Question about buying from divorcing/divorced couple
This is my first time buying a house so please excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject. We put in a written offer on a house today. It is in the $300,000 range and we offered $20,000 under asking price with a closing date next month. The seller's realtor got all bent out of shape before she even showed the offer to the seller. She lectured my realtor about reasonable offers and just overall seemed personally offended. We were actually willing to meet in the middle somewhere, but we thought we would start a little low to see how it went. The house is beautiful and has a lot of nice upgrades, but it has a completely unfinished basement (no studs, no insulation). It has been on the market 2 months. Average around here is 3 to 4 months but in that price range they can sit for over a year.
The sellers (who are either getting divorced or recently got divorced) gave a verbal counter of $6000 under their asking price. We gave another verbal counter of $13,000 under their asking price. Their realtor texted ours and said that will not work. They are sticking with their original counter of $6000 under asking price.
My question is this - is it possible that the sellers divorce decree states that if they get a written offer for X amount they must take it? I'm just wondering if they are trying to avoid seeing the written offer for some reason, because I think it's a reasonable offer and so does our realtor. A house one block away that was built in the same year is listed at $240,000, also with an unfinished basement. It's not as nice, but it's only 300 square feet smaller and if it sells it's a comp.
I realize that in a divorce situation maybe the person living there doesn't really want to sell and is therefore not willing to budge much on price. There are so many possibilities. Maybe they can get a better offer, but I still don't think our offer was unreasonable. My realtor sold a house in the same neighborhood recently with a finished basement and it only appraised at 280k. I also wonder if there is something fishy with their realtor. I plan to submit our best offer in writing regardless of what their realtor says about our verbal offer. Just wanting some input from all of you with more experience than me! Thanks.