The Nitty Gritty on the Sale of Flip #6

I could write a novel about the sleepless nights we’ve had over the sale of this flip but, in the interest of not boring you to tears, I’ll keep it brief.  :)

So we listed the flip for sale in early June and immediately had tons of interest, great feedback, and even a few offers.  One offer stood out from the rest – it was thousands over list price!  Color us excited.

"After" Flip Photos: The living areas, including the kitchen

We obviously accepted that offer and everything seemed to be moving along smoothly.  No big hiccups during the inspection, we passed the option period, we passed the financing contingency period…we were in the clear!


We started getting word from the buyer’s agent that something wasn’t quite right the week before closing, but we chose to be optimistic – at this point we had fulfilled all of our obligations as the sellers and the buyer didn’t have any more “outs” under the contract, so why not hope for the best?

About this time Jason and I left Peanut behind for a few days and headed to Chicago for a quick vacation – we continued to hear grumblings from the buyer’s agent but she assured us that she was doing everything she could do to talk her client off the ledge and get him to close on the house.

We continued to be optimistic.

Closing day rolled around – yippee!  Or not.  At around 4pm we got an email from the buyer’s agent with a letter terminating the contract, simply saying that the buyer had “changed his mind.”  Direct quote.

Are you kidding me??  Who enters into a contract to buy a house and then changes their mind at literally the last possible moment?  Not cool at all.  We’ve had a contract fall apart before, but never quite like this.

"After" flip photos: The bathrooms

We never knew exactly what happened, but the agent hinted that the buyer hadn’t locked in his interest rate and was horrified that rates had risen and that he would obviously have a higher mortgage payment as a result.  That was a risk he chose to take when he didn’t lock in his interest rate, but we’re the ones that lost out.

We did wind up keeping the buyer’s earnest money, so that was something, but we knew that we would never get as good of a purchase price the second time around. The house was no longer fresh on the market so buyers no longer had that sense of “buy it now or you’ll miss out.”

A bit defeated, we put the house back on the market – again, we had lots of showings, good feedback, etc.  We even had a few people say they would put in offers, but those offers didn’t materialize.

getting ready to list the flip

Finally, after a few weeks, we got a solid offer – even though it was definitely less than the original contract price.  We negotiated a bit and then the house was under contract again!  Color us relieved.

This sale went super smoothly, and we closed on our side of the transaction last Wednesday (the buyers closed the following day).

framing & drywall Flip 6

Jason pinpointed the emotional roller coaster that we went through so well – he said that after going through a failed sale like this, you lose sight of how proud you are of the house and what you accomplished and you just want to get it sold.  A sense of desperation sets in, and it’s stressful, and it doesn’t feel good!  So, while we are so happy to have this flip sold, more than anything we are just relieved and ready to move on.

I feel a little sad that we aren’t celebrating the house a bit more, but that’s just the way it is.  Hopefully our next sale will be a little less eventful.  :)

Have you guys ever been through a real estate roller coaster?

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  1. Meredith says:

    Wow, that is amazing – in a horrible way.

  2. What a drag, I’m so sorry that happened. I suppose there’s nothing a seller can do to prevent that. Buying our house was total huge roller coaster. The seller basically decided she didn’t want to sell after she accepted our offer, so she spent the next month trying to get us to back out. When several things failed inspection, she refused to fix them, hoping we’d walk. We had no pre-closing walk through because the night before she still hadn’t packed a thing. We truly had no idea what was going to happen at closing. It turned out ok but after closing we showed up at the house and she was still there and her moving trucks hadn’t even arrived yet. It was very strange. Finally we started moving our stuff into the basement while she moved her stuff out the front door. It all ended ok but it was far more stressful than it should have been.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Ok, yours is definitely worse! Losing money as a seller stinks, but going through that situation as a buyer would be such an emotional roller coaster. I’m so glad it all turned out okay!

  3. Kate says:

    Yikes, that is definitely a roller coaster that’s no fun to be on! Glad you got it sold though.

