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Selling a house

Posted by katieb2007 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 10:56

When I read the posts by some of you regarding your frustration in not selling your home after a week, or a month, I keep thinking that I have to post our experience. About 3 years ago, we began to explore selling our family home, with plans to build a new home closer to our grandchildren. We listed the house in March, 2011. It had been appraised at $410,000, so we followed our realtor's advice, and listed at $399,000, so that it would come up on searches under $400,000. We had our first showing a couple of days later. The lookers dismissed the home, because they wanted a new house (house was built in 1983). After that, no one looked at it for a few weeks. At the advice of our realtor, we dropped the price to $375,000. We had a few more lookers, including 4 famillies who came to an open house, and wanted more information on the house. Nothing came of that. In the fall of 2011, after we dropped the price a couple of more times, a family came to an open house, and stayed for the whole time. They were very interested, but had a home to sell out of state. We had begun to build our new home, and were planning our move. Then, we heard that our next door neighbor, who owned lake property with plans to build a retirement home sometime, planned to put their home on the market to "test the market". They built their home 3 years after we did, and basically copied our house. Our home was stucco, theirs cedar siding, but very similar inside. They had put wood floors in kitchen, and quartz countertops during a remodel about 5 or 6 years ago. Well, the people with the out of town house to sell sold their house, and one of the realtors in the same office as our realtor was going to bring them back through our house. But, surprise, surprise, the next door neighbor, who just happened to be using that realtor, decided that day to list their house. The realtor told them that she was bringing a couple through our house, and one of them (neighbor or realtor) decided it would be a good idea to also show them their house. The couple saw both, and scheduled another look at their house. But then, they decided they wanted to look again at our house. Then, they said that they wanted to have the weekend to decide which house they wanted. They still couldn't decide, and asked for another day. Then, our realtor called, and said that they decided to make a lowball offer on neighbor's house, and, if it was not accepted, would make an offer on ours. The neighbors at this time were asking $349,999. We had come down to $319,000. The neighbors accepted the offer without countering. We found out after that the offer was $322,000.So, after about 10 days, the neighbor decided to quit testing the market, and sell for $27,000 under asking price, without a quibble. We are convinced that their realtor told them the buyers would not accept a counter. This was in April, 2012. After 4 more contingent offers, we are finally closing our sale 2 weeks from now. We are then planning to take an old photo of our neighbors to burn in our fire pit to exorcise them forever from our lives, and I am only being a little facetious! So, when someone is upset that they have not sold after 1 month, I have a little trouble feeling sorry for you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Selling a house

So you are mad because the neighbor (with a newer home, wood floors and updated kitchen) sold more quickly than you?


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RE: Selling a house

No, I am mad because they chose to "test the market" at the very time that we had this most interested buyer ready to offer, that the realtor gave them the tip that they either had to accept the lowball offer, or they would back off, that a couple who we have known for 40 years, and my husband has known the husband for his whole life, and that the husband is the CEO of a business which uses their realtor for recruits, so the realtor had first, a financial stake in selling to them, because she was seller and buyer realtor, and didn't hurt to cement her preferential treatment from the CEO. The fact that they took $27000 under asking price with no counter, after less than 2 weeks on market, kind of proved that the wife's statement to me that they were hoping the couple would choose our house was rubbish. Our house was also updated, just did not have wood flooring in kitchen.


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RE: Selling a house

It sounds like realtor told your neighbor exactly what she told you: If the neighbors didn't accept the buyers' offer, the buyers would make an offer on your house.
if you feel that the agent acted unethically, you should file a complaint with the agency and also with whoever licenses real estate agents in your area.


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RE: Selling a house

She was not our realtor. Our realtor is in the same office, but it was our realtor who told us that the other realtor had told her the buyers intended to make one offer on the other house, and if it was not accepted, to make an offer on ours.


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RE: Selling a house

Selling a house is a business decision. Sounds like the neighbors made a good business decision.


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RE: Selling a house

Not sure how much you can blame the sellers for here.

Maybe the buyers liked the other house better than yours.

Maybe the sellers had seen your house on the market for a year, and decided to take the offer so that they didn't have to wait a year for the house to sell.

April is a fairly common time to put a house on the market, to catch all the families who want to move over the summer.

And you don't really know what the agents said to the other buyers and sellers.


