August 5, 2022
When you have ocean views it’s hard to think of a reason to leave, so this home, like so many of my view properties, was in the family for over two decades. The owners had raised their son here, entertained with great parties, and made friends with all of the neighbors.
Fast forward to today and life had changed for my client R. She was spending more and more time out of the area running her business in Northern California. She was closing down another family business that was based in Long Beach, and her son was all grown up. Her husband who she had loved and cared for had passed away in early 2020. The view was still beautiful, but she was feeling that energetic itch for change. This lady doesn’t stop, she is a force to be reckoned with and I could tell when she called me that she was ready for another adventure.
We got to work! After touring the house it was clear that the layout and scale of the space was still timeless and appealing, but as R had been spending so much time away she warned me that the home needed some sprucing up. We got our vendors to grace the walls with an easy white, highlighting the natural light the home has so much of. We took down older window treatments that felt personal, a dog run that was convenient for Frankie the terrier, but blocking great light into a bedroom, and we called R’s landscaper to do his magic with colorful flowers.
We also called in professional stagers and moved R out of the house before showings so that she wouldn’t be disturbed by open houses, and so that the home would feel like a completely blank slate- a place that could be anyone’s retreat.
The open houses were a smashing success. Every neighbor and buyer stopped by and delighted in the views. Ultimately we were able to attract multiple offers, all from absolutely fantastic buyers. The final decision came down to an all cash offer, or a higher financed offer. It was a very tough decision for the Seller as she said she could hear her husband saying “take the cash,” but the slightly higher offer felt right to her, despite the financing contingencies. She trusted her gut, took the leap of faith with the financed offer, and ultimately closed with those buyers.
This right here is why I would say cash is not everything. Sellers consider the full financial profile that buyer's present. When we looked at the financed offer’s package it was clear to us that they were also solid and could afford the house. They waived their appraisal contingency to be competitive (somewhat standard these days) and had significant proof of funds to keep the Seller confident in their ability to perform. If you’re up against all-cash offers do what these buyers did. Eliminate all contingencies you can, show your financial strength, and have your lender and agent advocate for you ferociously.
I have to say I also think this transaction was the perfect example of how strong agents with experience can minimize the drama of multi-million dollar transactions. On the listing side, we prepared with full disclosures and a spirit of openness. My approach as a listing agent is always honest, open, and fully transparent because that is actually the best scenario for my Sellers. It minimizes their liability and makes the buyer feel comfortable. Big purchases are scary, and they become scarier when listing agents and sellers aren’t cooperating. I’ve seen sketchy listing agents lead to my own Buyers canceling deals because they don’t feel they can get real answers. That’s bad for the Seller! My job as a listing agent is to get this ACROSS THE FINISH LINE, not canceled. The Buyer’s agents on this transaction were great advocates for their clients, and professionals, and knew how to handle hiccups when they came up. This was no a***oles transaction with seasoned agents who didn’t have ego problems - and guess what? It worked out very well for all involved.
I am incredibly grateful I got to represent such a beautiful home, and work with such a dynamo as the Seller. I wish her the best in her next chapter and I know she’s going to have the best time up North!
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