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Buyer wants personal items

Posted by surroundedbywater (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 20, 11 at 15:03

We received an offer at 93% of our list price. We were hoping to get 95% or more (they won't budge on price), but after 100+ DOM with no other legit offers, we're ready to accept the price and move on with our lives.

The buyers went through our house and made of list of several personal items of ours (furniture, rugs, mirrors, etc) that they want included. Who goes through someone's home like a shopping mart and wants their personal things....for free? I find this bizarre and am curious how common it is. We've countered and removed this from their offer.

We have moved a small portion of our belongings to another part of the state. DH's company is moving everything else in the next week or two. Not sure if that is what gave the impression that we would just give our things away. My personal belief is that our buyers are scavengers with no taste of their own.

There's more that I could say about our buyers. They are unethical and have no regard for wreaking havok on other people's lives. They've bounced between submitting offers on our home and another home. Always backing out when they didn't get their way. This is their third offer to us (we've never agreed to the point of a being under contract). They've rescinded offers twice on the other home. When they were under contract on the other home and in the inspection contigency period, they were trying to negotiate our house via email. It's too complicated to paint a clear picture of these people, but we've dealt with them enough to know they are nasty, horrible people. Needless to say, I have no idea if this will kill the deal or not.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Buyer wants personal items

You have my sympathy.

One of the agents at my old office had that kind of buyer;
she said they asked for everything including the sellers' Christmas ornaments!

You are the only ones who can make the decision on whether to give them your belongings.

If you need to move, you have to do whatever it takes.

However...

buyers sometimes negotiate right up until the moment the final closing papers are signed.

If you give them your furniture, they are just as likely to demand more at closing.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

When our house was on the market at Christmas, a potential buyer had asked for my decorated Christmas tree and mantle decor. She also wanted my custom drapes that would be quite expensive to replace. I didn't mind at all that she wanted those things, because I intended to use them as a negotiating tool. Of course, nothing sentimental was going to be included.

When I found the house we wanted to put an offer on, there were a couple of furniture items and an older rug that I was going to ask for. The reason being was that those pieces fit the spot perfectly and I knew it would be a pain to go to the auctions/shops and lug something similar home. Of course, I planned on asking very kindly and knew if the owner was willing to part with those things...she was fully in her right to use them as negotiating tools as well. OR, I would have offered to just buy them from her if she was interested in selling.

Honestly, I wasn't appalled at all by the request for my things. I intended for them to make a statement and it was very complimentary that she wanted them. I would have hoped the seller would have felt the same way had I had the opportunity to put an offer in on her house.

I can see your side if the buyers are truly just being greedy and wanting your stuff as a bonus to buying your house.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Why are you trying to make this some sort of a personal negative? They like your taste in decorations. So what? If you want to sell, sell. If not, don't.

BTW - there is absolutely nothing wrong with "bouncing" between homes if you don't have a signed contract. They are just looking for a deal. It doesn't make them bad people. However, be ready for some additional negotiations at inspection time. If they are asking for lots now, just imagine what they will be like when an inspector tells them that this and that needs to be repaired or replaced. I'd say the chances of them staying at their current offer price are pretty slim.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Bleigh: Thanks for your response. I have a very negative association with the buyers so I'm glad you provided another insight. I definitely didn't see this as a compliment.

They accepted our counter so we are under contract. Inspection to happen later today. Close in 3 weeks. We'll see if we get that far.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Bill: They absolutely were under contract in the contingency period on the other home when they were trying to negotiate a deal with us.

This happened twice. Each time, we told them we would only consider a written offer AFTER they rescinded their offer on the other home.

You don't find this unethical?


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

You're just stressed by selling and taking things personally. They are exhibiting normal negotiating tactics in this day and age. You'd do the same if you had it narrowed down to two houses and had no clear preferences of one over the other. Whichever best deal could be had would be the one you'd buy. I only hope your real estate agent is as aggressive for you as theirs is for them!


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

I hope your counter offer was for no personal belongings... somewhere along the process you need to let them know that you are not going to be bullied just because it is a buyers market. The sooner they realize this, the less of a chance that they will nit- pik you during the inspections. Try to push the inspection date as far back as possible in hopes that they already will have paid for an appraisal, survey, application fee... anything that will make them less likely to walk over nit - pikky items.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

We did counter with no personal belongings and they accepted this morning.

We are in the midst of the inspection right now. They must have him on speed dial at this point with all their offers. I wish I would have thought to push inspection off. DH and I are both on the same page that we will only fix code related issues. I don't expect any. The house was recently remodelled and thoroughly inspected by our inspector and the city inspector within the last year.

