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Not Good News, But Not All Bad.

August 21, 2013  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Long story short: Yesterday was not a good day, but we are going to be okay.

Long story long: If I were to write this post a few hours earlier, it might have sounded very different. Very angry. Our buyers (who I have since purged the blog of) had another excuse why their money wasn’t in our bank account yet with another date that we could expect it and we cut them off and decided to move on. After all, today was the last day our contract for our new house was valid–and we already had them extend the contract once. We were already losing the house, we didn’t want to waste any more time with them. It’s pretty ironic that we passed on a few other offers to take their cash offer because it was the most solid, and yes, we would absolutely do things differently in hindsight. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20. We updated this post to say that we probably would have got an attorney–maybe the attorney would have been able to add a claus saying that there would be X amount of dollars due each day the funds aren’t in place? People make mistakes–we do. And as much as I wish that things were so happy-go-lucky all the time, and our blog was perky, that’s not real life. And at the beginning of this process, we promised to take you along for the whole ride. So here we are now. We were naive and probably stupid for trusting someone so blindly and we may end up having to get an attorney anyway to finish dealing with that, who knows.

After we got the news that there would be no close (again!) today, things didn’t go well. We lost a lot of money among other things. A lot of other things. We could barely wrap our heads around everything that needed to happen. This was the worst case scenario. We had to find a new buyer for our house. We needed to make a trip to Utah and prep the house again, since we haven’t been there in 3 weeks. We had to move our stuff out of our new dream house and find a place to store it. And find a cheap apartment to rent until we found another house. And that really cheap apartment needed to take very large dogs. And all the utilities that are scheduled to go in our name needed to be reversed. Things were not okay. We were not okay.

We called our realtor to see what our options were. Could we get another extension? The process has been dragged out for so long, why would they give us another extension? There was a lot of discouragement, buckets of tears, and an endless sea of unknowns. After I recovered from a sob-induced migraine, we had some decisions to make. Where will we stay? We can’t keep living off the charity of family. When will we get our stuff out and do we need to get a truck? Where will we put our stuff? How will we afford rent and a mortgage? How are we gonna get the word out about our home so we can find a new buyer?

Then, things started happening. Our sellers agreed to let us rent the new home until we sell ours, while keeping our contract. Out of the blue, Chris received an email offering him some extra contract work that will help us afford the extra payment. Just through word of mouth we had two showings last night. Some may call these coincidences, but for us they were nothing short of miracles. Within the space of 30 minutes, after an entire day of stress and worry, everything was okay. We were okay.

So that’s where we’re at. We’ll be renting the home until we’re able to sell our house again and buy it, which means we can’t start on projects as soon as we were thinking. But we’re just grateful we haven’t lost the house, and with Chris’s extra work, we won’t be in the poor house. These low points of this moving process are very real-life, and honestly, that’s why we chose to share the whole experience with you in the first place.  It would be unfair to not share the bumps, as humiliating as they are for us.

We’ll be sleeping in our new house tonight, everybody! #slowclap

What do you think?

  1. Jessica says:

    Slowclap at the end of the post takes the cake. Sorry this is happening to you. Thanks for being real.

  2. Amy says:

    I’m so sorry you guys have had to go through all this. But what blessings you’ve gotten! Hope things start/continue looking brighter!

  3. Susan says:

    I’m a new reader, and this is my first time to comment.

    We’ve had a house for sale for a year-it’s very rural, so we knew it would take a while to sell-and have had TWO buyers back out after gushing about how much they love the place, etc etc. It’s never really a DONE deal until money changes hands at closing. Fingers crossed we sell before the winter hits( we are in OR)

    We also have sold FSBO with no hitches in other states ( NY and TX), w/o lawyers.

    I am curious though-if you are renting from YOUR sellers, why didn’t you guys do that with your buyers-let them rent until the funds come through?

    Hope it all works out soon. Remember, “If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end!”

    • I love that! As for why we didn’t rent to our buyers, they are actually already renting a house–very close to the home and were waiting for a purchase opportunity to come on the market in our cul-de-sac so they weren’t interested in renting it.

  4. Susan M says:

    oh, I’m so glad that you haven’t lost the new house! And I am so glad to hear that things are not totally bad, and that you have had some more showings! He works in mysterious ways, I think…it’s hard while you’re in the middle of things to see that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel…

  5. heather s says:

    Yay-ness for the good hearts of your sellers! And big yay-ness for miracles! Hx

  6. Kim says:

    Hope you realize that in the “you might also like ” section at the bottom of this post “bob and sally’s” picture is there with a link to read the blog interview/story… must be cached somewhere. I feel bad for both sides but more so for them because they don’t have a forum here to tell their side of the story. They are in their late 70’s, this stress cannot be good for them either, don’t you think?

