House #37: First Contract

January 9, 2013 · 8 comments

The WTF House has been on the market for several weeks now, and we’ve had 5 offers on it to date. We finally got one of them to stick and we’re under contract!

The house is under contract at full price (several of the offers have been full price) and the buyer is well-qualified. The only potential issue is that the buyer needs to sell her house before she buys ours. The good news is, her house is under contract to sell, and is scheduled to close by the end of the month, so hopefully that won’t be a sticking point, and we’ll be able to get the deal done by mid-February.

The buyer still has another week for inspections, and the appraisal hasn’t been ordered yet, so we still have a lot of work to do, but it’s nice not to have to keep turning down offers… 🙂

I’ll have more to say on this one next week after the buyer’s inspections are completed…

8 responses to “House #37: First Contract”

  1. Great news J Scott! Sounds like a good scenario to be in.

    Best of luck on the sale.

  2. Luis says:

    Just so I understand what kind of buyers you are dealing with, why have the other contracts not worked out? Too low, bad financing…??

  3. J Scott says:


    We had one low-ball offer that wouldn’t come up higher. And we had three buyers who we weren’t confident they could get financing and they refused to switch to our mortgage broker. We don’t generally require a buyer to use our broker, but in all three cases, there were specific circumstances where we knew the likelihood of an easy closing was small and we just didn’t want the stress of dealing with lenders we don’t trust.

    This final buyer also refused to switch to our mortgage broker, but there were no obvious red flags with her (and her broker said all the right things), so we’re taking a chance…

  4. Kristine-CA says:

    Congrats on the contract. Can you give examples of some of the red flags you saw in the offers you didn’t accept, that would have been remediated by using your broker?

  5. Kristine-CA says:

    Also, just curious, only 5 offers is interesting to me. I know it’s a slow time of year, but I do the buyers really have that much to choose from in that suburb? Are you priced at the top of the market?

  6. J Scott says:

    Hey Kristine,

    One of the buyers was in the process of selling a much bigger house and was downsizing (her house was under contract, but not closing for a month). This was a red-flag because it’s possible she was downsizing due to inability to make her current payment. While there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it likely means there’s a higher risk that she’s missed mortgage payments or missed other bill payments and that might cause financial difficulties when getting a mortgage. She refused to get pre-approved with our broker or even give us a kick-out clause should she have an issue selling her house.

    Another buyer refused to get pre-approved with our broker, and after doing some Google sleuthing, my wife found that the job she had was unlikely to provide enough income to easily pay for the house. While it’s possible she had other income or even a co-signer, that combined with the refusal to get pre-approved with our broker was enough to concern us.

    A third buyer had a house they needed to sell (and it was under contract), but we weren’t convinced it would sell (their buyer hadn’t even started the due diligence process) and they wouldn’t agree to a kick-out clause.

  7. J Scott says:

    Hey Kristine,

    This particular house is in one of the higher priced neighborhoods in this part of town. In fact, if the sale goes through as planned, this will be the highest priced house we will have sold so far in Georgia (about $185K). So, the buyer pool was smaller than usual. We probably had about 15 showings in total, so the showings:offers ratio was reasonable…it just took a while to get one to stick.

  8. Kristine-CA says:

    Hey J, thanks for the additional info. I’m listing a house on Monday now that the rehab is finished. Since this is a full-on retail sale (a first for me after 75+ houses!) I was curious what kinds of red flags you were seeing in your offers. Very good info, so thanks for sharing.

    I now realize that I thought this post was referring to the W1 House and not the WTF House. When you posted the sale price at $185K and in ATL, I could see that I was asking about market conditions for the wrong house. I’m very interested in what kind of choices your buyers outside of Milwaukee have and why there were only five offers. Will wait until you update us on the W1 offers. 🙂

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