Per their email, they won't nit pik over the inspection. HA! Their MO is to get the inspection and request thousands off the purchase price. The great news for us is that while I would love to sell the house, I'm not in a position where I have to sell it. I just have no idea what the market will be like in 6 months.

Honestly, I would be shocked and amazed if we make it through closing.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Home inspectors are not code officials.Therefore the smart ones don't cite code violations in their inspections unless they ARE code officials.

However, HI's will cite safety concerns along with visual and/or any operational defects.

Some of these issues CAN be code violations...but depending on what they may be, most are usually grandfathered, unless they pose a danger to life or property.

Good luck with the inspection...hope it all works out isn't a sale.


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oops!

Meant to say "hope it all works out IN a sale."


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Just think, in a few weeks these people will no longer be 'in' your life -- one way or the other! Good luck!


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Remember going into the repair negotiations that they have invested $500 for the inspection, $40 for a credit report, and probably a couple hundred for an application fee, not counting the other money they spent on the other contract that they just got out of. You do have some leverage.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

I let my buyer know that I wasn't open to fixing anything his inspector might find because this house is in pristine condition and it's a 1944 house--they can really find something if they're looking for a reason to get more money off. I'm not with that. I priced it for what it is and I'm including items I was only going to include for a full price offer and it wasn't a full price deal. Also, I pointed out everything that's "wrong" when I was showing them around. So I'm not giving another penny and I communicated that in a nice way. We figure if they try to nit-pick us over something small and they'll walk away if we don't give, then something would come up later anyway to make them walk away because they don't want it bad enough. That's not to say I wouldn't fix something like if there was a loose hinge that just needed a screwdriver and they asked me if I could tighten up that door, etc. But I'm not going to be bullied. Can't wait to hear how your inspection went.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

When we sold our house, the buyers were a young couple who had rented before. Our house was large and we had sold or given away a lot of furniture prior to the closing.

This young couple wanted to come and see the house a few days before closing and I agreed. They asked if we would leave our furniture. They wanted ALL our things!

They were new to this Country and said they had no furniture and seemed surprised that we were not leaving everything behind. I was dumbfounded. I told them I would SELL them our dining room set, some family-room furniture and two tv's. They wanted our beds. I said everything else was going with us.

They agreed and I showed them what they could have and said they could have it for $1,500.00. Frankly, I was so unprepared, I think I should have asked more. But they were so sweet and inexperienced I felt sorry for them.

If I had known, there were so many pieces I gave away to friends and family, I could have sold to them.

I would tell them you will be happy to give them a price for the items they wanted (if you want to get rid of them). I would never give anything away for free. Furniture has nothing to do with the asking price of a house.

Good luck and keep us posted,

Jane


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

"They've bounced between submitting offers on our home and another home. Always backing out when they didn't get their way. This is their third offer to us (we've never agreed to the point of a being under contract). "

They sound really interested. I'm crossing my fingers for you that the third offer will be a charm. Try to bear with them until the closing.

Is it possible to close without having to see them? We did this when we purchased our house earlier this year. Title agent met the seller and us separately.

I think the seller did this because we negotiated hard for things like a new furnace, foundation repairs and one or two other items. He'd bought another property and just wanted to be done with this one. Not facing us again accomplished this.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Looks like third time is not a charm!

They really want my personal belongings. If I won't give them away, they expect me to give them $3000 to replace the items.

I hope this is not indicative of what I can expect from future buyers.


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Bummer!

"They really want my personal belongings. If I won't give them away, they expect me to give them $3000 to replace the items. "

The most ridiculous thing I've heard! $3000 to replace what they never should even have???


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Your "buyers" sound like real jerks. Only interested in a bargain, only interested in themselves, and they don't care who they have to take advantage of to get their way.

If it were me I would tell them to get lost. Just imagine all the other discounts they are going to expect when its time for the house inspection.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

As already said, you are making this too emotional, I understand that this is emotional, but think clearly before you make decisions and statements to your agent.
Remember your goal and decide how each decision helps you reach your goal, forget about thinking the buyer is abusing you, this is a business transaction for both of you.
Many others would be thrilled to have any buyer, don't let your fears control your decisions, stay smart...


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Wait, you said they are coming from another country? In some places, it is customary to a) purchase a home furnished and/or b) show the home as you are selling it - meaning, what you see here is what you get here.

Perhaps this is a cultural difference? Do they have an agent or attorney acting for them?


