So, we did get a fully executed contracted last Friday evening. God has an amazing way of working things out!
We had started negotiating with these people on Wednesday--they sent over an offer that was horrible--wanting a $5000 price reduction and an additional $5500 in closing costs, plus a home warranty (more $$ out of our pocket) and other stuff. Well, we countered in writing to raise the price of the home by $5500 and then agreed to pay $5500 in closing costs, and no home warranty--and we also asked for a 5 day lease-back provision. We sent over this counter in writing, signed and ready to go. Verbally, they rejected our counter, and we verbally negotiated a deal during the morning on Friday. Their realtor was then going to type up the new contract and send it over for us to sign. The deal was OK, but Brad and I weren't really ecstatic about it--we were getting the full asking price, but having to pay all of our closing costs, plus $1500 of theirs, plus buy them a home warranty, and they were only giving us a 4 day lease.
Well, during the afternoon, while their realtor was typing, another offer came in. And then we were notified that a third was on its way. My mom (our realtor) called all the interested parties (including the first couple) and told them we'd accept best final offer. The first people were mad, since they thought it was a done deal, but since nothing of our verbal discussions had been put on paper, we explained there was no deal. Well, I guess they decided our first counter offer, which WAS in writing, wasn't so bad--they signed and executed the contract that evening, then called to tell us we were contractually bound.
We were a bit disappointed that we weren't going to get the excitement of a bidding war--but we are very excited that we ended up with a full-price contract on the house and the 5-day lease we wanted.
Of course, that very day, we discovered our air conditioner had stopped working. Yikes! Brad's father looked it over and determined that our compressor was out of commission. $1200 later, it is now fixed. So, we got a better deal than we planned--just in time for the a/c to break and for us to end up right back where we started! However, it is amazing how it all worked out--had we gone with the initial deal, where we were paying $1500 in their closing costs, we wouldn't have had the cash to pay for the a/c unit, and we would have been seriously hurting in a month or so, when it came time to close on the house. God has an amesome way of working things out, doesn't He?
Now we are just hoping and praying that everything goes smoothly with this deal. Next Monday, we'll be able to breathe a little easier--that's when their option period ends and they can no longer back out. But until the house is closed and the deal is final, I'll be a little stressed out!
I do have something fun to look forward to, though. After the house closes on May 24, we'll be "homeless" until July 1st, so we've decided to take advantage of the situation and go on a "Great American Road Trip." It will be a one-month odyssey around the central US to visit all of our many friends and family we have scattered about. We'll drive a total of 3000 miles, spending no more than a week in any one place (most places we'll only stay 1 or 2 days). We'll traverse 6 states: Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas. We're going to see hokey tourist attractions; visit an amusement park, Silver Dollar City; stay in a cabin in the wilderness and explore caves; visit the St. Louis arch and ride a riverboat; see a trick riders show off their horseman skills; eat barbecue and listen to blues in Memphis; and best of all, see friends and family that we haven't spent time with in ages. I'll probably lose my sanity somewhere along the way, and I'm sure I'll never want to see the inside of my van again after this trip, but we'll make great memories as a family along the way.