When do you tell buyers to 'take a hike'?

elle481February 13, 2010

Sold our home in the summer to a strange couple and horrible selling agent. We have been getting calls on issues they have had with our home, things that were addressed before closing after they had their inspector in. The agent even went so far as calling one of our contractors and being very coy in questioning him as to what he did. The last call came in a few weeks ago (through our agent) and we gave them the info they wanted and they went away again. My feeling is, they had an inspector, we bent over backwards for them and I want them out of our lives. It's there house now, not ours!!! GO AWAY!!! Any one else have this issue?

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I had one buyer want a class in how to use the heating (pumped hot water with baseboards and radiators) and cooling in the house (a straightforward Unico system).

I simply ignored the question.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 2:13PM
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My father-in-law had that type of buyers. They were used to renting and kept wanting him to fix/repair things that were their responsibility i.e., the toilet stopped up. He just ignored them, too. They didn't realize that once the house was theirs, so was the responsibility of keeping it in repair.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 3:51PM
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I'd stop answering their calls. This is one of those situation where silence on your part will speak volumes.
If they happen to get you when you are at home, simple say "I'm sorry but the house is now your responsibility and I'm done answering questions about it" Then hang up.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 4:40PM
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I think a certain number and type of questions is reasonable for a while, if they are for information only. I have a former buyer who's called a couple of times, but they have been very pleasant conversations and reasonable questions. I have no problem with it, but a lot of that is certainly their attitude.

If the questions are rude or accusing in nature, or if the buyer is asking you to do stuff on the house for them after the close, then all you need to do is suggest they call a licensed contractor.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 6:58PM
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Given that the contractor thinks the questions are "coy", I think this very moment is a good time to stop answering the phone.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 7:01PM
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The river runs both ways. I bought a house......gave the sellers plenty of time to get their belongings out. Then gave them an extra week or two to get a teen-aged child out. Then when the time came and went, the house was still full of furniture and we hauled it out for them, just to get in the house.

The house was still full of rubbish in bags, rubbish not in bags and still some odds and ends of belongings we expected they meant to leave behind. Nothing was said for months and then their nearly adult kids would show up wanting to know if we found a computer cable, or could they pick up a toilet paper holder they decided they wanted to keep. I finally just said 'we threw it all away'. Because essentially we did.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Wow. I guess I'm not understanding the problem. The buyers call every so often with questions. So what? If it is just info they're requesting, what's the issue? Now, if they were making accusations and asking you to address problems, that would be a different matter. But simply wanting info? And it's not as if this is an every day occurrence; you stated that the last call was several weeks ago.

What's the big deal?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Let's just hope the calls have ended. It's been almost 6 mos. since they purchased the home and it's not about just finding how to figure out were the thermostats are. I am done!!!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 12:04AM
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If they're contacting you through your agent, I would just let your agent know that you don't want him/her to pass on any more messages from them. Answering some questions is a nice thing to do, but it sounds like they've been imposing on your courtesy.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 10:58AM
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"Sold our home in the summer to a strange couple and horrible selling agent. We have been getting calls on issues they have had with our home, things that were addressed before closing after they had their inspector in."

You said the selling agent was horrible. In what way?

Is it possible the agent might be doing this to annoy you?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 12:09PM
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If you know of a handyman service in their area, it might be good to refer them...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 2:28PM
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If you failed to disclose some pre-existing condition such as flood damage or improper asbestos removal that would compromise the livability of the house you could be liable.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 11:13PM
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thanks goodness, riverspots, we disclosed all pre-existing conditions, we addressed their concernes and they had their inspector, called in other experts and were satisfied with our repairs, our concessions and anything else they may had been concerned about. They now own the home and hopefully will leave us alone. I will let my agent know, however if they do call again to give them the name of a handyman.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 9:15AM
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Don't answer any more calls from the agent or from the buyers. If they leave messages, do not return them. Do not reply to any emails. Just ingore them.

If you accidentally pick up the phone when they are calling, answer that you don't know are aren't sure or don't remember and leave it at that. Don't say that you will find out or get back to them after you talk to spouse or check records, etc.

