Since early in April, when my husband and I made an offer on a foreclosure home, which was contingent on the sale of our current residence (or what WAS our current residence–we no longer own it), we have become both Buyers AND Sellers and have been experiencing a HUGE taste of what our clients go through. This has been good experience, but, I can tell you, it has NOT been easy.
Here are the things that have made this process difficult for us.
1. The emotional backlash of letting go of a house that we have enjoyed living in, even though the one that we are buying is only about 5 minutes away and I’m sure will be a wonderful place to live as well. This wasn’t something that I expected to feel and it’s weird how attached to a home you become.
2. Feeling both Buyer”s and Seller’s remorse. It is true that a Buyer almost always feels like they have paid too much for a property and a Seller feels like they have sold for too little. We are feeling this on both sides of our two transactions.
3. Getting a loan right now is HARD! My husband and I have very high credit scores, good income to debt ratios and have owned a home for over 19 years and were told early on in the loan process that we shouldn’t have any problems getting our mortgage. The fact that we are purchasing a foreclosure home, which had suffered a whole lot of neglect, has made this slippery process a whole lot worse. Not only did WE have to qualify for the mortgage, but the house has to qualify as well. In our case, our lender has required that quite a lot of work be done to the house prior to them finalizing our loan. Guess who had to pay for and get that work done? We did! We have now completed every condition that our lender required from us (including selling our current home for down pament), and we still don’t have a finalized loan in place. Our loan package is being reviewed by the underwriters as I type this. Hopefully, the next time I write, I will have good news to share.
So, what am I learning that will be of value for my own buyer and seller clients? Well, I know what my clients are going through from recent, first hand experience with the process myself. I always encourge my buyer clients to “get their ducks in a row” as far as getting pre-approved for a loan BEFORE you even decide to look at properties. This is even MORE important now than ever before.
For my Seller clients, I will say that I’ve learned how brutal potential buyers can be. Declutter, declutter, declutter and keep your house extra clean while you are showing it. (It’s really a pain in the rear end.) If possible, leave your house while it is being shown. You don’t want to hear what comments Buyers will make. They are looking at your house completely differently than you see it. AND finally…….be patient with yourself and the process. Try to accept that this is going to be a bit of a roller coaster ride, no matter how good your Real Estate Agent is. Buckle up baby…….it’s gonna get a little bumpy along this road! If I or my husband Eddie are your representatives, at least you’ll know that we truly DO know what you’re going through and will do our very best to make the process as easy as we possibly can.