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RE: Selling a house

While your experience sounds frustrating, what would you have your neighbors wanted to do? To say, you can sell your house first, and then we will put ours on the market? That seems asking a bit much. Is that what you would have done?

Either way, both you and your neighbor seem to have been told this: The buyers will make an offer on house 1. If it doesn't get accepted for 322K, they will make an offer on house 2, which is listed for 319K. Makes perfect sense to me that your neighbors accepted the offer without countering.

When we bought our current house, we had the same scenario: We said we will buy house 1 if offer is accepted; if not, we'll make an offer on house 2. Seller 1 accepted the offer.


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RE: Selling a house

Katie, I totally understand how you feel. Yes, we know this is business, but for someone who has been a neighbor for forty years to decide to "test the waters" at this time when they knew all along that you were trying to sell is wrong.
They knew very well they could piggyback on anyone interested in your house.
If you had both decided to list, as a coincidence, at the same time, then that would be different.


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RE: Selling a house

That is exactly how we felt. If they had listed at the same time as we did, we would have felt like it was a fair competition. But they had had a market analysis done, and hen told their realtor that they would tell her when hey we're ready. Then,from what we were told,they called their realtor, and told her to go ahead and list it. She told them that she was showing our house that evening, and the neighbor said, "show ours too!" It was about a week before we were moving out of town, so we just thought they grabbed an opportunity, and then pretended that they didn't know the couple had a prolonged interest in our house. Someone lied to us, and I just hate being lied to. Thank you for your thoughts.


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RE: Selling a house

You're welcome:)


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RE: Selling a house

Most real estate agents have the ethics of self-righteous, unrepentant street walkers.

It helps if you're dealing with people of integrity, but there's never a guarantee of that. "Fairness" or altruism are also complete non-issues, don't expect either. Owners do what is in their own self-interest. Had your neighbor listed their house first, would you have held back so as to not disturb their chances? I'd bet not.

House buying and selling transactions ARE business, and it's business conducted by amateurs with half-fast advisors. Anything can and will happen. Good luck.


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RE: Selling a house

We had already begun building our house, so they (and all our neighbors) knew that we were listing our house. They had property on which they told all of us they were going to build sometime. I can honestly say that had the situation been reversed, we would not have put our house on the market right before they left town. They did not ever think of others, though. They drained their sump pump right into our yard during a very rainy spring. They walked their dog into our yard to poop, way into our yard, like across the driveway. They asked us to a play once, but we had to cancel when an emergency came up. I asked her if they had someone else to ask, or we would pay them for tickets. She said, no, that they had asked everyone they could think of before they asked us. I didn't pay her for the tickets. Then, she had the gall to cry and tell me how sad she would be not to see us again when I emailed her to tell her how upset we were that they hijacked our sale. Right.


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RE: Selling a house

At least you let her know how you felt about their "highjacking your sale."


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RE: Selling a house

" They asked us to a play once, but we had to cancel when an emergency came up. I asked her if they had someone else to ask, or we would pay them for tickets. She said, no, that they had asked everyone they could think of before they asked us. I didn't pay her for the tickets"

Seriously! You refused to pay for the tickets when you said you would?
Hmmmm.....


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RE: Selling a house

RE agents owe a fiduciary duty to the seller or buyer who hires them, not the neighbors.


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RE: Selling a house

How is it unethical for them to sell their house when the market is picking up?


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RE: Selling a house

Luann, no, I never said that I would pay for the tickets. She called me, said that they had extra tickets, and could we go. I said I thought it would work, how much are the tickets. She said that they were given the tickets. When we had an emergency, and could not go, I called her to tell her, intending to offer o pay. But first, I asked if they had anyone else they could ask. She said they did not, because they had already asked everyone they could think of before they asked us!! That's just fine, but how stupid do you have to be to say that to a person. No, I did not pay her, the tickets cost her nothing.


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RE: Selling a house

Hmmm. We want to buy a lake home but will have to sell our house first. We need to do a couple of things first -- paint a couple of rooms, re-carpet living room. Before we do that, I wanted to ask a realtor about other touch ups that might be needed. I put off the call for a few days, just busy, and then ... our neighbors put their house on the market. Now I don't know what to do, especially after reading this. Our neighbors are nice people. They're retired and moving closer to their grandkids, just like this poster. I'd hate to step on their toes. Plus, there are a couple of other houses on our block that are empty, one foreclosure and one 'I don't know what the heck happened'. The people just disappeared. What's the right thing to do from a neighborly perspective ... and from a seller's perspective? Argh. Decisions!


