24 Hours: The BREL edition
Usually, we work with clients who have a detailed plan, or at least a vague idea of how the process of buying or selling a home (or both) will go. Then there are the times when we get the panicked call from someone who has stumbled upon a home they just can’t let getaway. There’s no plan. There’s no preapproval or even a budget. There is only a feeling that it’s meant to be and a ticking clock. This tale, told by one of our longtime clients about their current house, unfolded in the East End and is one of those stories.
Saturday 4 PM – Oh shit.
I went to an open house with my older child. I saw the house pop up on MLS, and I was interested to see the renovation that had been done. I was just starting to think about updates to our house if we were going to stay there long-term. It was only 400m from where we were living.
When I walked in, I cursed under my breath. The agent running the open house wanted to know what was wrong…the problem was not about anything wrong. It was about what was right…so right. I knew I had just walked into MY house. Except I wasn’t looking to buy a house. My husband was definitely not looking to buy a house. My little son and I stayed for 45 minutes and explored every inch. With every step, I loved it more. It was perfect.
Saturday 4:45 – Show me the money.
I had a 400m walk home to figure out if it was even worth mentioning to my husband on a Saturday afternoon. It was an “offers anytime” house, and I knew it would be gone by Monday. There was no point in pining if we couldn’t buy it, so I called our Mortgage Specialist, Henry Vincent. The BRELs introduced us when we purchased a previous home, and I hoped he’d be around to talk me off the ledge. We connected almost immediately, and Henry did some quick calculations. When I walked in the door on the phone, my husband knew something was up. He asked me if I was on the phone with the real estate agents. And I said no, the mortgage guy. No point in calling the agents if we can’t make the money work. Henry came back on the line to let us know the money was doable. All I needed was proof of income. Ok, complicated but doable. The open house was ending in 5, and we needed to get back into that house…you know, since my husband hadn’t actually seen it yet.
Saturday 5:25 Seeing is believing.
I called the BRELs and asked if any of their team was free to take us back to the house that I had sweet-talked my husband into seeing with his own eyes so we could have a serious talk about moving…again. Melanie and Brendan could sense my excitement and rearranged their night to come across the city and show the house themselves. They arranged the appointment, and we made the 400m walk one more time.
Saturday 6:30 Honey, I’m home.
Walking through the door, I didn’t have any regrets about mobilizing the team. If anything, I was even more in love the second visit. My husband did agree that it was beautiful, off the main street where we were currently living, with a big backyard, driveway, lots of space and beautiful finishes. And while he wasn’t all that keen on the very modern look of the home, I think he knew that the rest of the boxes were checked and that this home was precisely what I was looking for – at a price that we could afford – even though it was a big jump from where we were living.
Saturday 7:00 An open discussion about open-concept
There was one more talk we had to have. Could we live in an open concept house? We’re a little messy. Not dirty, but we have stuff. Lots of stuff. (way too much stuff). We needed to discuss if this change was in our best interest and if we could agree to do our best to try and keep the clutter to a minimum so our beautiful house could stay that way. (*spoiler – we didn’t do so well at that, but I still love the house, stuff and all)
Saturday 7:45 Raise your hand if you’ve decided to try and buy a house!
We call Melanie and Brendan back. We’ve talked, pro’d, con’d, and I may have done a little mild begging and have decided to offer on the house. My husband does not like to rush into anything, but I knew there was no time, and we’d lose it if we waited.
I drove over to M & B’s house to talk about all the details, while my husband stayed home with the kids and stayed in the loop via text.
Saturday 9:00 Sign us up for one offer, coming first thing in the am, please.
The BRELs work their magic, and at 9 PM they call to ask a few questions and let them know we intend to offer on the house in the AM.
We call Henry again to talk about financing in more detail. We let him know we’ll be making an offer, but need to know the finer details, like “how high can we comfortably go.” He reminds me of the proof of income, and we part ways to work on the deposit.
