Alright folks, here’s the update on our crazy week. Our buyers backed out a couple days ago. That is a big fat bummer, but I suppose we’re in a pretty good situation as far as selling a house goes. We don’t have to sell, we’re not behind on our mortgage, we’re not getting transferred for a job… we just want to move and thus want to sell our house. So I suppose nobody is going to feel too bad for us – but you can if you want =)
Here’s the deal. The buyer had an inspection done last week. Everything was good except for the A/C, which apparently hadn’t had it’s final inspection by the city six years ago when it was installed (this was a simple fix, as everything was up to code, and they just sent out a guy to check it out – it was all taken care of by the company that installed it in the first place). The only other issue that was noted was a section of our driveway that had settled a bit. It was like that when we moved in, and the inspector who checked out the house for us back in 2002 noted that the foundation is just fine, and that it was just the driveway that had shifted. He didn’t bat an eye at it, so neither did we. It hasn’t budged since we’ve lived here.
But the buyer freaked out about it. It’s a cosmetic issue (confirmed by our original inspection – we haven’t seen the official inspection report that the buyers got), and would be a simple mud-jacking fix. But the buyer’s parents apparently told him that he had to watch out for shifting soils and probably shouldn’t buy the house. Our realtor commented that he’s going to have an awfully hard time finding a house that works for him, if his price range is the low two hundreds and he’s being that picky. I walked around our neighborhood yesterday, checking out driveways, and more than half of them have some sort of settling going on.
Here’s the good news: the sellers on the house we have under contract agreed to extend the closing date out to the end of July. That means they’re giving us another month to find a buyer for our home, and they’ll stay under contract with us during that time. We’re thrilled that they’re willing to hang in with us – now we just have to find someone to buy our house!
We live in a state where sale contracts are set up to protect the buyer, but don’t do much at all for the seller. I’d never given this much thought before, as we’d only bought one house. But it really is an inherently unfair system. When my husband and I offered on the house we live in now, we were 100% committed to buying it. Same thing with the new house we’re now under contract on. We would never get under contract on a house unless we know for sure that we want to buy it. For us, the inspection would have to turn up some really major issues in order to make us back out. Like a gigantic crack in the basement with huge creepy crawlies coming out of it.
But in this state, a buyer can back out for any reason at all (even without giving a reason) until the inspection objection deadline, which in our case was set at less than two weeks before closing. That’s what he did, and he’s well within his rights to do so. Once we went under contract with him, six showings that had been scheduled for the next couple days canceled – of course they did… who wants to waste time looking at a house that is already under contract? Yes, people can submit back up offers, but very few people do – most people would rather look at houses that aren’t already under contract. The MLS listing showed the house as under contract, so agents weren’t pointing it out to their buyers. For nearly two weeks, our house was effectively off the market. Then the buyer changed his mind, got his earnest money back, and walked away. Now we have to start over, showing the house, looking for a new buyer – after wasting two weeks with first guy.
But, at least we now know that the house doesn’t have any real inspection issues. No radon, no asbestos, no cracked foundation, no mold or water damage. No safety issues, nothing that would scare off a real buyer. So I think we can rest easy that when we get another buyer, the inspection won’t be a big hurdle. And at least the sellers on the house we’re trying to buy have extended the contract for us. All in all, things are good. It would have been nice if everything had just floated along as scheduled, but as I said, we don’t really have much to complain about.