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RE: Selling a house

Keep in mind that just because you're in the same neighborhood doesn't mean that you're "stealing" a buyer, unless your houses are identical. Both of you will have features (and detractions) that the other doesn't. So putting your house on the market won't necessarily impact whether theirs sells or not.

Neighborhood is only one factor in people's buying decisions.


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RE: Selling a house

There are 5 to 8 houses for sale in my neighborhood at any given time.

No one gets permission from their neighbors to list; no one gets offended when another house goes on the market.
No one had to wait to list for fear of stepping on toes.

Everyone realizes that it's a business transaction and nothing personal.
Heck, if you waited until yours was the only house selling, you'd be waiting forever!


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RE: Selling a house

The OP had their house on the market for over 2 years! How long were the neighbors supposed to wait?


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Apparently until it was sold...


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RE: Selling a house

katie, if I understand your post, you put your house on the market in March 2011. Your neighbors put theirs up for sale in April 2012. Is that the case? If it is, I honestly think you're fixing blame on your neighbors improperly. The market is the market. Maybe if you had done some of the updating your neighbors did, your house may have sold earlier. Not pleasant to hear, but I'm just having trouble seeing why this is your neighbor's fault. The buyers bought the house they preferred at a price they were willing to pay. You don't own the buyers, and your neighbors didn't "steal" them. Obviously the buyers were willing to pay a higher price for some reason, yes?


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RE: Selling a house

Frankly, the reason I posted this at all was to contrast the experience we had in selling with some posters who are bemoaning no sale after 3 weeks, or less. There are other factors in this whole story I did not post, but it is not worth it to go into. So, how about just letting this whole thread get lost, and go onto new, and much more interesting subjects. As far as I am concerned, case closed.


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RE: Selling a house

So, now you have the balls to tell us internetters to not reply to your post? After telling your neighbors that they are butt holes for selling their home?
Remember, agents do not sell homes... buyers choose which home they will buy after comparing the value that all the homes that fit their criteria are looked at.
I have been visiting this forum for a long time, and this post really takes the cake.
Stop being so self righteous, revengeful and nasty. It is very ugly.


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RE: Selling a house

this thread delivers


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RE: Selling a house

The response to this incident has been much different on this forum than I have heard from anyone else:old neighbors, new neighbors, our kids' co-workers, etc. I really appreciate the different perspective from those who do not know either of us personally. I know that I have looked at this totally for all the grief it caused us then, and since. However, I do not understand why my saying that I would just like to move on--lots more important and earth shaking stories, and interesting, ones--makes me self-righteous, revengeful, nasty, and ugly. I have no control if some of you want to continue to debate this, and tell me how wrong I am, but I do think I have a right to say that I am done, and ready to move on. In spite of the fact that some of the posts were quite personally attacking, I don't feel that I was cruel, or personal, in my responses.i am sorry if anyone felt that I was.


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RE: Selling a house

I have to say that I agree with katieb on this one. Absolutely no need to call her names and get personal, even if one does not agree with her opinion.


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RE: Selling a house

life is a series of choices


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RE: Selling a house

katieb2007 I understand what you are saying and exactly what your neighbors did. They waited until you had very interested buyer, to step in and decide to put their house on the market, right at that opportune time. Seems unethical for the realtor to send his agent to your neighbor, but to them all they see are dollar signs. They saw an easy opportunity and took it. Yes, it may be, 'business,' but it sure was crappy of your neighbors to do that to you.
I think that may have got lost in translation on this board.


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RE: Selling a house

Listing agents nor buyer agents can not steer buyers to or away from properties that fit their criteria. It is illegal. Read your contracts more closely and you will see that all is explained in black and white.
No one here was victimized, even though the situation did not pan out the way you had hoped.


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RE: Selling a house

Scaricat, Nothing has been lost in translation here. The neighbors put their house on the market a full year after the poster did. The poster's potential buyer saw the newly listed house and decided it suited their needs better to the extent that they were willing to pay more money for the neighbor's house.

Please explain what you think the neighbors did that was "crappy".


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RE: Selling a house

May be your neighbor made some important changes with in a house that you you never made..!


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RE: Selling a house

Thank you, Scaricat. You get it.


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