a full price offer and someone outbids you
- You put in an offer that is more in tune to what the house is worth and you get rejected or counteroffered with more than you want to pay
- Your offer is accepted, and the home inspector finds things that are icky and scare you off
- The home inspector finds things you ask the seller to fix as a condition of buying the home and the seller declines
- You do something to screw up your mortgage approval before underwriting (lose your job, put something major on credit)
- The house appraises for less than you’re supposed to buy it for
- The appraiser finds that the pool on the property is actually a tiny bit on your neighbors’ property even though it was approved as-is 20 years ago (true story, happened to someone I know, and the surveyor said “Oh, our equipment is much more precise now” – really?? Whose fault is that??)
- A natural disaster destroys the home before you close (unlikely but totally possible)
- You don’t fill out the 28357348 forms you’re required to within whatever timeline is needed
- You fill out the forms incorrectly
- Your agent/broker screws up your paperwork
- The title company finds a problem with the title of the house (there’s a lien on the property or a weird second mortgage or the deed wasn’t transferred properly at some point)
- Your wire transfer doesn’t go through (ours went REALLY slow and gave us many panic attacks)
- You learn at walkthrough (JUST prior to closing) that the repairs agreed upon in the contract weren’t done properly
- You can’t find home insurance (if you’re in a “coastal” part of Florida, you have limited options – Geico, for example, declined to offer coverage)
Some of these things can be fixed. Some cannot. If they can’t, congratulations! You get to start the whole process over again. There’s no “saved game.”
So if you’re buying AND selling, you have all of the above TIMES TWO. Noooo thank you.
But if you’re lucky, you have really good people in your corner – ideally, your agent, who hopefully answers your questions in a timely manner without having to call them 827593 times to remind them to answer you (unlike mine) — or your loan officer, who should be a super cheery, wonderful lady (shoutout to Michelle at GTE) who was always full of positivity even when she had to talk to your shitbag agent that you KNOW was a dick. Or your insurance guy, who actually answered your emails and calls even if it was 9pm (I thanked him profusely and recommended him to everyone I know). And most important, friends and family – the friend that referred me to the insurance guy, my mom who listened to hours of overanalyzing, the kitties, who didn’t give two shits (but get points for purrs and snuggles). Oh, and the husband, a saint of a human being for not running far, far away as most sane people would if they had to deal with a high anxiety, overwound cat mom such as myself.