Eventually they will figure out that you are not the "Go To" person for all things related to their house, if you stop giving them answers.

I would not give them the name of a handyman. Else they might be calling if issues or references with the handyman. Or later, calling you for an electrition or a plumber or landscaper, etc.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 10:11AM
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I understand what you are talking about. There is just a different social mindset anymore than there used to be about things like when individual responsibility is supposed to kick in. We see it sometimes on posts to this forum, were somebody finds something in a home they bought and wonder if they can sock it to a previous owner to pay to have fixed, instead of admitting its an issue they should have seen, brought up before signing a contract if it was all that important. It just makes a seller wonder "where are you going with this?"

It's sort of like if you ever sell a house, you not only should take care of everything you know is a fault, but be Karnak and also take care of anything you don't know could ever happen to it in the future. There is always some risk to buying a pre-owned home and aside from obvious deception about condition that a former owner may have tried to hide, there is a point where you should be able to expect new owners to just deal with it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I'm probably in the minority here -- but I've never given the new owners a forwarding phone number!! I've given them a forwarding address, and my agent had my new number. I guess I'm of the mind, it's their house now. I'd leave all documentation on appliances etc, all manuals, anything at all that they needed to know about the house and say bye bye to the house and it's new owners.

A former neighbor of mine that is still a good friend called me once because the people who purchased my old home from the couple we sold it to had a question and thought we might be able to answer it because the people we sold the home to were not returning their calls!! When they found out my former neighbor still had a relationship with us they asked her to call us. This was 10 years after we originally sold the home ! I couldn't help them out because it was something that was done by the people that had originally purchased the home from me.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 10:17AM
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I totally agree with you. Remember how we are supposed to disappear and let the agents handle it prior to a sale? Well, what's changed? I did the same thing you did. I set out all documentation including numbers for utilities. Left them phones, microwaves and things not nailed down to the house. Left the drapes. Left numbers of repairmen who have worked on the house. Left spare light bulbs, toilet paper and paints for touch-ups of the newly painted walls, in case they scarfed any of them when moving in. Bleached out all fixtures and fridge so they'd be user ready. They had all sorts of time before closing to ask questions. I even stuck a welcome wreath on the front door. I was also honest about what I thought they might have difficulties with down the road as far as a timeline to all the major maintenance occured. There is little reason to call, and if it's that important........your agent can contact mine. I suspect if it went through the agents, they'd have a very good idea of when questions go from legitimate to superfluous.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 12:57PM
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Guess I'm lucky. I've barely heard even from clients I sold new homes to!

...though, come to think of it, I did get seriously involved with a single bodacious woman I sold my house to back in 1980. It was an odd feeling remembering that I was sleeping over at her home. And I was the one who had to leave in the morning.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:33AM
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Wow, what timing I was going to post a similar question. We close in one week and I received an email from my agent. She got a phone call from the buyers agent that the buyers would like to buy any gardening equipment we are willing to sell. They have never owned a house and would like to come and see what we have.

Between packing all weekend, driving back and forth with boxes and cleaning the new place, we are exhausted. We have to work all this week and continue packing. Movers come on Thurs.

I don't know when I'd have the time to show the buyers what we have (was going to throw out our stuff or give it away)plus the house is a disaster with boxes and paper all over.

I thought I'd offer to leave all our garden stuff for free to avoid walking them around the place. I feel a bit uncomfortable having them here before the closing.

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:14AM
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Jane, the buyers probably don't realize how busy you are right now. Since they will be doing a final walk-thru with their realtor the day before the closing, maybe you could arrange to be at the house at that time and show them the tools/equipment you have since you don't mind leaving them anyway.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:39AM
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I would just stack all the gardening tools in one corner, set a very modest dollar value on it AS A LOT. And leave it for their walk-through. That way there is no sorting, and no disposal of things they might not want. All or nothing.

If they want it, you're shuck of it and made a little to cover your efforts. They can dispose of what they don't want. If they don't want it, then remove the entire lot of it before closing and donate it somewhere.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Thank you, good advice. Unfortunately things took a big turn today. I will write a new post so as not to hijack this one.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:50PM
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