This post is a long-time coming, and it’s a relief that I finally get to tell you guys that our home is officially SOLD! Three cheers to checking that off our list! Things have been in the works for a long time, and obviously I’ve chatted about moving and packing and our new place in the last few weeks, but I was superstitious about sharing this news with you until everything was 110% set in stone and the buyers had the keys in hand.
Here’s how it allll went down…
Kyle and I had been talking about selling our house for a few years, but for whatever reason, we just never really felt ready. With that said, I’m not sure you ever feel “ready” to sell your first home, but the timing never seemed right. As spring rolled around, we began to seriously talk about putting our home on the market. We discussed interest rates, the housing market, and took a look at our finances. For whatever reason, the stars seemed to align and we officially decided to take a leap of faith and list our little bungalow in May.
At first, we thought we’d go it alone and try selling our home For Sale By Owner. That’s before I chatted to Parvaneh Kalantari from Vitality Home Realty. She’s a friend of mine, and immediately after chatting to her on the phone for a few minutes, I knew we HAD to have her on our side. As much as we love DIYing and being super hands-on, selling our home by ourselves seemed a little over our heads. Don’t get me wrong – I know selling a house by owner can by all means be done, but we just felt more comfortable knowing Parvaneh would be our guide on our home selling adventure.
And an adventure it was! We had our first house showings on a Sunday, had two offers that next day, and the house was sale pending before we could blink. We did not expect our home to sell so fast and the thought of moving in 30 short days was crazy. With that said, we felt super lucky that we didn’t have to constantly keep our house “show-ready” and that one open house did the trick. We were also glad that the new owners were a young couple who seemed really excited about the neighborhood and home - our little bungalow would be in good hands and that made our hearts happy.
From there, we began packing boxes, selling items on craigslist, and getting ready for the big move. Our move seemed to be complicated and stressful for a number of reasons. Firstly, we had no place to go. Secondly, we needed to store A LOT of stuff. Also, we couldn’t just pack up our house. We had to decide what items would go with us, and what items would be stored. We had to be super organized, and every box was labeled “keep” or “store”. We were on the hunt for a small apartment in the city, so we were packing like we were majorly downsizing. And it’s a good thing, because the apartment we are now living in is a mere 700 square feet - quite the change!
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that the house inspection didn’t go as planned, and what was frustrating about this was that the two major things that popped up were totally out of our control. Isn’t that always how it happens? We’d done our very best to fix/repair house items that needed attention, and I’m not just talking about new paint:). We practically rebuilt the house, and that wasn’t enough. Our sewer needed repair AND our oil tank was not decommissioned properly, costing us nearly 7k out of our own shallow pockets. Yikes! These fixes required city permits, dozens of emails/calls with contractors, and lots of other not-so-fun stuff. I really won’t go into the details, but I will tell you that these repairs made us a little bitter. Not at the buyers by any means, but just at old homes. They can be so darn charming, but ohhhh so expensive too.
I think I’ve mentioned in a few past posts that this selling/packing/cleaning/apartment hunting time for us was INCREDIBLY stressful. There’s no sugar coating it. We were both on edge 24/7. Change is hard and messy as-is, but when you’re spending thousands of dollars on a home you won’t own soon, when you don’t know where you’re moving, and where all your stuff is going, life seems daunting.
How did we survive all this? Kyle and I credit our current sanity to our realtor, Par. We really can’t say enough lovely things about her, and we will forever be trying to figure out how to repay her for all that she helped us with. From the beginning, Par patiently walked us through every step of the home selling/buying process. She knows her stuff, is super professional, and is over-the-top attentive. Before our home hit the market, she came by and gave us great tips about staging our home and we talked price and looked at comps in the area. Throughout this process, nothing was about her or her business. Everything was about US. Do you know how refreshing that is? She constantly asked us how WE were feeling, what WE felt comfortable with, what WE wanted to do. But she was also giving us advice as well, and that’s why every decision we made on price, contracts, etc, we felt really, really good about. Par was also a great resource when it came to selecting our home’s best photos, and she even consulted me on the website I created for the house.
Now, there’s two other things that made me count my lucky stars for Par. One, she answers emails in like 5 minutes. No joke. It’s incredible. She made us feel like we weren’t EVER in this alone, and that’s a big deal when you are making a really important life decision. Two, I realized what an amazing counselor and listener Par is. When times got tough, when the city took forever to give us our sewer permits, Par would listen to me rant and rave and swear, and then after I was totally embarrassed about myself, she would counsel me, talk me off the ledge, and make everything all better. It was really amazing to see, and I can’t tell you how thankful I was to have Par by my side when things didn’t go as planned. She was so calm and cool that I had no choice but to follow her lead and trust that all would work out in the end. And it did! In short, I would recommend Par in a heartbeat. If you are thinking about selling or buying, email her – [email protected]
If you are still reading, the moral of our real estate story is to find a realtor you trust, remember your first offer if often your best offer, expect the unexpected, keep the stress in perspective, and have faith that everything will work out in the end. In the end, it’s just money. It’s who is by your side that really counts.
Before I put our old bungalow to rest, I have two more things to share with you. I’m going to be posting a whole house video of our home, and chatting through some specific house selling tips. Then, I promise I will finally stop rambling on about the house we don’t even own anymore…
Lastly, we are hunting for our next place – I’ll keep you posted on what we find:).