Friends, a brief note before you read….We continue to wait for home. This is the single most exaggerated wait I’ve experienced. We are receiving generous hospitality but we do not have cell and internet reception which is why I haven’t been posting daily. I’ve managed to steal away a few minutes while in town. Copious notes and journal entries are being made to preserve the still unraveling story. Your prayers for patience for God’s will are greatly appreciated. Love, Julie
After viewing the property my husband and I hemmed and hawed over how we should structure our offer. He’s a skilled Realtor and understands how to write a clean offer and build bridges that lead to accepted offers. I’ve watched him beat out multiple offers in California’s hottest markets and trust his judgment the same way I’d trust my dad’s if he were still alive. However, this wasn’t our turf. Every market speaks a unique dialect and we relied on an agent to interpret and carry the ball for our team.
Back in the huddle our agent told us the seller war was highly motivated and would likely entertain a significantly lower than list price. Every frugal penny pincher nerve in me turned cartwheels, “How low? What do you think we could and should offer?”
Down the rabbit hole we went….
Every buyer wants to get the most for their money, though greed isn’t always the motivation. As we prepared to build a real estate business from the ground-up in a small community with already too many agents we cut spending to bolster savings. Every cent matters, especially in these situations.
Risks and Rewards
We ran numbers and weighed options. If we offered the list price it would likely be accepted and we could move forward with the added security of a home when we returned. A nearly full price offer might be accepted or countered. Submitting a lowball offer ran the risk of upsetting the seller and forfeiting any future negotiations. With time on our side we could take calculated risks, but time pressed in. We needed a place to move.
Sleep On It
It’s a good policy to sleep before taking a leap so we waited to write an offer to the “motivated seller” until the following morning. We took a risk and wrote an offer twenty-five thousand under list price (in the name of saving money I did something I’d probably advise my client against!). We held high hopes of immediate acceptance but reasonable expectations of a counter offer.
However, the best plans and strategies apart from pursuing God’s will end in ruin. Just as every buyer wants to save money on their purchase, every seller wants to keep as many dollars in their pockets, often for their next purchase.
As we headed out for dinner the evening we submitted the offer our agent called. When I saw his name on my phone I expected a celebratory voice, even if we received a counter offer, the ball was still in play and that’s worth cheering for. Again, my expectations met a harsh reality.
“She didn’t accept the offer.”
When his words finally registered with my mind I felt stunned.
Our offer didn’t even receive a nod.
Fear, worry and anxiety drenched my soul. Soon what if and should came to stir the internal riot. I can’t count how many times a regretful, “We know better” stumbled off my tongue like pirates falling off the plank.
Scheduled to make the long drive back to California the next morning without a contingency plan helplessness seeped into my heart. Again, I God put me exactly where I needed to be: In His powerful and personal care.
Where would we live? (That question continually arose…even now as I write I’m not in a home of my own.)
Fouls, Fumbles and Redemption
When God equips and skills it’s especially easy to take charge and run ahead of His lead. We forget God doesn’t need a break or vacation, He doesn’t need us to call the shots. We confessed that night of running the play our way and prayed God would mercifully provide a home for our family.
Remember God is loving, kind and merciful; a God of do-overs? The next morning as we drove away from there we spoke with our agent and made a new verbal offer. Cell service cut in and out as we drove away which made communicating impossible for long stretches.
An hour and a half away we regained cell service and picked up a message from our agent. When we called back we did something we’ve never done before; we gave him full permission to continue the negotiations without talking with us with a cut-off dollar amount. This freed our agent to negotiate fluidly and guess what, we reached an agreement!
When anything becomes too easy we quickly forget we need God even for the “small stuff”. God made us wait and feel the sting of charging forward. We dangled, but He didn’t let us fall. It’s these experiences in life that build spiritual alters that alert us when we begin to stray from the path.