House #14: First Contract

March 29, 2010 · 0 comments

I was going to post today about how we just put The Pine House (sorry, post-rehab pictures coming soon!) on the market, but I’m more excited about the fact that we received our first offer (and contract) even before it hit the MLS…

We spent the weekend finishing up last minute details of the rehab, and getting all the staging furniture to the house. Our handyman spent literally 30 hours over four days at the house doing last minute work, including building a mantle, tiling the entryway, getting the outlets and switches changed out, painting the concrete front porch, adjusting doors, etc. By Sunday morning, the rehab was complete, all the furniture was in the house and placed in the correct rooms, and we were all so tired that we decided to put off the remainder of the decorating (hanging pictures, etc) until Monday.

On Sunday afternoon, my wife got a call from someone who drove by the house asking if she could take a tour of it (we always put a sign in the yard for the duration of the rehab to generate interest). My wife had some more staging stuff to drop off at the house anyway, so she went over to meet the woman and show her around.

It turns out the woman has been looking for a house since late last year. She was qualified for an FHA loan, but couldn’t get anything under contract (all the houses she looked at either didn’t qualify for FHA or she was outbid). That said, she was qualified for a loan less than our asking price, but she was confident that her credit has improved in the past six months and that she could likely qualify for more.

Within a few minutes of walking into the house, she fell in love. She told my wife that it was exactly what she was looking for, and was ready to sign a contract. Obviously, without approval from our mortgage broker, we were hesitant to sign a contract, but the buyer was happy to submit a contract contingent on her ability to get financing, so Monday afternoon, she formally submitted a full-price offer and we accepted.

We expect that we’ll find out within the next day or two whether she qualifies for a mortgage at that price, and assuming she does, we’ll get the ball rolling on getting the house sold. If she doesn’t qualify, we’ll formally start marketing it, and take it from there.

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