Monday, May 27, 2013

"Under Contract"

Right now I am “under” two contracts, one for the sale of my house and one for the purchase of our new house. I am also under pressure. The buyers of my house want us out as soon as possible. They have a commitment for June 17th. But, since I had no house at the time of their offer, we stipulated that we would close no sooner than July 15th with 7 extra days to move. They came back with their contractor last week to look around and get estimates for the work they want to do. Once again they asked me if we could move out sooner. I said I would try. I told them I had just found a home and we agreed on the price, however we hadn’t seen the lawyers yet. I tried to explain that even if we were both ready to move, the people in the house we are buying may not be able to accommodate our time table.

At the new house, the sellers told me that they could work with me on the date because they are moving into her father’s house. Her father has been ill and she wants to be right there to help her mom care for him. I am hoping that they will move out before the closing and leave the house vacant so I can try to get the wood floors done. I also hope they will agree to the July 15th ballpark closing date. Right now their contract says August 1st, and that will make my buyers very anxious. The lawyers are working on the date issue right now. I don’t think I will push up the date for my buyers, from July 15th. I need the time to pack everything and so do my sellers on the new house. It would put extra pressure on us to try to move any earlier. I also have one more good reason not to accommodate them.

The buyers of my house pulled a little “stunt” early on. After you agree on a price for the sale of a house, the buyer has an engineer inspection done to see if there are major problems. Instead of bringing an “engineer,” they brought their friend the contractor, who was going to do all the work they wanted. He pretended or presented himself to be an engineer and found dozens of things wrong with my house. It looked like the sale was dead. But, as it happens, the buyers still wanted it, they just wanted me to come down $35,000 on the price for all the work that needed to be done. My realtor told them no way that was happening. So they wanted us to drop it $25,000. My realtor said no. He asked them who was going to do the work? Their realtor said what does that matter? My realtor said well, if they are having friends do it, then the price is inflated. She agreed. Finally they proposed that we meet in the middle and drop the price $12,500. We agreed to that, however, we did not know at that time that the contractor was also the engineer, and had exaggerated all the problems to help them get the price reduced. So, my realtor was very shrewd in not giving in to their demands, even though it may have cost us the sale of the house. And, this is the main reason why I am not so sympathetic to their need to get in sooner rather than later. July 15th works out well for me and I hope my sellers too.

The next few weeks we are going to be packing and purging the whole house. I find it hard to throw things away. Yesterday, for example, I found all the little ceramics pieces my younger daughter painted at various birthday parties. It’s quite a collection. For years those works of art hung in her room. There will be no place for them at the new house, but it bothers me to dispose of them. I am too sentimental. There are memories attached to too many things. I suppose many of those things will have to go, like it or not.

Today we will go back to packing up the basement. This week I will try to do the dining room and the remaining things in the kitchen that we aren’t using. I am washing everything first, and packing them in plastic bags, so can just place them in right in the closets and drawers later. I’m trying to be organized, but my mind is all over the place.

One good thing about moving and packing is that it is an instant cure for insomnia. When my head hit’s the pillow I feel like someone has given me an anesthetic. I guess it will be like that for a few months, until everything is unpacked and we are settled.

Happy Memorial Day!

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