Sometimes everything just goes right in real estate. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it is worth all the effort and training that are applied to achieve that result. Recently, long-time friends wanted to sell their home and downsize to a condo or townhouse. Their idea of what needed to be done to fix up their family home of 30 years was somewhat different from mine but between us we figured out all the improvements to be made and the best contractors and professionals to assist them with that. Being able to provide the referrals of workers I knew were excellent made a huge difference in the experience for my friends and was something I was thrilled to be able to do.
What did we do while this was going on? We started looking for their perfect new house. Not easy, as the inventory of homes suitable for downsizing couples is low in our area. Over the next few months, we were able to see every possible development and make judgments on their suitability for my friends. We even put in a few offers, but the stars were not aligned. The prospect of having 2 mortgages was not something they wanted and selling assets with unrealized capital gains was also not desirable. So we were capped on what we could offer. Homes farther away with lower taxes looked attractive from a financial point of view but somehow were not quite right.
As the floors on their existing home were redone, the wallpaper taken down and the excess items reduced, we realized that living close to town with one level or an elevator was the best option for my friends. The market started to heat up at the same time with COVID retreating in our area. I could update my suggested list price to a higher number.
All along they had concerns about getting the timing right so there was no need to pay two mortgages if they had to buy before selling or pay rent (and move twice) until they found something. I tried to assure them that was unlikely. And it did not happen. We found a wonderful townhouse for them within walking distance to town that was rented and wouldn't become available for a while. Our offer accommodated that timing (we agreed to close within a few days of the sale of their existing home) and it was accepted at below asking price. My clients had almost finished all the improvements on their home, so we got it ready, staged it and put it on the market during a time when multiple offers were very common. Over one weekend, we had 27 showings and got 7 offers. My friends were excellent at evaluating the positive and negative aspects of all the offers and ended up accepting not the highest, but the one with the greatest certainly to close.
Making a long story short, they got way over asking price for their existing home and were able to purchase the new home at a bit of a discount. We coordinated the closing so they sold their existing home and got their proceeds in the morning and had them wired to their purchase closing on their new home in the afternoon. No issues on timing at all.
It was a wonderful transaction for me and I think for my clients as well. I always believed we could do it, with enough planning and skill on everyone’s part. But I have to say there was a bit of luck thrown in there, too. Regardless of the reasons, it was the day everything went right.