Atlas! Before 2017 ends, we already moved to our new home!
Three years ago after we migrated to United States, my husband and I talked about selling our home and buying a new one. As we enter 2017 – we knew we are to going to sell our home before the year ends and move to a place nearer to my hubby’s work with a good school district, nicer neighborhood and closer to parks and recreations.
While preparing our home for sale we are also studying the market at the same time. Our goal is to sell our home fast at the right price!
Here’s how we’ve done selling and buying a new home almost at the same time.
Green – Selling our Home
Dark Orange – Buying a New Home
AWARE OURSELVES ABOUT REAL ESTATE MARKET:
Feb. 2017 — Started studying the Housing market
☑ Look at the Comps or Comparable Sales on our current neighborhood: similar homes, square footage, age of construction, similar HOA/amenities, etc.
☑ Gauge how strong is the current market by looking at the Real Estate Trends Monthly Report to see how many homes are for sale, how long they’ve been on the market and the median asking prices.
☑ Search homes within the price range that we can afford on the area/zip code we want to move thru redfin.com and zillow.com
☑ Check Local pricing and HOA Fee of the home within the area of search.
☑ Check google maps to see where the house specifically located specially referencing to work, schools, Malls, groceries and parks, etc.
☑ Check School Reviews, and check if locations have Mello-Roos.
☑ Check Walk Score.
May 13, 2017 — Our Family Friend Agent visited our home and gave some advise about the improvement that needs to be done before listing our home on the market.
HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT:
June 5 to Sep. 9, 2017 — Hardwood floors Improvement Project
This depends on how far you are going to improve your home, we could’ve done small fixes and repairs to shorten our timeline but we already started installing the wood floors way even before we think of selling our home so we have no choice but to continue the project.
PREPARATION TO SELL OUR HOME:
Selling our home took us about about 31 days (without counting the time we spent on hardwood floor project).
Sep.11 to 16, 2017 — 1 week of packing and moving stuff to Storage facility like excess furniture, appliances that are not in use, Craft Supplies, Books, Magazines, Extra Sets of dinnerware and Cookware, etc.
Sep. 24 to Oct 6, 2017 — Small Fixes, Repair and Repainting.
☑ Paint the wall with light beige color. I find painting more easy than cleaning lots of spots on the wall, besides most of our interior walls haven’t painted since it’s been built.
☑ Fix stuff that supposed to be working properly such as Garage Door Opener, light switches, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detector, etc.
☑ Change old Faucet Fixture (if necessary).
Oct. 7, 2017 – Clean.. Clean.. Clean..
Oct. 8, 2017 – Decoration and Staging: Most of the decor came from our agent like living room side tables, lamps, painting, mirror and extra pillows on master bedroom.
Oct. 9, 2017 — House Picture Taking done by Professional Photographer.
SELLING OUR HOME:
Oct. 11, 2017 — Our Home went to On-line market.
Oct. 14 & 15, 2017 — OPEN HOUSE!
Oct. 16, 2017 — Received an Offer! The one with an Offer Letter on a Maximum Price.
Oct. 19, 2017 — We accepted an Offer!
Oct. 20, 2017 — ESCROW: Timeline from Acceptance (10/19) to Closing (11/18)
SELLING PROCESS and BUYING HOME:
Oct. 21, 2017 (AM) — Met with our Loan Agent to check credit report and score and get pre-approval. Prior to meeting – we prepared latest Paycheck and Tax returns.
Oct. 21, 2017 (PM) — Went to Open House on the Location we want to live. We looked 4 Open Houses on the area we are targeting to move. Remember we are continuously studying the market since first quarter of 2017 so at this point it should be easy to know which home we are looking for at reasonable price.
Oct. 22, 2017 — Went back again to one of the house we looked together with our agent. How lucky we found a home with a feature that we like → One Story home, 4 bedrooms, close to school, work and parks plus bonus with a view of mountain at the back yard! We immediately wrote an Offer Letter and send it to our Agent to give her a go signal that we are seriously placing an Offer to the NEW HOME. We offered lower than the list price since the home is a little bit of fixer upper.
Oct. 23, 2017 — Home Inspection of our Current Home.
Oct. 25, 2017 — Seller of New Home Accepted our offer! With Counter Offer to increase the price and shorten the Escrow.
Oct. 26, 2017 — Termite Inspection of the Current home. No Termites found, therefore NO Tenting needed.
