How Not To Sell A House

ChristyUncategorized2 Comments

Sorry for the sporadic updates as of late. My husband and I are trying to buy a house, and much of my time over the last week has been devoted to listing our condo on the east coast, looking at houses here, and loan paperwork. Fun times, let me tell you.

Possibly the most fun of those times came last night. We put an offer on a cute little house on Monday, and were told that offers wouldn’t be presented until Thursday. Then, plans changed yesterday afternoon and the buyers decided to see our offer immediately. They asked that our agent present the offer personally, and that we be there to get all the documents signed at once.

I’d never heard of this before, but figured it meant they were motivated to make a deal and we’d get everything tied up that night. Oh, how wrong I was.

We drove to the selling agent’s office, and were shown into a small conference room with our agent. I love how real estate offices are always decorated like sitting rooms in fancy bordellos, except one wall is always all glass, and instead of settees there are conference tables. At least the chairs were comfortable, and they gave us a pitcher of water. The sellers and their agent were in a similar room across the hall. Of course, we were situated so that even through the glass walls, we couldn’t quite see into the other conference room.

Ours was the only offer on the table, and it was at full asking price. We assumed the process would be pretty quick. But our agent was gone for a long time, so we waited. Then she came back and said the buyers were just reviewing all the paperwork, so we waited. Then the sellers’ agent called her back out. They went into yet a third conference room to talk, and we waited. Finally, our agent came back and told us they wanted to shorten the timeline on our loan contingency, and they wanted us to use their preferred title company for closing. NBD. Oh, but also, even though they asked for X dollars and we offered X dollars, the sellers had decided that they deserved more. A lot more.

So we talked, and we made what I consider now to be a mistake. Deciding that the house was priced exceptionally low, and that we did really want it, and that sweetening the deal might just get things signed that much quicker, we bumped our offer slightly. We also shortened the loan contingency and agreed to their title company. And we asked for closing to be on May 17 (our birthdays are on the 15th and 19th). So we wrote up a new contract, and we waited.

The sellers’ agent came in to meet us. She was a trip. Dressed to the nines, Michael Jackson nose, Zsa-Zsa Gabor voice. She told us that even though she worked for the sellers, she really wanted the house to go to us (of course she did, we had the only offer), and that she didn’t want to see us get disappointed over just a few thousand dollars (as if we hadn’t already offered just that). She didn’t actually have a counter-offer for us, she just wanted us to know that our (now greater-than-asking-price) offer wasn’t quite enough. Then she left to give us time to think it over.

But we had no thinking to do. We sent our agent right back in to let them know our offer stood as it was. And they needed time to think about that, so we waited.

Then the door across the hall opened, and 3 people walked out. Did they think that meant they were walking away first? Surely, they’d already established themselves as horrible negotiators, but they couldn’t possibly think they had the upper hand, could they? Needless to say, there was no deal.

Of course, this morning we woke up to an email with an actual counter offer. They wanted another 5K on top of our last offer, AND they wanted early closing with a free rent-back until May 31. You read that right. They wanted us to let them live in our house for free for two weeks after settlement. It’s okay to lol. I did.

At this point we’re ready to reduce our offer to below asking, because we’re pretty sure they owe us for the wasted time.

I have to say though, my favorite feeling in the world is righteous indignation, so this experience has had me on a high all day. I may not have gotten a house, but I definitely got a story.

I have been crafting in my free time, but I haven’t been so good at photographing and writing about those crafts. I promise I’ll have at least one new project up by the end of the week


2 Comments on “How Not To Sell A House”

  1. Pingback: House Plans - Home 3871 project

  2. HEIDE

    That is just sheer craziness! What a a big waist of time on your part! I can not believe they even tried that deal.
    One thing I have learned when you are house hunting is if it is meant to be it will happen.
    Good luck.

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