Friday, June 8, 2012

One Year Later: Selling Our First House

It's hard to believe that a year ago this week, we sold our first house and made the big move to Florida. This year has really flown by and so much has happened. Monday I will show you my favorite parts of the past year since that marks the 1 year anniversary of the blog.

This post is going to be a reflection on selling our first house and a little tour.

I'm not going to bore you with all the nitty gritty details of the sale of our first house except to say that it didn't go very well. To this day, if I think about it too much I get really upset so I thought I would throw out some advice that I wish I had before going through the selling process. This isn't advice on how to sell your home but advice on how have a positive experience selling your house.

Living Room
#1. Interview Realtors: This is by far the #1 thing that I wish we had done. We ended up using the realtor that sold us this house because he seemed nice. Generally speaking he was nice, but he really didn't have our best interest at heart. I would highly suggest having at least 3 realtors show you how they would sell your house by pretending that you are potential buyers. Also have them tell you what they think it should be listed at and why. This is the person that potential buyers are going to deal with so you want to make sure your realtor is representing you and your house properly.

Kitchen/Dinning Room
#2. Set a plan and stick to it: Our plan was to have it on the market for a week and then have an open house on the following weekend to drive up interest. Our realtor convinced us to switch plans and let a potential buyer (that was a client of another realtor in the same agency) see it the day after it went on the market. This meant that basically nobody saw it before we got an offer and then we felt a ton of pressure (you'll hear things like "the first offer is usually the best" and "you may not get another offer for months") to accept it even though it was low. (I also wouldn't encourage selling within an agency. A double commission puts a lot of pressure on your realtor to make sure you sell to that person... not that every realtor would succumb to that pressure, it just played a large roll in our sale)

#3. Hire a Lawyer/Read Your Contract: You need someone in your corner that isn't getting paid when the house sells. We had so many issues along the way with our buyer trying to make power plays that we would have saved a lot of money and aggravation if we had hired a lawyer. You should also know exactly what your contract states you will do to the house before you leave it (broom sweep/clear out everything/leave curtain rods). We were taken advantage of at our closing over these points because our realtor "forgot" our contract and the closing attorney assured us that something was in every contract. It turns out it wasn't in ours and it cost us $250.

Basically, as a first time home seller, it is really easy to get taken advantage of since you haven't gone through the process before. You should make every effort to protect yourself by surrounding yourself with knowledgable people you can trust. We are fully aware of how lucky we were to sell our house but the fear of not being able to led to a bitter aftertaste and we have definitely learned our lesson. Hopefully our negative experience will prevent someone else from having a similar experience.

Despite our negative experience, things have worked out pretty well for us in FL. Every time I get to thinking about the old house I remind myself that we probably wouldn't have our current house if things didn't go the way they did. The hardest part was the thought that the house we worked so hard on was being destroyed, but this past week while we were in MA visiting friends, we were able to drive (very slowly) by the old house and it is still standing and looks maintained so that has given some closure.

We have moved on, but our first house will always hold a special place in our heart. To see more before and after pics of our first house, you can click here or click on the house tours tab and click on Our First House. I've recently revamped this page so you can see the before and after pics room by room.

Linking To: Hi Sugar Plum, The Great Indoors, House of Hepworths, My Repurposed Life, Our Delightful Home, Five Days Five Ways, Serenity Now, Lovely Etc., The Rooster and the Hen, Six Sisters Stuff, Tatertots and Jello, Wayward Girls Crafts, Twigg Studio, Serendipity and Spice, Ask Anna, Home Stories A to Z, Uncommon Designs, House wives of RivertonCrafty Texas GirlsSouthern InstituteWatch out Martha!


  1. I don’t think there’s any process quite as stressful as what you have to go thru to sell or buy a house. Your advice is very good! I loved the house tour … I can see why this house will always hold your heart strings :o)

  2. I can't imagine selling our house. My husband and I moved in when we got back from our honeymoon and have been working to make it exactly how we want it for the past 5.5 years. I know we won't be able to stay here for ever as we're already full to the brim with two kiddos, but I want to cry when I think about leaving. We have so many precious memories here. I'd love it if you'd share at Off the Hook.

  3. I'm sorry this was such a hard experience for you! Moving is difficult enough already without having to deal with getting taken advantage of. That reminds me, I should be packing... Ugh. Visiting from Serenity Now!

  4. Even under the best circumstances, moving can be most unpleasant. Hopefully, your moves will only get easier from this point on. ;)

    Be sure to stop by, and check out my latest giveaway.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage