In the last installment of First Person – Selling My Home, I described the plan leading up to about 3 weeks ago when the house we wanted came up for sale. Our financial preparations went according to plan, the timing however did not – and neither did the asking price of the house we wanted.
Knowledge is Power
The contemporary home had a funky layout but had everything we needed – living spaces for both adults and kids, a kitchen space that could be gutted and made amazing, 4 bedrooms with a master with a nursery and office built into it, PLUS a separate studio space for my music. However, the price seemed high to me. I have lived, worked and studied trends in the White Oak area – contemporary homes in particular. We went to see it anyway, and of course the wheels start turning in our heads. The numbers did not seem to make sense at the time – I had my own thoughts of what the price should be based on my experience with contemporary homes. We talked about it for a week or so, knowing that we would have to sell our current home if we went for it. And did I mention we have a baby due in July?
Several years ago a client of mine was in this same position – he liked the house but really disagreed on the asking price. We knew negotiating it down to the proper number would be time-consuming (either directly or just waiting it out) so he had a most brilliant and common sense idea to short circuit the process – get an appraisal.
Lesson Learned: Knowledge is Power
His appraisal was $20k lower than the asking price and he got the house – and I never forgot his reasoning, “I can spend $300 today on an appraisal and if I’m right I get the deal I want – If I’m not right I don’t have to waste more time with it.” Such a simple solution to our dilemma! We decided that if the home was still on the market by the time we got back from our 10-day trip to Florida, I would order my own appraisal for the house.
10 days later, the house was still available.
Next time, we’ll go through the negotiation process and how we ended up selling our home in an hour. Thanks for tuning in!