Our Buying & Selling Nightmare
Disclaimer: This is just me venting. I absolutely understand that there are people out there who have had much worse luck than this.
Our second child was born last March and we decided soon after that we were going to need more room than our 1000 sqft house could provide. We started actively looking for a new home in July 2011. We knew we were going to be a bit more specific when we were looking this time around (after living and learning from our 1st house) and anticipated that it would be a longer process, but had no idea how long it would take! Between July 2011 and March 2012 we made 4 offers, all of which we lost out to other buyers because we made our offers conditional on the sale of our house. By the time we made our 5th offer, and after reassurance from our agents and everyone else that we would have no problem selling our house (we still have a very hot market here), we decided not to include this condition and our offer was accepted.
We listed our house and had tons of interest, but no offers. After being on the market for about 3 weeks (most houses in our neighbourhood and price range sell in the first week), we dropped our price a bit and received an offer. We were ecstatic because we were starting to get nervous and we accepted the offer that gave us the exact price and closing date that we were looking for. The offer we received was conditional on financing, home inspection, and the sale of her house. Originally we had decided not to accept any offers that were conditional on sales of previous property simply because we didn't have the luxury of time - the closing date on our purchase was fast approaching - but she already had an offer on her house that was conditional only on financing and was expected to firm up within a week, so we went with it.
Fast forward 1 week. Our buyer secured her financing and our house passed inspection with flying colours. Her buyer, on the other hand, didn't get approved. We were absolutely speechless. Our purchase is closing in about 3 weeks, and our deal is on the fritz. Our buyer still wants our place, so we've given her an extra 2 weeks to sell her house (she got an offer after only 3 days last time), but if she can't sell in 2 weeks (and get a closing date that works for us - we're only allowed to bridge our financing for 30 days) we are screwed!
We've learned so many lessons from this clusterf**k of a situation. Number 1, we will never make an offer on another house that isn't condition on our sale. Ever. Number 2, we will never assume that someone will get approved for financing, even if the house they're buying is $100K less than the average house price in the city and rates are 3%.
It's crazy how things can go from being so great, to so crappy in a matter of hours...