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

See if your broker can get another offer, it can be a low, crappy offer but they won't know, they will just know you have another offer, and it may make them stop fooling around. Make sure the broker lets the "buyers" know you are showing during this period, and taking back ups. Keep your for sale signs up, no under Contract signs until the day before you close. If you have old realtor cards from previous showings put them on your foyer table every time they come to your house if they come back with repair people to get estimates after the inspection. In other words, play hardball with these people. Normally I wouldn't advocate this but it sounds like they have asked for it.

3K to replace the items that were not for sale. WOW.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

I can't believe they would walk away after all the time and now expense they've invested in your property. It sounds like a poker move to me. BTW, I thought you said they signed a contract that did NOT include belongings.

How did the inspection report come out? I don't understand why there are negotiations about belongings in the inspection phase, unless they are saying they won't ask for a lot of expensive repairs if you give your furniture away.

If they have valued your items at $3,000, then maybe they would like to pay that amount for them? (unless they have sentimental value to you)

I think they are calling your bluff. What do you plan to do?


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Oh, for crying out loud...those are some lousy, tacky people. I can not even begin to believe there are really and truly people out there who would suggest that you owe them for YOUR personal belongings!! Totally not what my potential buyer expected of me. Certainly not what I would have done to my potential seller either. I don't think it's wrong to ask for something specific if it really fits a spot, but there is a tactful way to going about asking. You certainly shouldn't expect it for free or to be expected to PAID because the original owner wanted to keep it!! Definitely not a situation that would have me feeling complimented : ( . I can't imagine you would run into the same situation with future buyers.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Wow, not only submitting and rescinding offers, but now they're prepared to walk away because they can't get some of your furniture or a lower price? That's a good tactic--ask for something you know the seller can't give and then ask for more money off instead. These people sound like shrewdies.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

"Make sure the broker lets the "buyers" know you are showing during this period, and taking back ups. Keep your for sale signs up, no under Contract signs until the day before you close."

I second this idea. If the furniture wasn't included in any contract then move it to the other place. Better that other buyer's don't start the same nonsense.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

I'm kind of surprised the realtor is letting the potential buyers add items to the contract that are not a part of the house itself. I know when we bought our last house, we wrote into the contract that we wanted the attached microwave and the kid's outdoor playset that was cemented in the ground to stay with the house. The realtor told us that banks didn't like mortgaging non-house items. Any other items that we would have wanted such as furniture or rugs would have had to have been negotiated in a separate contract.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

"Therefore the smart ones don't cite code violations in their inspections unless they ARE code officials. "

CYA bovine scatology.

You do not need to be a "code official" to recognize work not performed to the applicable code.

Declaring that something 'meets the code' is a lot harder.


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Just say no to the $3,000.

I'm curious and I'm sure I'm not the only one, are these buyers American or where are they from? I think in some cultures this is how things are done.


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"Just imagine all the other discounts they are going to expect when its time for the house inspection."

You can generally predict someone's future behavior by their past behavior;
some people aren't happy with getting what they want;
they're not happy until they hurt somebody.

These people have "negotiated" their way into & out of...how many purchases?

They'll keep on negotiating with you until they either walk away to another victim, I mean seller, or until you're exhausted & beaten & will sign anything just to get rid of them.

(I once heard a story about a buyer who wanted the sellers' Golden Retriever or they wouldn't close! Thank goodness the sellers put a stop to it by terminating the contract; I've always speculated that, had they gotten the dog, they'd have insisted on getting the sellers' youngest child...)

I wouldn't take the house off the market, & I'd solicit offers.

Whether the offers need to be "back-ups" or not, your broker can tell you.

My thought is that the buyers must accept, refuse, or accept with stipulations within the option period.

I wish you the best.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

The buyers are not from another country :) The only possible cultural issue is one of upper class entitlement.

Our house is still active. We're not under contract at this moment as I have no escrow money. We have agreed on the major issues of the sale. We have not agreed on the addendum items (personal items and some minor other issues).

I drew my line in the sand. I refuse to give away my personal items nor will I give the buyers money to replace them. Honestly, I think these items represent trophy hunting. Why else would they go after them so aggressively? It's not like they just wanted a rug that fit perfect in the entryway. They went through my home and made a list....a very long list....of many of my personal items, appliances (no issue with), electronics, furnishings, and even the kids' basketball hoop!

My agent knows I'm not giving in. He's offered to give the buyers the 3K out of his commision. I'm strongly opposed to this, but it's his call. I think we should stand our ground.

