Summer is coming to a close and while it seems that everything around us is moving at a dizzyingly speed (we’re already midway through September, for heaven’s sake!), we’re experiencing a calm. It seems like we’re stuck.
The house is on the market. This means it has to stay “staged” for prospective buyers to arrive at any given moment (which roughly translates into “make it look like a hotel that nobody is living in). Counters need to be empty, beds made, floors kept dog hair free, bathrooms spotless. We’ve packed pretty much everything we can at this point and now we’re just waiting for a buyer.
Most of our next steps require a solid move-out date. Once we have that, then we can time the dog passport (it has to be issued within thirty days of leaving), hire the estate sale company to sell everything (we don’t want to do that until close to our departure – for obvious reasons), get the storage unit and finish packing.
In the meantime, we’ve got a couple more adventures lined up – after all, what else do a couple of traveling foodies do when most of the kitchen gear is packed?
If we are lucky, then the closing date will be right after Thanksgiving and the GREAT family gathering in New Mexico that we committed to before we decided to move up our departure date from Spring ’19 to sometime in late Fall ’18 (depending on how long the house is on the market). Our agent says during this time of year, houses typically sit for about three weeks before an offer comes in and escrow generally takes another 45 – 60 days. This means early December-ish (if things go smoothly). However, If karma decides to exercise its notorious sense of humor when it comes to our lives, we might find ourselves on the road come Thanksgiving.
Time will tell….
So apparently karma DOES have a sense of humor and it’s a wicked one at that. Minutes after I wrote those words, we got a call from our agent. “The people who came to the five pm showing want to put in an offer!”
At this point the house had been on the market for all of about 36 hours. Hell, the open house wasn’t even scheduled for another six days…
We made the anxious buyers wait a full day to submit the offer – hoping to get at least one more offer so there could be a bit of a bidding war so things could get drawn out a bit. It didn’t happen. Nobody even contacted us to see the house. By noon we were feeling a little foolish for waiting that extra day.
“The first offer is usually the best one,” our agent assured us that evening. “They’re going to want make it sweet so you don’t wait to see what other offers come in.”
We agreed to review the offer the following morning. Internally we were torn – would it be what we were asking for? Or would it be some stupid low-ball offer that we could happily turn down? Part of me hoped for the latter as mentally I wasn’t quite ready for the house to sell so fast.
“You know what’s going to happen, right?” My Darling observed on our walk early the next morning. “We’re going to get an offer at list price (or just enough over) that we can’t reasonably turn down, and the buyers are going to want to close in thirty days.”
“Or…” I countered “…It will be a cash offer with a ten day escrow or something crazy like that.”
“Oh God,” my Darling moaned. “We wouldn’t be able to do that. I don’t think we can move out that soon!”
We got back to the house and reviewed the offer. Sure enough, my Darling’s prediction was absolutely spot-on accurate. The offer was just slightly over listing price, with a thirty day escrow and a heartfelt letter about how much the buyers were looking forward to celebrating Halloween in the house. The deal was set to close on Oct. 12th – while we were supposed to be in Vegas for my Darling’s birthday.
“Well, I guess that Seattle trip is out of the question,” I groaned. I had literally made plans the night before to visit a dear friend while we were there. But with a closing day of October 12th – there was no way we’d be in the area as late as October 25th.
“We’ll have to cancel my birthday trip too,” Mark sighed.
“Let’s counter and ask for the closing day to be a few days later,” I suggested to our agent. “That way we won’t have to cancel our trips. I’m sure the buyers can wait a little bit longer.”
“Yeah, we can ask for maybe a few days, but probably not until the end of the month, I’m afraid,” our realtor replied. “It sounds like they really want to be in the house before Halloween.”
“Okay. I guess there’s no way to get up to Seattle this time around.” Mentally I was trying to figure out how to break it to my friend that I was cancelling on her yet again. Every time we’ve made plans to see her, something has come up forcing us to cancel the trip.
So we put in a counter asking to close the following week, which, as expected, was immediately accepted. Too bad too – we had another agent contact us to show the house a couple of hours later.
After our agent left, the “OH CRAP!” moment hit us almost simultaneously. We’re doing it! We’re actually moving to Mexico! This is the dream we’ve been talking about and planning for almost non-stop for the last two years.
So why were we both so mortified?
We furiously packed a couple of boxes and then realized that we needed to get out of the house and away from everything for a few hours so we could clear our heads. We were both a little shocked at how fast the house sold and pretty overwhelmed with emotions ranging from grief at saying goodbye to loved ones, cherished possessions and finned, feathered and furry friends to excitement at the opportunities that awaited us in Mexico. Grabbing car keys and cell phones, we headed out the door for some much-needed comfort food at one of our favorite watering holes.
Later, as we dug into our meal, Mark remarked, “Well, you did tell me when we first got together, that life with you wouldn’t necessarily be stable, but it would be interesting. This next chapter is definitely going to be interesting!”