Sunday, December 24, 2006

And then there were three

On Fri afternoon our DE realtor called to tell us that our offer on the Donahue house had been countered. Despite nearly a year and a half on the market with NO offers, the counter was still unrealistically high, so we told the realtor we did not wish to pursue it any further.

We then instructed her to present the offer on the basement house. Since she was representing the seller we knew this would go quickly. Sure enough, an hour later she called back to say that our offer on the basement house had also been countered. I was very surprised at how high the counter offer was. We'd been told that the seller was "very motivated" and that he'd told the realtor earlier "anything to stop the hemorrhaging" so we expected his counter to be closer to our price than his. When I mentioned this to the realtor she explained that just recently the seller had refinanced the mortgage and been hit with a big penalty, so he wasn't as 'motivated' to sell low as he had been earlier.

We then instructed the realtor to present the 3rd offer, on the water house. By this time it was 4pm on the Fri before Christmas so I wasn't surprised that we didn't hear anything that evening. But I was optimistic since the house did not "show" well, and had been on the market for nearly a year, and was an estate. I thought the benefactor of the estate would be happy to finally get an offer so they could get their cash.

At 8:30 Sat morning our realtor called to say that the offer on the water house had also been countered. Once again, the counter was closer to the asking price than to our price. More than a little surprised, I told the realtor that we would think about the 3 houses again, and possibly on Tues (after Christmas) we'd contact her about making follow-up offers on these houses.

Before we hung up the realtor told me that the deal was still not done on the New Victorian. Apparently after nearly 2 weeks, the potential buyer was continuing to ask for changes and modifications to the house, as well as a further price concession. She confided that the seller, whom she was also representing, was really sick and tired of the potential buyer to the point that he was thinking about discontinuing negotiations with them. The seller built the house and felt it was 'top notch' so his feelings were bruised when the potential buyer kept asking for modifications to be made at the seller's expense.

Although dangerously close to being unethical, our realtor told us "If you guys want this house, I think I can get the seller to sell it to you for the same price the other potential buyer has already negotiated. I think he'd really like to stop dealing with those other people. But you can't ask for anything to be done." We were quite happy with the house 'as is' so this condition didn't present a problem for us. However, the pre-negotiated price did.

The price of this house was higher than we were expecting to pay, not just for this house, but for any house. However, at the same time, it was also the best 'deal' we knew of. The 3 houses we'd already submitted offers on were all countered at just a bit under their asking price. The New Victorian's pre-negotiated price was significantly lower than the asking price, making it the only real 'deal'.

We considered the fact that it is brand new, doesn't need any updates or remodeling, can accommodate all of our furniture, is move-in ready, is the largest of all the homes we'd considered, and is located in the area we most want to live. So, we had our realtor email us an offer for the exact amount that had been pre-negotiated with the other potential buyer, signed and faxed it back to her, and waited.

Drag Queen name of the day: Celia Later

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