The buyers asked to close 2 weeks from Monday. I can't imagine we could make that deadline given that we still haven't worked this out.

They have reviewed the inspection report. I haven't seen it or heard their response. They keep saying they are going to send it so I'm not sure why the haven't sent it to my agent. I'm not sure how it benefits them to keep it from us.

Thanks for everyone's feedback. It's much appreciated. My agent is well respected in our area, but not as aggressive as their agent. Not to mention, one of the buyers is a contract negotiator for a major software company so I do feel a bit out matched.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

My agent knows I'm not giving in. He's offered to give the buyers the 3K out of his commission.

Seriously??!! They aren't even his clients. Let the buyer's agent pay.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

"Seriously??!! They aren't even his clients. Let the buyer's agent pay."

I think my agent is not aggressive enough. I'm willing to hold my ground on the 3K. He knows how I feel and wants to give the 3K to "bridge the gap." It's obviously not about the money for us. In all honestly, I would be relieved to have these buyers walk away.

It's a weird situation because I'm not sure if it's within my right to tell him what to do with his commission. I've communicated that I don't think it's necessary and I'm willing to be firm on the 3K.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

When we were listed, we negotiated price back and forth until we reached a stalemate of $5,000. I refused to budge at that point. Both agents - buyer/seller - decided to split the amount from their commissions. I didn't agree, but both agents wanted the sale finished.

Jane


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

I would call their bluff too... if not only for the emotional aspect of the situation. (Something I rarely suggest, but I think that if you give in, they are going to slam you on repairs)
Also, I thought you said you all agreed and signed a contract that stated that the furniture was not part of the deal? If you have a signed contract, they can not walk away w/o losing their deposit!
Your home was only on the market for 150 days... you will get another offer. Stand your ground now, or get hit even harder later.
One more question... how could a buyer perform an inspection on your home when their is no contract? I am really confused on the status of this transaction...


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Also, there is usually a time limit on the amount of time the buyer has to notify the seller of requested repairs. If they let this time period pass, they have to move forward, or they will be in default. When is this time limit up?


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

I, too, am confused as to whether there is a WRITTEN contract or not; whether there was a deposit or not. In my state when an offer is made on a house it is done in writing and a deposit is required. There is no confusion about timing on anything because it is all laid out in the contract. Then after an inspection is made, there may be further negotiations as to repairs cited in the inspection report.

We would all like to help you, but need to know the whole story.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Our house is still active. We're not under contract at this moment as I have no escrow money.

Have they submitted an actual written and signed offer?
Have you signed an actual written offer?
I think that more information is needed.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Ncrealestateguy, my buyers did an inspection first before we signed a contract. Actually, they didn't even give me an earnest money deposit until they did the inspection. We agreed on the price verbally, and then they sent over their inspector. Afterwards, they gave me money and we signed. The house before this one, the buyers did an appraisal first before they gave me any money or signed anything.


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LITH...
Glad the process worked out for you, But, if done this way for even a small # of transactions, sooner than later one or both parties will be caught in a nasty dispute with no contract to turn to for direction.


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With no contract to turn to when a problem shows up in an inspection, the buyer or seller can just walk away from the sale. What circumstances would cause a nasty dispute?

And with an older house especially, wouldn't it make more sense to inspect before making an offer?

I realize real estate sales are not normally done this way, but I suspect that a lot of what is done typically in real estate has more to do with pressing for sales rather than logic.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

And with an older house especially, wouldn't it make more sense to inspect before making an offer?

Doing it that way you run the risk that someone will make an offer while you are waiting for the inspection.


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Graywings...
First rule of a buyer should be to get the property under THEIR control. A Buyer can not do that unless he is under a written contract. Seller could change price and terms in midstream, as well as the Buyer. And like terriks says, the property is not under contract, so you may end up writing the inspector a check for $500, and the same minute another buyer comes along and enters into a written contract.
Second, there are "Time Is Of The Essence" dates associated with any contingency in a contract, especially the home inspection. These are drop dead dates. W/O a contract, the timeline between the sellers and buyers is open - ended.
Letting a stranger into your home, who has not given you a pre approval letter, an Earnest Money Deposit, an Option Payment, nor a written contract, sooner than later, is inviting trouble.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

That makes sense.


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"Letting a stranger into your home, who has not given you a pre approval letter, an Earnest Money Deposit, an Option Payment, nor a written contract, sooner than later, is inviting trouble."

Totally agree. As a seller, I would have serious concerns & doubts about a buyer like that. I would be suspicious that they would be playing games.