    • Julia says:

      Thanks for pointing that out Kim. Another reader noticed that, too. I think it is a caching issue. I probably should have deleted or changed the photo before deleting the post. And really, I shouldn’t have deleted the post entirely because it has caused a whole bunch of back-end errors we are trying to resolve. Hopefully when we get it sorted out our buyers can go back to being anonymous, although they never requested to. And rest assured, we have been calling them to check in a few times this week. It has been hard on all of us and we wish them only the best.

  7. Kar says:

    Oh, bless your heart. How horrible. I’m so, so sorry. I’ve got a question for you. We’re going to try to sell our house soon, and we have a lot of dings in our walls. Our walls are pretty bright – we love bright colors – dark gold, brick red, and olive. Should we just fix the dings and re-paint the colors we already have, or will it be more “sellable” if we do a more muted color? What color would you suggest?

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely repaint the walls a neutral color. A light beige/tan is the way to go (if your house is contemporary, A light grey would work as well). Trust me, you will get your money back by repainting! Sorry, as a realtor w/ a staging business, I can’t not comment on this. First impression is so important, and bright colors like you mentioned unfortunately turn some people off. If there were only one bright color in a smaller portion of the house, you’re ok…. But otherwise you are best off keeping it neutral- especially if you’re talking living spaces. I generally keep color in bedrooms/bathrooms. I wish you the best of luck!!’

    • Kar says:

      Thank you so much!! We’ll get to work on the light beige/tan. What are your thoughts on carpet color to go with that? We have to replace the carpet in our living room before we sell it – it’s just gross.

  8. So sorry this has been so tough. Hope it is all up hill from here.

  9. Ohhhhhh my friend! I’m angry with you! I’m so sorry this happened, but I’m glad that a few blessings were able to come your way. I hope that all of these matters are settled very very soon! And I’m also glad that you’re so candid and open about it all. That’s why I love ya. :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have no commented before… a little slack, I know. I am a long time reader though and couldn’t read this post without commenting.

    Moving house, selling house, buying house… whichever one: it is stressful at the best of times. We have bought two houses and sold one, but moved 14 times. In between our two houses (our last and our current), we house-sat for friends to save money and rented off friends when the idea of moving AGAIN (it would have been the 12th time in 10 months) was no longer bearable; and that was with most of our stuff already in storage.

    I am so sorry to hear of this stressful event being so much more stressful, and it’s sad that there are people out there who don’t always seem to consider the way their excuses affect those around them.

    I am so thankful though that you could still see the joy and beauty in the opportunities that came your way – many people wouldn’t have been able to get past the frustration and sadness at what had fallen through, to see the gifts and exciting prospects that came your way afterwards.

    Praying the next few steps in the journey are so much easier and joyous, reliable and comfortable for you all to travel. I also hope the house will close again, sooner than you imagined.

    Thanks for sharing your reality.

  11. Holy crap. What awful stuff to happen to such great people. I’m so glad you didn’t lose the current house and that things seem to be falling into place. I hope it’s uphill from here. Just remember to breathe!!

  12. Thanks for being so honest. I found your blog on Pinterest (like yesterday!) and got sucked into your open and honest “candid style”. I can’t imagine what this roller-coaster ride is feeling like. Wish you the best.

  13. Steph says:

    Well, here’s (raising a glass) to finding another quick buyer who ALREADY has their funding in place!!
    You have great sellers I would say! :) Good luck with everything and thanks for sharing the not sunny side of things.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’ve only read your blog for a few months and never commented before. I enjoy your projects, design style, cooking posts, stories and wonderful attitudes even in tough circumstances, like this! God bless your family!

    Jennifer

  15. so glad to hear that things are looking up! i’m sure your sellers would love for the deal to go through as much as you guys do. so wonderful that they let you rent the house in the meantime.

  16. Thinking of you guys, hoping for better and easier days ahead!

  17. Val says:

    Oh, you guys! I am so, so sorry that this has been such a wretched experience. I started to get really worried when the first post about the money not being ready on time went up, but I was really hopeful that it was just my generally pessimistic outlook interfering.

    I was literally holding my breath out of anxiety until you got to those last few paragraphs, so I can’t even imagine how difficult this has been for you guys. Pretty amazing providence going on here. I’m so grateful that you guys have a place to rest your heads.

    And thank you for sharing all this. It can’t have been easy to put this out on the internet, but hopefully it will help some folks down the line.

