Surviving The House Process


overwhelmedMy wife and I just experienced one of the most stressful events that an adult experiences – selling and buying a house.

I won’t lie. It was a pain in the arse and this wasn’t our first rodeo as they say.  Between us we have moved over 100 times in our lifetime.  I always say I will never do it again but somehow I always find my way back repeating this experience.  It could be that we are just wandering souls or something.  I do know that I’m getting too old for this.

This most recent experience was the worst. Do you know what the worst part was? Dealing with people who are part the process. If you have never bought or sold a house I would suggest you prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions. If you’re married, you’d better have a strong marriage too.  It will test you in ways you can’t imagine.

Let me tell you some things you need to know about this process based on my personal experience:

#1 – It will always cost you more than you think.  There is always someone that has their hand out for your money.

#2 – You will have trust issues with realtors.  I don’t know a nice way to expound on this so I will just leave it at that.

#3 – Unexpected things happen.  You can never prepare for the things that come up in the process.

#4 – Expectations are not equal.  People will ask you to do things and expect immediate action; however, when you ask for something you get the delays, excuses and BS answers.

We are in our new house and we love it but it wasn’t easy. One thing we never figured we would have a problem with was radon. I didn’t even know much about radon until our test failed. Unfortunately most people don’t take it seriously and you have to fight to get things done about it. We were able to have a mitigation system installed to make it safe.

The financing went through pretty smoothly. You just have to get the finance people the information as soon as they ask for it so they can get the loan processed. One thing that has always gotten me every time is the cash-to-close. This is the amount of money you have to bring to closing. The amount always fluctuates up to the very day before closing. This part always drives me crazy. I use my VA benefits to finance me and they always say it is 100% percent financing but don’t let that fool you because there are always things you have to pay so it’s not totally 100%

Let me get my soap box out a moment and step up on it in regards to Comcast/Xfinity.  We did the responsible thing and called our cable/internet provider well in advance of our move.  One week before our move we discovered that our services had already been transferred to our new address.  It was an all-day ordeal and took SEVEN people before our service was restored.  That is utterly ridiculous.  Why can’t a customer call ONE person, explain the problem and they get on the big Comcast/Xfinity computer and correct their mistake?  They have good service but their customer service is terrible and that is if you even get a live person on the line.

Home inspections are not all created equal.  You never know what the inspector will find.  They all have their thing they focus on and it could be anything.  Many times they simply have to write something up just to prove that they are doing their jobs.  Just be prepared to fix something.  Many years ago, the buyer asked me to put a “z-brace” on a gate on our fence.  I had no idea what that was and it took some doing to get it done.

The moving process is an unnerving experience for sure.  You really discover how much crap you have.  If there is one piece of advice I could give you is that you don’t need to go cheap on moving.  We hired movers and they were awesome.  Even on a day when there were heavy thunderstorms, nothing got wet.  This still amazes me. Don’t skimp on hiring movers.  You definitely get what you pay for.

Right now I am emotionally spent and we face a long transition ahead to get this new house the way we want it.  I am just happy the move is done and we overcame the people in the process who made it difficult.  They all have their money now and we have our new house.

If you are considering buying or selling a home, just be prepared for everything and manage your expectations.  Also, if you think you can sell or buy it without representation, I would suggest you think about it.  I know the possibility of holding onto all of your profits is tempting but do you really want to deal with all the real estate things you would have to handle yourself?  Please think about representation to cover you.  You will need it.  Trust me.  You need to find the right realtor for you.  Sometimes this is quite difficult to do.  We didn’t have a pleasant relationship with ours.  I won’t go into details but it will push you to the limit if you don’t have a good one.  You will need encouragement during the process and not just advice to lower the price.

This experience is a process – a long process.  You will have to prepare yourself for it.  It is torture but if you keep your focus on the end result, you will make it.  Don’t let the people in the process ruin it for you.  If there’s one thing I kept in mind it was that after we close, we never have to see these people again. Once the papers are signed, they move on to the next client.

Buying or selling a house is stressful but a necessary process to accomplish your goal.  The process doesn’t last forever.  I promise you that sometimes it sure feels like it will never end but it does end.  It is quite a relief when it is over.


Leave a Reply