You’ve probably heard it a thousand times — the three most important things in real estate are “Location, location, location.” Up until now I’ve always believed this, but I just helped a buyer get to closing, and his situation has me rethinking things. For them it was “Timing, timing, and timing.”
In 2008, the heart of the great recession, Adele Liskov referred Unjum and Farida to me. They were ready to buy their first home and their timing was perfect. Prices had bottomed out, there was an over supply of inventory, and President Obama created a $10,000 first time home buyer tax credit. The reason their timing was perfect was because in that market you could get the seller to give a 3% closing credit and get a $10,000 refund on your taxes. This meant they could effectively purchase a house with no money out of pocket. That purchase was their first brush with great timing.
Fast forward to 2022, and Unjum, Farida and their three children were ready to trade up to a larger house. To maximize their spending power, their lender wanted them to sell their existing home first. This created a problem because sellers were still enjoying the upper hand and would not accept an offer with a home sale contingency. So they decided to sell their home first and then buy second. This was a risky proposition and they needed perfect timing for this to work out.
We listed their home just as the market began to cool off. Mortgage rates were creeping towards 6% and homes were no longer selling in hours or days. Remarkably, a buyer came in with a strong offer, $25K over asking, no contingencies, and a two month rent back. Maybe the buyer really loved the house, or maybe they were weary from losing out on too many prior offers, but I think they were the last of the aggressive buyers of 2022. Perfect timing; lightning struck twice.
Now we had 90 days to find their next dream home dream. Just two months prior, the odds of success would have been slim, but again, perfect timing. The Fed’s aggressive actions caused the market to slow down right when we needed it most. Unjum and Farida were able to find the perfect home and get their offer accepted with a home sale contingency. That was something I had not seen in over two years!
Just when all seemed perfect, the strangest timing issue happened. Unjum’s contract required him to settle on Friday, August 19. Three days before settlement Unjum called in a panic. He’d been selected for jury duty and the trial was expected to last all week long. If he missed his settlement he could be in default and risk losing the house and his deposit. I asked him who the judge is and now it goes from just bad timing to can’t make this stuff up. The judge is John Maloney. John happens to be married to Dolores Murphy Maloney. Dolores is a member of the Ron Sitrin Team and happens to be the team member that shepherded Unjum’s deal through. Dolores’ husband is the judge presiding over Unjum’s case! On Thursday, the case went into jury deliberation. Fortunately, Unjum was named as an alternate juror, and excused just in the nick of time.
I can’t wait to see what good thing happens when Unjum and Farida are ready to buy their next home.