Oct. 26, 2017 — ESCROW: Timeline from Acceptance (10/25) to Closing (11/20).
Oct. 27, 2017 (Morning) — Current Home Appraisal.
Oct. 27, 2017 (Afternoon) — Paid Deposit for New home personally to our ESCROW Officer at the ESCROW Office.
Oct. 30, 2017 — Received Buyers Team Inspection Report with Repair Request. After all the improvements we’ve done, we still received 9 Items for repair, they are all minor.
Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, 2017 — Closed Repair Request Action Items. Will do 6 items easy repair requests and gave $350 credit to 3 items we are unable to do immediately such as – Installation of cap for water heater vent on the roof, failed dual pane window seals and sealing of cracks on stucco at the backyard.
Nov. 3, 2017 — Our Buyer removed Inspection Contingency!
Nov. 4, 2017 — Property Inspection at the New Home!
Nov. 5 to Nov. 11 — Identify Inspection Findings for Repair Request. Which items we are going to shoulder and which items are for Repair Request to the Seller. Roofer and Plumber Quotation Involved.
Nov. 7, 2017 — Appraisal of the new home looks good!
Nov. 8, 2017 — Buyer Removed All Contingencies! Woooohhooooo!
Nov. 11, 2017 — Our Home Insurance Called to confirm our cancellation of current home insurance and transfer to the new home we are targeting to buy
Nov. 12, 2017 — Sent Repair Request Summary to the Seller with $3,450 credit demand.
Nov. 13, 2017 — Seller Accepted the Repair Request Credit Demand! $3,450
Nov. 16, 2017 — Buyer Signed Loan Documents. Should fund and close the next day!
Nov. 16, 2017 — We signed Loan Documents for the New Home!
Nov. 17, 2017 — Loan has funded and file has been released to record!
Nov. 18, 2017— Final Walk Through on the New Home! Nothing much check-items since the sellers just gave us the money credit for repairs. We’re glad we are able to meet the Trust Owners and their agent in person. They said they were very grateful that a single family like us were able to buy their home.
Nov. 21, 2017 — Closing Day! Signed Close of ESCROW Document.
Nov. 25, 2017 — Moving Day! With 1st Choice Movers – It’s good to have Movers specially moving all heavy stuff like furniture and boxes of items.
Real Estate Terms you Need To Understand in Selling or Buying a Property:
ESCROW – is a 3rd party company that protects all the relevant parties by making sure that all the funds and property change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met. To make sure everything during the closing proceeds smoothly, including transfer of money and documents.
Comps (Comparable Sales) – Homes of similar size, condition, age, and style that recently sold in a certain neighborhood. Say for example a Condo Unit sold on the same building or a home sold on the same compound or block that has been built on the same Project plan.
Deposit — Once Escrow is opened – the buyers have 3 business days from offer acceptance to deliver the deposit to escrow. It is usually 1 to 2% of the home’s purchase price and is refundable if the offer is not accepted.
Property Inspection – All Home Buyers hire professional home inspectors to take a closer look of the property before closing. That includes: Stains/Discoloration check, Roof and Chimney, Plumbing Problems, Electrical Problems, Safety Check, etc. etc.
Wood Destroying Inspection – Home owner to hire Termite Inspector to check for wood destroying insects, termites, carpenter bees, carpenter ants and powder post beetles. If found any evidence, the home owner should order tenting for home termite fumigation.
Real Estate Appraisal – An estimation of home’s market value conducted by a licensed appraiser based on an on-site evaluation and comparable sales in the neighborhood. It is usually ordered in behalf of the home buyer’s lender to protect the interests of the lender. If the Appraisal Report Evaluation is lower than the List Price, then the Seller and the Buyer have to agree whether to lower the price or the buyer to pay more than the appraisal (which means paying more than the house is worth) or kiss the home goodbye and take your down payment money back!
Removal of Inspection Contingency – One of the important stage in buying a new home! On this stage — the buyer negotiates with the seller all the findings that needs repair whether for the seller to shoulder the repair (depend on the time being) or have a $$$ credit instead be given to the buyer. It is the buyer’s moment to choose whether to accept all the flaws of the home and accept what is being agreed with the seller or kiss the home goodbye and take your down payment money back!
Removal of Loan Contingency – Buyer’s Loan Approved.
Removal of All Contingencies – Loan fully approved and all contingencies removed.