Selling a home on Zillow

Hubs and I toured a house that was for sale last Friday and we decided we wanted to make an offer on it. It was the first house (in over a year that we've been looking) that we both walked through and just totally loved. The floor plan was SO good! It had a 3 car garage (because the hubs has a lot of tools and would love more space to work on projects), and there was a large master bathroom (with soaking tub!), with a view out of the back of the house to WOODS (a big requirement for me is to have either a fantastic mountain view, or to have a greenbelt behind the house we move into - I want a little slice of oasis in my backyard, I know...I'm quite picky).

In order to purchase another house, we needed to get our house under contract real quick like. 

So....on a whim, on that very same day, I listed my house for sale by owner on Zillow. It was a Friday afternoon when I posted it - and after I posted, I called my hubby at work and told him what I'd done. NOTE: It's generally a good idea to run these kinds of things by your hubby before you take action. (that's what he said)

I quickly cleared rooms of clutter and photographed and then uploaded iphone pictures of our home as I went through the house on my declutter mission. 

 

OH. MY. GOSH.

 

The phone calls started coming in, one after another. I didn't realize the depth of Zillow, I was a bit short sighted in that. I was unprepared for the onslaught of calls. Our house was the ONLY one for sale in our whole area!!! There are a ton of people looking to move into our area, so as you can imagine, our house was quite popular. I went to bed that evening feeling a bit overwhelmed, and also feeling slightly proud of myself for possibly pulling this whole thing off. The new house wasn't reviewing offers until the following Tuesday, so I figured I had until Monday to get our house under contract... 

We weren't ready to show the home on Saturday as we had a memorial service to attend, and oh ya, all that clutter I had cleared for taking the pictures was now sitting in all the hallways and you could hardly walk through our house there was so much stuff everywhere. So Saturday night I decided it might be best to hold an open house the following day. That would make us clear the clutter *real* quick! It was a late night that night and the hubby even finished two projects that had been waiting for him to finish for months. I love to give him incentive to finish projects! There was one year where I had scheduled our daughters birthday party to be at our house, and he stayed up until 3am installing our new hardwood floors the night before the party - because he was so close to finishing, he felt he just had to get the floor done before the big party. Whatever works.... ;D

Anyway, the following day, my generous mom came over and hung out at our house while the open house was going on. She used to be an agent herself, so she offered to hold the open house for us (thanks mom!). Off we went with our girls - to explore the area we are looking to move to.

Seven different couples walked through the open house, and everyone loved it. It feels good to get so much positive feedback on all our hard work remodeling over the last 8.5 years! We've poured our heart into this house, which is why it's such a jam packed emotional move for us.

After the open house, I received a call from an agent - he wanted to present an offer to us not more than 4 hours after his clients had walked through our front door. I felt like I was in a dream land, it was all happening so fast, too fast, really...

The offer was pretty good, but there was one problem. In the meantime, we had decided that we listed the house price too low (which actually, I had listed it Friday, and then lowered the price at 3am that night in a panic that maybe I'd over priced it...and then again, changed it back up the following night once I realized I had totally underpriced it from the get go). So anyway, the agent brought pens so we could sign off on the sale and we informed him that we were expecting other offers, and that we would get back to him. We don't ever commit to big things like this without first sleeping on our decision... (ignore the fact that I listed our house without first sleeping on the idea - hah!).

So anyway, we received another full price offer (at the higher price), and the calls were flooding my life. We countered the first couple, heard back, then countered the 2nd couple. The fun of listing your house for sale by owner, is that we get to call the shots. Even if we don't really know what we're doing (I'm sure this can be a bit maddening to professional real estate agents who deal with FSBO deals!). We sat there with those contracts, contemplating and weighing them against each other, trying to decide who we would end up selling the house to. Both were strong and competitive offers, which didn't make it any easier.

We talked to several agents, who of course wanted to list our house for us, and claimed they would get us more in our pocket at the end of the day.... Then we sat, in limbo, not willing to sign off on our house until we had an answer on the house we were trying to buy. The night was stressful, our potential buyers were waiting on our reply, and meanwhile, we were busy making several amendments to our offer on the house we wanted in order to sweeten the deal in an attempt to win the bid... in the end, we were outbid. With that, the rush to sell our home halted, and we came to our senses a bit. We realized that the close date on the offers in hand were both right when we'd be out of the country - and that seemed like a terrible time to move our entire lives. The buyers were both willing to rent back to us, or to change the close date to a better date to accommodate us, but with the other house purchase not being a factor, we really needed to think on the sale. All I could think was, "No time to pack!" and, "Where will we move?"

With that, we thought about our best strategy for maximizing our sale so we could be in the best position for our next home purchase. Ultimately, we decided to wait on the sale - to post it again in March, but next time, actually put it on the MLS (still without an agent) so we can reach a much greater range of potential buyers. And by then, we'll have a plan in place for where we will move, and how we will pack up all of Pete's TOOLS. Because let's be real, he has accumulated a lot of tools over the last 9 years of marriage....  

In the meantime, we've been really digging into our plans to move, going over the pros and cons (there are quite a few on both lists), and exploring all possible ideas on where to go and what to do once we sell.

I'm a girl who likes change, and who enjoys a fun challenge. This house is officially nearing the point of being the longest I've ever lived in one place - I'm SO ready for the challenge of change! Maybe I'll go into the 'why I want to move to suburbia' details in a future post. Or maybe my next post will be an announcement that we'll be moving to Costa Rica for a year (a long held dream of mine). The tides are changing over here, and we're so looking forward to moving on and making new memories together in a new place, whether it be locally, or in a warm climate - only time will tell!