  18. Jennah says:

    Thank you for being so real about this. I am consistently amazed that it works out so perfectly for other people so often, and you guys are doing a great job attempting to stay positive in a very difficult situation AND informing readers of the pitfalls when life isn’t as picture perfect as they read in other places. I’m soooo glad you didn’t lose the house!

  19. Kala M. says:

    So glad to hear you haven’t lost the house. I’m quite familiar with those panicked, losing your dream house tears. We lost out on our dream house when my husband lost his job last year. So we are still stuck in our apartment. I probably would have been just as trusting with your buyers. Though I’m not sure I would have made the jump without a real estate lawyer. But that is because we probably would have just used the one who is married to my Mom’s co-worker. Hope everything turns out for the best as soon as possible for your family.

  20. Just reading this was tough, can’t imagine living it! Good on you for keeping a positive attitude. I can’t wait to hear the good things that happen next – I am confident they are coming…

  21. Jimena says:

    Praying for you! So happy you still have your dream house, and you get to sleep there tonight. Fingers crossed for a new buyer and thank you for the honest update.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I do think you had some bad luck, but you still left the picture in your original post about selling your home without an attorney. I recommend you remove that as well.

  23. Amy says:

    Praying for a buyer soon for your old house. So sorry things took a turn for the worse but am so happy that the sellers of your new house are so understanding & able to work with you guys! Hang in there!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I normally don’t comment but having gone through a real estate/insurance disaster last year, I can totally commiserate with you guys. It sucks. Hoping you have a quick resolution so you can move on with your lives! I’m totally looking forward to your future housing improvements!

  25. Ohhhh, this is so heartbreaking. I know how emotional this process is, I really feel for you guys. Hang in there, things will turn around (it’s already starting!). It’ll definitely make you stronger and wiser as a team! I’m rootin’ for you guys!!

  26. Amanda says:

    Oh my goodness. I can’t even imagine! I love your blog and I’ve been so nervous for you guys! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out! :)

  27. Oh, what a ride you’ve all been on! Thank you for sharing it all with us. Love your positive outlook that even though things are undoubtedly crappy, you will be okay. It’s that kind of thinking that ensures it will be. xo Fingers crossed for a quick and reliable new buyer for you!

  28. Jen says:

    You’ve been on my mind all week because, man! Moving is the worst! And with all the added drama…I’m just so sorry. Thank goodness it’s all falling into place as best it can. I’m selfishly praying your UT house will sell quickly (it is pretty great, after all) and you can get back to doing what you do, because I miss your regular bloggins!

  29. We’ve had a real estate disaster, too, and that was with an awesome realtor. Sometimes things go bad, and that’s just the way it is. The Lord was very good to us in our case, and it seems His graciousness is being poured out on you, too. Try not to stress too much-I know, so much easier said than done!

  30. Jenn Leigh says:

    I’m sorry this has turn into such a hard process, that’s awful. I’m glad you didn’t completely loose the new place though, it’s great that they are letting you rent! I’ll be sending good thoughts/wishes your way!

  31. My heart aches for both of you, and your family. We were in a short sale situation from December to May, and while we knew it might be long when we started, I don’t think we really had any idea how emotionally draining the process would turn out to be. Know that there are so many people pulling for you, and we all hope you find a great buyer for your Utah house so your journey can keep moving forward!

  32. So sorry for your troubles you guys. :( But everything we are faced with happens for a reason. I’m sure you all will be stronger after this experience.

  33. Patty says:

    In your dream house not the poor house! HOLLA!

  34. Jennifer says:

    It’s a beautiful life, whether the news is good or bad. I hope you continue blogging honestly even when it’s clear you made some big mistakes. I have a lot of respect for both of you that you admitted that you were wrong! Please keep up with your truthful and REAL updates. While it’s no fun that you are encountering these problems, the ultimate gift to your readers is helping them understand where you went wrong so that others can avoid the same errors in the future.

    I’m sure you are very hurt and angry now, at the situation, the parties involved, and even yourselves. I hope it’s some small comfort that by “keeping it real” you may end up helping many many other people who wouldn’t have learned anything from a perfect hassle-free process. I admire you for your openness and truthfulness.

  35. Deborah says:

    The Lord is good. All the time. Someday this will be a memory and a funny story. I wish your family the best! Try to keep up the positivity and hold onto your patience.

  36. Kirsten says:

    Wow. The stress of everything you have been through is unimaginable. I am so glad you are able to keep the house. I will keep praying for you and your family!

  37. Oh gosh. What a nightmare. Hope everything works out this time around.

  38. Jackie says:

    what a whirlwind experience! i’m glad to hear things are working out, and hope you guys can look back on all of this one day and have a laugh.

