Should I get off the buyer's emotional roller coaster?

deee_gwAugust 18, 2009

Our house has been for sale since May. According to every realtor that has come in the house, it is the best value in the neighborhood, is completely updated and well maintained.

We've had one contingency offer and plenty of second lookers who need to sell their houses first. Right now our real estate market is completely, totally dead. The town did not have a crazy run up of real estate prices but is currently plagued by unemployment problems.

We've had one set of buyers who have been to the house six or more times in the past two months. They have a long tale of woe about their previous home- dumped by their relo company because of mold issues, appraisal problems, buyers that walked, etc. They have finally sold their home and are ready to buy. The family loves our house but the Dad wants a three car garage which our house does not have. They made an offer on a house down the street but it fell through because the inspection found a small amount of mold.

School started a couple of weeks ago in our new town and we have moved to a furnished rental and vacated our house. The house is still furnished and we have people helping us maintain it. We are financially secure and have a lot of equity in the home, but we would prefer to spend money on our potential new home, not on rent.

Our house is listed at $357k, which is about 20k less than it would have went for 18 months ago. The potential buyers offered us $310k. We have countered with $337k. The agent (who is completely exasperated with the buyers) thinks they won't take the $337k. We should hear back tonight about our counter.

I'd love some objective opinions. Should we go lower? Should we just suck it up and wait for another buyer seeing that these buyers are skittish? What are the pros and cons of waiting for spring 2010 buyers? Our zip is 29501 btw.

Thanks for reading!

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Believe it or not, 3 months is not at all a long time to sit on the market these days. If you don't have to sell and you don't think you are getting fair price, then it doesn't make sense to sell. Of course, that is assuming that your house really is worth what you say it is. A relatively cheep way to check is to get a private appraisal. If it comes in at $357k, then I wouldn't consider $310k. If it is $325k????

BTW - people buy houses year round, not just in spring and fall. It isn't like there is 3 feet of snow in SC keeping people from looking in winter.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 1:22PM
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Why are you on the rollercoaster with them?
because they dragged you onto it.
Why did they drag you onto it?
to wear you down & get a better price on your home.

If dad wants a 3-car-garage, why were they looking at your house in the first place?
because the 3-car-garage is something they can use to make your house "inadequate".

These may be buyers...
but they may not.

Hop off that rollercoaster & find yourselves some real buyers, or rent the house out.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 5:01PM
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If your heart says to sell, then make it work out with these buyers. You see, no one knows what the value of your home is going to be in spring of 2010. But guess what? Chances are it will be less than today. AND, interest rates will more than likely be higher too. You know all of the variables today. You know none of them for the spring 2010. Also, chances are that the employment rate will not be much better then too.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:04PM
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bill-"A relatively cheep way to check is to get a private appraisal. If it comes in at $357k, then I wouldn't consider $310k. If it is $325k????"

Bill raises a good point. Why not get an appraisal and see where you stand? Especially considering that lenders are not likely to loan more money than a house is worth.

I assume you wouldn't want to go to the bother of signing a contract just to have the financing fall through, so it might be worth it to avoid this potential problem.

A link that might be useful:

Faulty appraisals may be adding to real estate woes

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 2:14PM
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ditto on getting an appraisal.

Also- these buyers might be very picky and they might start asking for the sun, moon and stars(major price reduction,etc) after they get an inspection. So whatever price you might agree on now - will probably go lower if they play the inspection game.

If they pulled out of the last home over an inspection, maybe there is more detail in that prior situation that you have not been told (maybe they were asking for lots of $).

This is a game that some folks play, as they realize once you signed the contract, mentally, you are ready to sell and are more likely to lower the price on inspection items just to get it sold. They might also target vacant homes to do this - knowing that you are not living there, so really want it sold.

Maybe if you go to a certain point(lower) in the price with the current negotiations, you could add in "as is", meaning ...we will sell for this price, but we won't pay for anything you find in the inspection, though you can walk away if you don't like the inspection results. Then again, you don't even have to be "as is" and simply limit the amt of inspection items you will agree to pay for/fix once inspection is done. Then they can choose to walk if they want.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 3:16PM
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Unless there are a lot of recent comps in your neighborhood, an appraisal could just be a random number. A friend of ours recently had two appraisals done in the same week. One came in at 460K the other at 380K. I have heard of many people in my neighborhood getting completely crazy appraisals right now. It seems like the biggest crap shoot in the entire buying/selling process at this point in time.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:06AM
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In the buyer's defense, it might be something as simple as they really like / want your house, but it may be just a little out of their price-range. They might figure it can't hurt to offer something within their price-range, and if you don't want to sell, so be it, but if you do, then good for them. Plus if the house is close or at the top of their price range, they are going to want to make as sure as possible via inspection that there are no big home improvements necessary on top of the price of the house.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 11:25PM
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Original poster here - The buyers countered with $320 and we took it. The house will go as is - they can have an inspection but we aren't paying to fix anything. The price makes me sick. We bought 7 years ago for $310 and put 40k cash and thousands of dollars in sweat equity into the house. Thankfully, we have a 15 year mortgage, so there are no equity issues.

There are about a dozen houses for sale in our neighborhood and a few are drastically lowering their prices ($385 to $330, $360 to $325). There are NO buyers in our price range in our market so we figured we need to take the money and run.

Appraisals are all over the place around here, so there really isn't a good argument for basing the selling price on the appraisal.

On the positive side, the market we are moving to is in way bigger trouble than where we are coming from. So, it looks like we'll lose on the sell side and get a bargain on the buy.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my post.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:38AM
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