    May I ask a general question? We are re-doing our master bath and wondering how to know the best choice for the finish of faucets, light fixtures and hardware. It seems ORB is everywhere but we are concerned it is trendy and we like brushed nickel but will it endure over time? It’s so overwhelming when basically starting from scratch and choosing EVERYTHING! Any tips?

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Hey Kate! I don’t know that there’s any “best” choice, but brushed and polished nickel have been in style forever and likely will be forever so one of those options would be a safe bet! However, it really just comes down to what you would like for your own home, and what will work best with the other finishes you choose – ORB, polished nickel, black, they can all look great in the right situation.

  4. GG says:

    I have had several real estate roller coasters in my tenure as a homeowner. Both as a buyer and a seller. I can’t tell which is worse though. The dashed hopes and dreams of a buyer or the frustrations and money lost as a seller…. In all cases? The realtor has been the problem. I am tempted to get a realtor’s license just to handle my next sale/purchase because I do my own research anyway, why do they get such a high percentage of the sale for basically botching the process?? Sorry, just had to vent// Glad you finally unloaded the house, it is STUNNING please feel free to blog more before/after pics of the layout changes so we can all ooh and ahh over them and give you some positive feedback to take the sting off of the sale!! I thought this was one of the most interesting house layouts you have had on the blog.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      I agree that having a sale fall through totally stinks, whether you’re the buyer OR the seller – but I don’t think we can blame all realtors for all SNAFUs, buyers and sellers are just people and sometimes people are hell-bent on doing crazy things!

  5. Rebecca says:

    If I weren’t so addicted to living in NYC, I would totally come down to TX and buy your flips. They are all amazing, and I would be super excited to live in any one of them. You should feel super proud of this one, despite the annoying roller coaster. Its a beautiful home, and I’m sure the new homeowners are beyond thrilled.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Thanks Rebecca! Your sweet words definitely make me feel better about this whole experience!

  6. Ann says:

    Same thing happened to us, but in reverse: seller didn’t show up for closing. We had to go to court to get our deposit back. Big nightmare for us as buyers. Closings since that first attempt at buying have been smooth, whether we were buyers or sellers. Sorry this happened to you and hope you have another house lined up to work on. You do such lovely work.

  7. I think flipping is a great way to come up on big profits but its also dangerous. Situations like yours occur and cause big headaches. Im glad its over with!

  8. Lindy says:

    Unfortunately people do this all the time….it’s a bummer but happens more than you think.

  9. Grace says:

    I never heard of not locking in a rate….stupid first buyer!!!

  10. Maggie S says:

    That is quite a story-you should still be VERY proud of a beautiful house.

    You do such a great job –not just with the things on the surface, but you do all the important things too.
    I know many flippers just do the things people can see and then the buyer is left with a lot of problems, but your projects are done right. People that are lucky enough to buy your beautiful flips are getting a quality property.
    I can’t wait to see the next one!!!

    Maggie S

  11. Jennifer says:

    I love reading the supportive comments, particularly Maggie and Rebeka’s entries.
    I agree that you did a fabulous job on your flip, and hopefully that pride and satisfaction will over-rule the crazy last minute back-out. Great job once again!

  12. Kim R says:

    We just sold the house that we had lived in for 19 years and raised our children in. The first day on the market we had lots of showings and 2 offers – one was a few thousand over asking price. Over the next couple of weeks, though, they backed out with lots of manufactured excuses (this was pre-inspection). We found out later that only the wife saw the house initially and essentially the over asking offer was to “hold” the house until the husband could see it. We were fortunate that we went back to the second offer and were able to get asking price for the house. But I will forever be skeptical of an over-asking price offer to the point that I will ask for a higher amount of earnest money. I am a trusting person and cannot dream of the things others will do with no regard to ethics or honesty.
    I am so glad you are past that home and looking forward to the next one.

