Hello Joan's Journeyers! It's the Holiday Season and 'tis the season to be jolly.' However, for those of us trying to sell our residences and move to senior housing, "Bah, humbug!" sounds more like it.
December 17th marks one year that my suburban Baltimore condo is for sale -- again. From December 2011 to August 2012, less than a handful of serious lookers viewed my condo. Consequently, I grabbed at the opportunity to sell my condo to a seemingly nice couple who visited for 45 minutes and immediately wanted to purchase it. Sound too good to be true? It was - - resulting in what will most likely be at least a 4 month winter-weather stall in my condo sale and move to senior housing.
Be Wary of Short Sale BuyersWhat happened? The buyer offered and I agreed to a sale price of $105,000 below the asking price (which was current market value). The rational by the buyer, an attorney, for the extremely low offer was that the mortgage company would be happy to accept an all cash deal and/or not have the residence go into foreclosure. Intense on my goal to move to senior housing, at the time, I signed the deal.
Now, after 3 months of excruciating waiting and painstaking mounds of paperwork to the mortgage company, the sale failed. A final price agreement could not be reached between the mortgage company and buyer.
What have I learned from this unfortunate experience?
- Get EVERYTHING in writing, even the smallest agreements. If the buyer won't put a verbal promise in writing, don't trust the deal.
- Mortgage companies have agendas to make money. They will accept reasonable, qualified short-sale offers, but not outrageously low ones.
- If a buyer comes along and makes an offer that sounds too good to be true, even with your realtor's and attorney's blessing - BEWARE. It probably is too good to be true.
Moving ForwardOne more Joan's Journey will post for 2012. I'll recap the steps taken as I've explored senior housing in 2012 and map out a plan for 2013 housing exploration. From suburban Baltimore, Happy Holidays and enjoy the road ahead.
Joan London, a freelance writer in suburban Baltimore, plans to move across coasts and settle in senior housing in California, close to her children and grandchildren. Her Nutcracker, "Houston," a gift from a dear friend has made the downsizing cuts and will move with her.