I have this theory about real estate transactions.
It goes like this: when you have a really stinky negotiation, you'll have a wonderful settlement. And today, it again proved the rule.
My listing in Arlington with 5 fireplaces and a view of the Potomac River settled today. And like many of the happy endings to transactions in this market, it felt like a series of miracles had to happen to get us to this far.
Two weeks elapsed between the time the buyer first saw the place and finally made an offer. She came back several times with her mom and her sister - it was clear to me that her family was a big part of her life and important to her decision making process.
When the initial offer came in, it was low. Real low. And we went back and forth for about a month. It wasn't that anybody was rude or mean or anything. But we did try each others' patience. My guys came way down. The other side came up about a nickel. My guys came down again. She came up another nickel. Then we stared each other down for a few weeks.
Finally, we had that old meeting of the minds, then it threatened to come apart over the home inspection. It didn't.
Then, at some point about halfway to the settlement table, it got nice. And then nicer. And today's settlement was smooth like butter. The papers were all there on time and correct. There were no unresolved issues. The sellers were maniacs about leaving the house in perfect condition, and the buyer appreciated their efforts. It's the way settlements are supposed to be.
Ah! Settlements! Today they all seem like miracles. And to think! I used to take them for granted!