3 Private Home Buying Tips + The downside of private home sales

If you are unfamiliar with the stream, you will have noticed that Wednesday last week I was given the new that our dream was dashed.

My boyfriend and I are moving back home to Nova Scotia in the coming months and to say we are stressed about a house to buy is an understatement. The reasoning for this is because there has been a minor boom happening there. This is where people from Ontario are buying all the homes as soon as they come up however they are putting it sometimes 20k – 100k above asking price. I think we are prematurely becoming stressed since we wont get our official message of moving til mid April, with hopefully moving in July.

Here is where the story begins. My best friend since grade 6, her parents were selling their house. Well, thinking about it anyways. We had discussed a price. And agreed. For a while they were worried about my boyfriend and I backing out of the deal and leaving them with things. We hyped it up, there was multiple confirmations about this. There were many things happening and nearing the point where we would have an actual agreement written up so that they could sign and it would be a done deal (Obviously confirming we get out message to move as well as an inspection doesn’t have something crazy with it either!). They didn’t want to go public as they were not comfortable with having so many people through their home, they wanted to save money on agent fees since they are also expensive and take a HUGE chunk of the profits too.

Then, their son told them if they were to go public with this sale. He said they could get more money if they went public and welp, long story short. They did. They informed us on Wednesday evening AFTER we had confirmed again that same day. To the point that if my boyfriend had of gotten his lawyer to write up this agreement then he would have been out of money.

Doing a private sale was never something we wanted to do. We did this as a favor for them. However we were screwed. Before people start coming at this, “But of course if they could make more money blah blah blah”. We never denied that they could probably make more money if they were to go public with the sale. We told them that if they wanted to go that route they could. However the multiple confirmations and moments they could have told us they were having different thoughts was far too many to count. We aren’t upset at the fact that they told us they wanted to go with an agent. We are upset at the fact that we were strung along for 3 weeks this promise of a house which never was going to happen. To say we are devastated is an understatement.

That being said. Here is my tips for you if you are considering having a private sale or buying of a home.

1) Get it in WRITING! – One thing we didn’t do quick enough was get everything in writing. The day they called to back out of the verbal agreement was the day we were talking with lawyers to draw up a purchase agreement. Had we have had something in writing then maybe they would have been stuck in what they agreed to however that was our mistake for trusting someone I had known for over 18 years through my friend.

2) Have a back out clause. If you are going the private route make sure that you have a back out clause. Had they have come back to use and wanted to re-negotiate a deal with us. Which they had not done first (Mind you we could have also offered them a bit more then what they wanted to if they had even asked us..But they choose not to.) we would have for sure put something in the new contract in regards to them that if they were to back out they would have owed us something of financial security for wasting our time with them.

3) And I know.. This may come as a wasted point. But DO NOT GET EXCITED UNTIL EVERYTHING IS FINALIZED! My boyfriend and I continuously reminded one another not to get excited, this isn’t for sure, don’t get your hopes up and all that stuff. However as time passed we got more and more excited because there was the confirmations along the way. No more of that for us. It is a very difficult lesson to learn and we are still feeling the loss of this house. Sure nothing was set in stone but that didn’t make anything less real. We got our hopes up in a world that could use a little bit more. And we are the ones who are feeling this loss.

If anything, I hope by reading this you learn from our mistakes. Now we are on the hunt and keeping our eyes peeled on the house of our dreams. We may be looking far too early for when we are able to move. However you really have to keep your eyes on what houses are selling, what prices they are going for, and when are they going up for sale. We have all the criteria we would like to have it’s just catching one that we can put an offer in at the right time without having it go up tens of thousands of dollars and it quickly becomes out of our price range too.

And a friendly reminder, You really don’t know someone for any amount of years. Money changes people. Even ones you thought that you knew. And before letting your heart get broken and back to square one again, remember that you have to look out for number one. YOU.

Do you have any moving horror stories?
Anything you wish you could have done differently when buying a home whether publicly or privately?
Let me know in the comments below!


– Stacey

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