My husband I decided earlier this year we wanted to move. We live in a wonderful suburb presently, but our home is not within walking distance to anything. So earlier this year we prepared to list our home, research its value and put it on the market after deciding to move closer to my husband’s work which will provide us with a wonderful downtown area full of walkable destinations.
Much to our delight, within 2 weeks we had an offer. We were thrilled. It was within 2% of our asking price and the buyer was qualified. Never mind the (red flag) fact that this buyer low balled us to start and we had to get them up to what was in a normal range in our community for a house of our size in the condition it is in. With the housing market recovery just beginning to really see some upticks, and few homes in our townhome community available for comparison, we figured we would give them the benefit of the doubt about their negotiating strategy. Or perhaps better to say, our agent felt that we should.
After the contract was signed, next came the home inspection. The inspector found 4 burned out light bulbs, 2 small windows that needed replacement handles, a dryer vent that needed to be replaced, our kitchen faucet needed tightening and some tuck pointing that needed to be completed by our townhome association. In other words, they found nothing. But the buyer wanted a $1500.00 discount ‘just because’.
We figured it wasn’t worth fighting over $1500 and said ‘ok’. But that did not seem to be sufficient for this buyer. She decided to evaluate our roof, without our permission. Never mind that we don’t own the roof of our townhome and that the cost of the replacement of it is shared amongst a number of neighbors.
Her evaluator reported that we needed some basic maintenance and that worse case the roof needed to be replaced in 6 years. Our townhome association is on a schedule to replace it in 10. Our buyer, with this information in hand, decided this justified a demand for another $10,000 discount on the property. Needless to say this red flag did not go unnoticed, as who knows what she would have come up with 24 hours before closing on her final walk through, and so we elected to terminate the contract.
We also elected to terminate the contract with our first real estate agent because despite our concern that this buyer was going to nickel and dime us initially, he pressured us to accept that she was acting in good faith when we did not feel she was. And neither did our real estate attorney. He actually wrote in the cancellation letter that her actions constituted bad faith. I would have been so embarrassed to be her, honestly. What makes people act that way? And why couldn’t our real estate agent be more concerned with our needs and concerns than just getting the sale closed to get the commission? Or at least to us that seemed to be his only priority.
And so we have found a wonderful new real estate agent after having interviewed several and asking for recommendations. Our real estate attorney who we love, recommended her. We were rather anxious to terminate our contract with the other agent, and relist it with her, because when we found our first buyer we also shortly after found our new home and put an offer on it. Unfortunately that seller required us to sign a non-contingent offer; which means if we don’t find a buyer for our home we will be borrowing the money we need from savings and will have 3 mortgages to pay; as we also own a small lake front property.
And our home went on the market just this past Friday with beautiful pictures, a new listing and a few thousand dollars off the price. And again much to our surprise, within 5 hours we received an all cash offer for our home that was again very close to our full asking price. What a wonderful surprise. The buyer wanted even to close before the close of our new home. Even better. So we buttoned down the contract within an hour and took a big sigh of relief that finally we could move on with our lives.
That was until Saturday morning when the agent called and said the buyer had gotten cold feet. About 5 years ago, when there was ‘the big rain’ that fell hard for 3 days, the pipes in the roads collapsed and the water pooled up on the road and got into our otherwise 100% dry basement. Of all the people in our subdivision we had the least amount of water- not even 1/8 of an inch. We lost 1 area rug and did not even have to replace or baseboards- it was that little. But this was his excuse. He could not buy a home that had ever had water in the basement, despite the fact that we now have brand new pipes below our street and it will never happen again.
I am one to keep a positive attitude, and known to persevere no matter what, but honestly, this is starting to get to me. Our home is beautiful, in a great area and properly priced. Most homes of our quality sell within 2 weeks. We now have had a total time on the market of 50 days. My comment to a friend was ‘Why does everything have to be so hard’? And this video below is what he sent to me in reply. It really made my day and made me feel differently about our situation with our house. You gotta be thankful for friends who know just what to say, or share, when you need it the most. It’s good to remember its all a matter of perspective; and it is.
To your highest purpose and best startup self, friends.
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