  13. Sorry to hear all those troubles. But glad it turned out well in the end.

  14. What an awful situation. We went through a similar experience to Erin’s with our current house. The sellers were having a messy breakup and one didn’t want to sell. We knew that things were uncertain all the way through. For the week before closing, I called our lawyer every single day, making sure that he was on top of the sellers lawyer and the deal was going to close (yes, I may be the most annoying buyer ever). It ended up closing fine, but when we got to the house one of the sellers (the one who wanted to sell) was there having a fire in the driveway and crying into his beer with his friend. They went on their way quickly, fortunately. Unfortunately, the other half of the sellers, the one who didn’t want to sell, left all of her things in the house–clothes, furniture, garbage. We had kind of expected that to happen, so it wasn’t too terrible, but it was still a big delay of clearing out all of their stuff before we could move our own in.

  15. Dianna says:

    I just found your blog via Pinterest, and went through all the flips you did. I wish I could convince my hubby to flip houses, but until I can, it will just have to remain a fantasy.

    I wish I could comment on older posts, because this is going to seem really wierd popping up here, but I wanted to let you know what that unidentified “palm” was in the back yard of your first flip. It wasn’t a palm at all, it was a yucca. We lived in White Sands Missile Range for a few years, and they grow with a trunk like that to keep their leaves above the dunes.

  16. Baa House says:

    You have really done a great job…..

  17. Trish says:

    I love your front door. Do you know who manufactured it?

  18. ShannonU says:

    Oh Liz, I feel your pain. Sorry for the upcoming novella, but I felt compelled to comment!

    My husband was transferred to Dallas from the Austin area a few years ago, right at the beginning of the housing crash. We knew that if we were going to sell our old house, we’d have to fix it up to the 9’s, so we did. We did a beautiful job inside and out (not just slapping lipstick on a pig) and made it look like NEW! (In fact, you featured our master bath on your blog. Not sure if you remember!)

    First week, we got multiple offers in a market where that was rare! The inspector for the offer we picked nicknamed himself “the Deal-Breaker”. He made a 40 page inspection that was ABSURD!
    The buyer’s agent was with the biggest firm in town and she told all her colleagues that our house was problematic. We went through 6, YES SIX failed contracts. As soon as the people got wind of the rumors about our house, it would be over. It was a small town, so some of them even hired the “deal breaker” inspector AGAIN. We collected a silly amount of earnest money, but we just needed to sell! We even hired our own inspector who said the house was GREAT!

    Finally the 7th contract stuck and we sold it to some sweet young newlyweds. They’ve been thrilled with it ever since and keep in contact with us.

    We were so proud of all our upgrades and even “hidden” fixes that my husband did just to be ethical. The selling process took away all our pride. Don’t let it do that to y’all!
    You do quality, gorgeous work. This experience will be the exception, not the norm!

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Oh my goodness, that is horrible!! I think that’s the worst story I’ve heard, and that totally STINKS that it happened to you! I can’t imagine how terrible that must have been. :(

  19. ShannonU says:

    OH, and I just had to add…if it weren’t for our Realtor, we would have jumped off a bridge! (Not really, but she was so awesome and professional. We could not have survived the stress without her. And NO it was not her fault!)

  20. Crystal says:

    Thanks for sharing your real ups and downs with house flipping. Would be flippers should know about both the highs and the lows. This blog is a great inspiration for newbies and naysayers – I love all the beautiful photos. Best wishes!

  21. Jim says:

    The house buying/selling process is a real nightmare can indeed take months and months if there are any issue. I had a similar problem whereby the buyer was having issues setting up a mortgage which delayed the process but luckily, it all went through smoothly in the end.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  22. This does sound extremely stressful. But on the bright side at least its off your hands now!

  23. angel says:

    Great House i want to live in that house its beautiful and refreshing…

  24. Aya says:

    All I can say is, it’s all worth it. You all work hard to come up with such a beautiful home. What an inspiration! Thanks for posting this. Gonna work harder in order this time :)

    Kit Homes Perth

  25. Wow, way to go! What a roller coaster! The kitchen is gorgeous – I love that cabinetry you put in. All your hard work paid off! Congrats on the sale!