The sale that wasn't meant to be

DLM2000August 6, 2014

Our house sale fell through last night. We're fine, pouted for about a minute and a half then breathed a deep sigh of relief. We were jumping through hoops trying accommodate the buyer's timeline even though it meant selling most of our belongings in a house sale, having the rest stored by the moving company and dissolving my husband's business BEFORE the final date for their mortgage contingency. We were confident about that because they had 2 approvals for the full amount of the loan they required from different banks (and they shared those with us), but the bank they preferred of those 2 wanted 45 days to write the paper and that would put us at 1 week before closing. If things blew up at that point, they'd get to walk away but we would be out a lot of money and would need to move our remaining belongings back here, put my husband's business back together (which would only mean a letter to his customer base) - but nothing could be done about what was already sold from our house or his business inventory/tools.

The inspection went exceedingly well, 2 really minor repairs (a leaky slop sink faucet and a small section of tuckpointing inside the firebox) which DH handled immediately. However our furnace is old, in fine working order, but old. They wanted a certified HVAC tech to guarantee it - of course no one can or will guarantee. We offered them a choice - we will pay for 1 year of a homeowners warranty insurance policy (which would include all appliances, mechanicals and roof) OR we would split the cost of new furnace and ac - at my husband's wholesale cost because he's done business with this HVAC company for close to 30 years. It would cost the buyers less than $3,000. They said they wanted to choose the specific units and installer themselves and priced it at $12k - which they wanted us to kick back to them at closing. Um, no. not happening. After my husband patiently tried to explain the value of our offer they actually said they couldn't be sure he'd choose the best unit for the house but would choose the least costly. He's been in business (residential renovation, repair, additions, remodeling) in this town for almost 30 years and they know that. The buyers have met his clients all throughout the neighborhood and even said many told them they don't know what they'll do without him when we move! Questioning my husband's integrity was the last straw and he told them to find another house. They were shocked, thought we should reconsider, accept their modifications but he held firm. It was not meant to be.
As I said in my earlier post, we're in a good position, no harm no foul. Our house was not for sale by owner or through a realtor so there is no taint of a failed sale. We'll probably replace the furnace and ac ourselves this fall, keep picking away at sprucing and clearing out and list with a realtor in spring. One HUGE lesson I learned about the value of a realtor (or at least the value of the one we will list with) is we would never have been tied up with a nonsense modification of 10 business days for lawyer approval because their lawyer was out of the country when this started! She would never have allowed us to accept that but we were blinded by how 'easy' this fsbo thing was going to be! Not that it can't be and I'm thrilled when it works for anyone - but *to me* there is great value in the experienced realtor and I'm not above needing/wanting a little hand holding! So.....onward!

Here is a link that might be useful: Original post - How to get pricing - FAST!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I share your relief- it is to your benefit that the sale fell apart, no question. I share your views on the value of a (good) realtor. We were on the fence about selling fsbo this past spring and ended up going with a realtor (30 years in the business- sold 72 homes last year) who didn't flinch at setting really firm boundaries with the bidders and buyers. It turned out really well for us (much higher than we had planned to list at as a fsbo) and we absolutely could not have moved that deal through to closing without her skills. I hope your sale next spring brings a deal that leaves you feeling a whole lot better, I'm sure it'll happen.

This post was edited by kris_ma on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 14:29

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry to hear the deal fell apart... an agent can also act as an emotional buffer between the two principals.
So, why did they not go for the one year home owners warranty? And was the deal breaker the HVAC concern or the financing contingency?
Also, it is difficult to get a lender to commit to a loan too far in advance of a closing date. You might have been able to write up an addendum that said something to the effect that the financing contingency deadline is 20 days post executed contract no matter the timing on the loan commitment. If the financing fell apart, the deposit goes to the seller. At least you would collect the deposit.
Sorry for the delay in selling, but now you have more time to look for the area that you will call home in the Spring.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am sorry things went this way, but if it's not meant to be, it's not.

I remember your previous post, and I find it interesting that the buyers let this fall apart given that they were so interested in moving in so their kids could enroll in school Aug 21. Now they're left in limbo and they will either put off moving for a year, or their kids will be pulled out of school to start somewhere else mid year. Seems to me a poor choice for them to make, given the furnace was still operating fine.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think offering to split the cost of the new furnace and AC, leaving them to only pay 3k more was a bargain for the buyer. Too bad for them, but good for you that the sale fell through.Good luck with your sale next spring.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Our house was not for sale by owner or through a realtor"

???? Confused. How was it for sale, then?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would not be surprised if they came back in a day or two and asked if your husband's offer still stands.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm with Dee.