Saturday 9:30 Checking under the mattress.
Anyone who has purchased knows one of the most stressful parts is pulling together the deposit. On a Saturday night. After 9. When you weren’ thinking about buying a house but will need to produce a check on Monday. I’m usually cool as a cucumber, but that part made me sweat. In the end, we got it all figured out… but there were a few minutes when I was sure this was where the plan would fall apart.
Sunday 4:00 AM Sleep is for suckers and people who don’t make whirlwind life changes.
Stare at the ceiling and run everything – the numbers, the timing, the logistics – through my head 100 more times.
Sunday 8:45 AM The one time an early Sunday work call was worth it
That proof of employment is more straightforward when one is actually employed. I was freelancing. The agency had asked me to join full-time, but I was avoiding the discussion. I asked my boss to stay behind to ask if we could make it official on account of I wanted to buy a house but needed proof of employment. He was on board and let me know I should email HR, and they would make it work.
Sunday 9:30 AM Just checking in on the job you haven’t offered me yet.
A quick email to HR, who also got right back to me – Thank you small company for making this work, I am still very grateful – and let me know I could confirm the salary with Henry and he’d have a letter tomorrow.
Sunday 9:45 AM We’re good to go!
One more call to Henry to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and we were good to go.
All the documents were digital, so we were all in our own homes with files flying back and forth. We were ready to submit.
Sunday 10 AM – Agents are on the case.
Our realtors sent our offer in and started talks with the sellers’ realtor. It turned out, I knew the owner of the house, and I was crossing my fingers that our personal connection would help us seal the deal. The BRELs are master negotiators, and I was so glad I had them in my court.
Sunday 11 AM – Not the call we wanted to get
The BRELs call us, and we pick up to see what’s happening. It was definitely not what we wanted to hear. There was another offer on the table. And if we wanted the house, we needed to decide if we wanted to be in a bidding war and determine what we wanted to go back with. As I mentioned, we were already stretching to make this move. How much were we willing to go over for a house I didn’t even know I was looking for yesterday. Ug.
Sunday Noon – Let the games begin.
We decided to go up but not make a huge jump. We figured the other people were in the same boat and would likely proceed cautiously. We asked Melanie and Brendan for their council, but ultimately we need to set the number. The team got the paperwork done, and the new offer was sent back.
1 PM. Sweating.
Nope. We have the opportunity to go up again. We choose to do so. Melanie goes into the negotiation, guns a-blazing. Personal story, reveals the personal connection…at this point, we’re all in love with the house, and we don’t want to let it go.
Sunday 2 PM More Sweating.
The other offer is higher. And while the sellers are happy with the amount, they want us to have the house. They give us one more chance to come back with a higher number, to see if we can get to where they want to be. This is it. We’re willing to go in at the top of our comfortable max, but no more. If this doesn’t take it, we’re done.
We’re very hopeful but exhausted. The last 22 hours have been a whirlwind. While Melanie and Brendan go back for this last time, we are on the edge of our seats. Well, the edge of our couch.
Sunday 3 PM The call Melanie had been waiting all day to make.
The offer was accepted. We got the house we never knew we always wanted.
Sunday 4 PM – It’s a done deal.
I was over the moon…well for about 3 minutes until talk turned to the 8 weeks we had until possession and the idea that we had to prep, stage and sell our house ASAP… nope, that’s not true. I didn’t care. I love the house as much today as I did that very, very busy day when I saw my dream home. I still love how it looks from the street, the wide-open main floor, and huge windows to the back. I love the kitchen and the floors and all the fantastic memories we’re making there every day.
Going through the whole process from thinking about buying a house to owning one in 24 hours isn’t something I would suggest – but if you do, I would highly recommend doing with the BREL team. Their knowledge, expertise, digital systems, cool demeanour in a high-pressure situation and their trusted partners like Henry made this love story possible. And I am forever grateful.
Read more client testimonials.