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Did you have an agent? I would never allow an inspection without a contract. Your agent should have advised against this.


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I would never allow an inspection before a contract. When my house was inspected the inspector left both ovens on HIGH when they left and broke the knob on the attic fan. We didn't notice the knob until a few days later but it was the only explaination. They also pulled off the collar of the shower head so roughly they scratched the fixture, and left a pile of crumbly drywall in the tub.

Ugh!


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And how did having a contract in place serve to help you, gmp3?


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Well they were more invested in the house at that point. I guess it is like putting out on the first date - if the woman gets knocked up she's more likely to be on her own than if she is engaged to the guy ;-).

I didn't repair the scratches in the shower but would have if they didn't buy. Also if they found something you'd be forced to disclose to the next potential buyer and often repairs that are listed are not functional, but may need disclosure, like broken window seals, warped siding, etc., and the next buyer may or may not want them fixed.


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Graywings,
In NC contracts they state that the buyer is ultimately responsible for any damages incurred during any of the inspections.


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Well, my buyer wasn't any more of a stranger to me without a contract than he is now, with one. I knew all his info. And I knew the inspection company and I was here during the inspection. I felt my buyer was at risk, not me, because he was investing about five hundred dollars in a house on a verbal aggreement. We hadn't even hammered out the details in that verbal agreement. Plus, the house could have been swooped up by someone else before we signed anything. I wasn't worrying about the inspector finding anything wrong that I didn't already show the buyer. And if there was something crazy, having a contract wouldn't have changed things. I either fix it or I don't. He either walks or he doesn't.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

OP Here:

The situation has been pretty messy. It's really confusing to explain. As to the inspection happening before mutual acceptance: We had removed the personal items from their addendum. Our agent was informed they would sign and deposit earnest money. They scheduled the inspection for the next day. The signed addendum and earnest money never came. They resubmitted another addendum for the 3K after the inspection occurred. If I recall correctly, at this point my agent had told them he would lower his commission by 3K so it was no longer an issue.

At the time of the inspection, our agent never informed us we weren't under contract. I would have refused the inspection, but I think it turned out OK in the end for us. We said that we were done negotiating with them until they disclosed the inspection and repair list. This way we wouldn't waste any more of our time trying to get mutual acceptance if they weren't going to be reasonable. In the end, they were semi-reasonable. We do finally have mutual acceptance and earnest money.

Dh has returned from being out of the country on business and he's taken over the negotiations. There was a small glitch with the appraisal. Something about not enough loan to value ratio. Not sure how this could be an issue since they are putting down 50% (house is in the million+ range). They were supposedly short 60K and asked to "split the baby." We said no.

All inspection contingencies are removed on Monday. Close is set for 10/10. DH has 1 item on the repair list he doesn't agree with. The inspector questioned the need for an additional support footing. It's not necessary, and after talking with dh (we were the general contractors on the addition) the inspector is now saying he can't comment on whether it's necessary. Agent is having to get sign-off from our architect. Not sure why they wouldn't ask our structural engineer.


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I don't understand.......how could you not know you didn't have a contract? You would have had the contract itself with yours and their signatures affixed to it - no need to rely on the realtor telling you.

A million plus house changes the $3k scenario a lot. If they can afford a million plus house it makes them very foolish and cheap that they need to whine about that. If you have a milion plus house to sell, it sort of makes you just as silly to let that be a roadblock from selling, doesnt it? You are still "more in the right" - they have no right to think you should reimburse them for your furniture that was never conveying in the first place.


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Thanks for the explanation, surrounded. I hope it all works out for you! Good Luck!


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"Not sure why they wouldn't ask our structural engineer."

They have no idea what they are doing.


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Cas66ragtop, that's why they have a million dollar house. Because they watch every penny! lol


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

""Not sure why they wouldn't ask our structural engineer."
They have no idea what they are doing.""
starting with, why do they think this? how is the person doing the inspection remotely qualified to assess whether the footings for the additon is adequate? he might be able to see cracking or shifting, but beyond that.......

did the town do a structural inspection? yes..... were plans signed off by architect/structural engineer? yes
if there is any reason to believe that this is not adequate, go to a structural engineer with plans and then have them inspect house.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

The burden of proof is for the buyers to prove that the home needs structural repairs. Have them bring in an engineer for $750, if they think there is really a problem.


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RE: Buyer wants personal items

Did you close today on your home? Did you make it out of town with all your things?

Hoping you have a minute to respond!!!!


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