If you are thinking about buying a house any time soon, please keep “speed” in mind. No, I am not talking about drugs. By “speed” I mean your ability to react quickly if you happen to come across the house of your dreams. Here are two perfect scenarios where you will almost always lose out:
1. You have a house to sell that is not yet on the market, and you can’t afford to carry two mortgages at once.
2. You go open housing on the weekend and are not actively working with a real estate agent.
In the past two weekends I have seen this happen twice to two different couples. In the first scenario, the couple had just started thinking about moving into a larger home. So they went open housing on Sunday. And they fell in love with a house that is in perfect condition. The sellers of the house want nothing to do with a Hubbard clause, where the buyer has to sell their house before they can actually buy. The potential buyers now have to get their current home on the market pronto and hope that they can secure an offer before someone else comes in and has an offer accepted on their dream home. Chances of this happening are slim to none and, as they say, Slim just left town…
In the second scenario, the buyers were actually working with a real estate agent, just not very actively. They also went to an open house and fell in love with a house. But then they waited 2 days to contact their agent to let them know about it. Unfortunately in the meantime, another offer was accepted on the house. They missed out by about an hour. I am not kidding. And now they are very disappointed.
There are a few morals to these stories.
1. If you are in either of the two categories above and cannot deal with disappointment, please don’t go to open houses on Sundays.
2. If you think you have one iota of interest in a house and are working with an agent, call them immediately. They will go look at the house with you and help you understand if it’s really for you. And if it is, they should be able to help you react quickly enough to at least stand a chance of putting in an offer.
3. If you own a house, think you want to move, and cannot afford to carry two mortgages, at least put your house on the market with the contingency “Sale contingent upon seller finding acceptable housing.” This at least throws your hat in the ring. Otherwise you are just sitting on the sidelines with no real chance.
Hopefully this helps because it’s painful to see disappointed buyers doing “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda”…