And Jewel, if you haven't seen her other thread... they (buyers) came knocking on their door.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm sorry your sale fell through. Blessing in disguise.

My husband and his ex have their co-owned home for sale. I could do a whole thread on NOT using a friend as a realtor. Another time ;-). They had an accepted offer that fell through yesterday also. Blessing there is, the "friend" realtor will now have to spend the bucks she should have on professional photography, a panoramic view, and a description befitting a 1.6 million dollar home.

Good luck to you whatever happens next!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Things were going well until our lawyers got into the mix but I do not want to put the blame on them - they have a job to protect their respective clients and my belief is their motivations were honest. The reality was something else, though. Of course the way I see it is their lawyer had his nose out of joint because he was not in the mix initially ;-) Not my fault he was out of the country!

dee and kirkhall - I think they'd chew glass before admitting they can't find a house as nice as ours but that makes me sound like one of those *endowment principal* sellers so I won't say that! He calls himself a 'recovering lawyer' and now sells corporate internet cloud stuff (or something). The reality is, he's a lawyer down to his toes, but pulls out the small town KS boy stuff when it serves him. He had my husband dancing to his tune until night before last - pushed him too far and questioned his integrity thinking he could shame him into concessions. DH's middle name is integrity. The guy shot his own foot. Until then we were willing to look for middle ground on whatever might come up. Ideally, negotiation allows everyone to feel they've won their important points and compromised in areas they can live with but after making our compromises on timing to accommodate their needs they wanted significant financial concessions and we drew our line in the sand.

Adaciafun we thought it was a beneficial arrangement for them also - there was no reason for us to 'screw' them but somehow that's what they thought. Or maybe they found something they like better, wanted a way out so asked for something outrageous knowing we'd say no.

kris_ma that's wonderful that your realtor worked so diligently and you were able to benefit financially. I have to say that's my one fear - that we will not end up in the same financial position as we would with this sale. That's not a good way to look at it and I know that - this sale didn't happen so what might have been shouldn't even be a factor in my head - but that's hard to let go.

ncrealestateguy I don't know why they didn't want the homeowners warranty but my guess is they figured there was a way to get money for a brand new furnace (and then some) out of us and then could live with the existing one till it died - perhaps 5 years down the line, perhaps 5 months. The deal breaker was our saying we would not kick 12k back to them at closing and their saying they would not accept our HVAC offer to split cost. Complete impasse. I've read and reread your post and am still confused. I understand a lender might not commit to a loan far out from a closing, but how far is too far? Will they commit to a loan 30 days from closing? 2 weeks? What's 'normal'? I am not clear on the addendum you suggest. And does a buyer EVER agree to earnest money going to seller in the event of anything other than out and out default? Not obtaining the mortgage is not default and in that case standard language (as I understand it) says earnest $ reverts to buyer. I can't imagine anyone ever signing to that but will ask here also. Had we been able to collect earnest $ if their deal fell through, that would have made us much more confident that we could recoup losses but it still wouldn't have changed the outcome. Just curious - is earnest $ percentage standard throughout the country?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Earnest is not standard throughout the country, and in my area, isn't a percentage....

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:13PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what do you do with mail that comes for previous occupants?
I always get mail that is meant for previous occupants...
Sell Home, Go to Court Or What?
This may be the first time I have posted asking for...
Hall bathroom with claw foot tub, garden view but no shower.
We have a 4 bd, 3 bath house that I am getting ready...
Will realtor give me the photos of my house for memories?
We are putting our house on the market in order to...
After months of preparation, house is now listed
This is such a big deal for us, we have been planning...
Sponsored Products
Estiluz | T-2902 Dot Ceiling Light
$960.00 | YLighting
Venezia T-2535 Linear Suspension by Estiluz
$1,842.00 | Lumens
Crossover Throw Pillow Cover
$29.99 | Dot & Bo
Vetrai 31" Wide Clear Chandelier
Lamps Plus
OK LIGHTING Lamps 29 in. Antique Copper Table Lamp OK-4162T
$52.92 | Home Depot
Echo Grande Pendant
Possini Euro Crystal Balls 23 1/2" Wide Ceiling Light
Euro Style Lighting
16" Round Pure Black Granite Stone Bathroom Sink - RONDO SHADOW
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™