  39. Oh my goodness, I am crying just reading this. We just went through the buying and selling process (in the process of moving right now!), and I can’t even imagine what you have been through. Having it all go smoothly is bad enough, but when there are bumps in the road it is just emotionally exhausting. I am so glad that things are working out for you, and I truly hope that you find a buyer for your Utah house ASAP so that you can put all of this behind you.

  40. Syl says:

    I’ve seen (and lived) through house sales disasters with and without a realtor, and with and without an attorney. Sometimes things just go wrong and you just deal. I hope things will turn around for you from now on!

    A quick suggestion for your old house (assuming it’s not snatched up right away again), over and above the regular folder (or instead of if you’re not going to go that route), make a binder with lots and lots of pictures of how your house has looked like, with different furniture and with people in the spaces too. It helps people visualise things better, especially since it’s now devoid of furniture. It helps solve the “oh is the living room really big enough? Sure it looks big now, but it’s empty…” with a “look, there’s furniture and 12 people in that pic, and there’s plenty of space”

    Keep the binder in the house so people can peruse it during their viewing, and once sold you can always keep it as a memento :-)

  41. AviLynn says:

    I’m so happy for you guys that everything seems to be falling into a better place. Selling a house is probably the most stressful life event I have experienced to date. (1 house FSBO). Best wishes to you in the upcoming weeks that your house sells quickly!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Julia- I am so sorry, but so happy for your honesty here. I’m an attorney who sees these things happen ALL THE TIME. When you blogged about doing this all on your own with cash borrowers, I wanted to comment that this wasn’t a great idea for all sellers. I get that YHL has successfully done it “on their own,” but that isn’t the whole story. They have a huge safety net with her mom as an attorney. Don’t feel bad for being trusting, feel good that you’re helping a lot of readers see that when it comes to the biggest financial transaction of their lives, it’s okay to pay for some help in the beginning!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words and insight.

    • Nicole says:

      I was right there along with Anon… I’m also attorney who resisted the urge to post a comment on the how-to without an attorney post. I’m sorry that things turned out the way they did for you, but these things to happen… and they happen to good people. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of saving money, but, for a lot of folks, real estate is often the largest asset we have and those transactions should get the high level of attention they deserve. Here’s to hoping your bailed buyers gave you a hefty deposit or your contact provided for specific performance.

  43. house185 says:

    What. A. Disaster. So sorry your family has had to go through this. It does sound like this is the best case scenario from the worst case scenario, if that makes sense! Sending you lots of hugs and good luck!

  44. Jess says:

    Not coincidences, just God. Sometimes it sucks when it’s not our plan, but it will all come together exactly as it should.

  45. A + S says:

    I’m so glad things started to work out in the end for you. going through all that tough stuff stinks though. Good luck!! Tomorrow is another beautiful and wonderful day.

  46. lmcniff says:

    I’m so sorry to hear the news you two. Kudos to you both for being so positive in the wake of everything that’s happening. Your house is so gorgeous that I know it’s only a matter of time before a new buyer comes along. In the situation, I am sure 95% of us would have been as trusting as you with the first buyers.

    • That’s good to hear. Knowing what we know now, of course we would do things differently, but looking back honestly–we had no reason to believe things wouldn’t have gone through smoothly. Live and learn!

  47. Oh my gosh – that is awful!! I hope things turn around quickly for you (they already seem to be moving in that direction!). Crossing my fingers for you guys.

  48. Heather says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you but God is good and prayers are being answered! Happy that you get to rent your dream home until you can buy it. Kudos to you both for handling this very gracefully!

  49. I am so sorry that this is happening to you! I am so happy that in the midst of all of it you got the news that you could at least rent the house, that must have been a pretty big relief for you guys! I hope it only gets better from here. sending good vibes your way! xx Liz Marie

  50. Ya!!! The Lord is very aware of you and what you need in times of trial. And you’ll be sleeping in your new house! I did not expect to hear that after all this mess. Miracle! Miracle!!

  51. Happy to see you’re hanging in there. Pretty sure all your readers are rooting for you. We’ll say some prayers for you. :)

  52. Lisa says:

    I’m so sorry about your buyers, this really was the worst case. But yay for sleeping in your new house, even if it’s not all the way yours yet! I’m really, really happy that something worked out for you and am crossing my fingers that you get new buyers soon. Good luck!

  53. Gosh, this is heartbreaking. But I completely appreciate your openness and honesty throughout the entire process. As a realtor’s wife, I see things like this happen… closings delayed, money get tight, etc. The beauty in all this is having some seriously understanding and gracious people around you. Hoping for some good news soon for you all about the sale!

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