Update from the front…

Regular readers of this blog (and you know you are one) may remember that last month Lori and I embarked on an awesome adventure, selling our home in Clyde Hill and planning a move to Madison Park (See http://blog.ripwarendorf.com/ ). Well I’m back to report that our westward migration is well underway. Here’s a quick update and a few learnings from the real estate front lines.

As sellers, we took the time needed to get our house ready to sell. Then we hired a stager (and did what he said), priced it right, put the marketing in place and then got out of Dodge for a few days. The result was multiple offers, a quick closing, and we’re still here thanks to an expertly-negotiated free “rent-back” from the buyers. The seller’s market is real!

We’ve now turned 180° and put on our buyer’s hats. Using some of the same strategies that have worked recently for my buy-side clients we have uncovered some promising prospects in Madison Park and are working to convert one of them into a deal. Here are a few ideas from my recent experience on the buy side.

“Money talks…” Have your cash/financing completely locked and loaded so you can make a clean, non-contingent offer when the right place becomes available. Making an offer with as few contingencies as possible and a quick close works wonders.
Pre-inspect. In competitive situations, sellers see home inspection contingencies as the giant OUT CLAUSES that they are. It will cost you a few bucks, but doing an inspection before submitting your offer may allow you to waive the inspection contingency, making your offer much stronger and giving you a competitive advantage.

Talk is cheap…and effective. Persistent networking works for clients and it seems to be working for us too. Conversations with anyone who will listen, snail mail, email, social media, etc. can all play a part. It’s amazing where valuable leads and connections come from.

Find a way station. Instead of trying thread the needle and time everything perfectly from the sale of your home to identifying and closing on a new one, consider a short term lease in your target neighborhood. We’ve found one in a great location with room for the kids when they come around, and removing the timing pressure improves the odds of closing one of the opportunities we’ve uncovered.

So, still happily married, enjoying the hunt and settled in for a fun summer in the new ‘hood. So far, so good. Stay tuned…