we're selling our town home and the buyer has come to us w/ a laundry list of nitpicky requests from the inspection. She claims the microwave leaks radiation. She wants us to pay for changing the locks. She even wants us to pay for exterior cosmetic repairs, even though we live in a town house and the HOA is responsible.
We did have an AC problem a few months ago and had to repair it, so I understand her concern w/ the AC unit. But she wants $2800 knocked off the negotiated price of $250k. We've offered to hire a well known HVAC company to fix any issues in the AC, but the buyer wants cash. So she really doesn't care about radiation in the microwave or the AC, she just wants to renegotiate.
So basically, we- the seller- are screwed. The buyer can walk away (minus the due diligence money) and we're stuck w/ an empty townhouse that we have to put back on the market. Our property is now tainted, and the buyer knows it.
My wife and our agent says to suck it up, but I'm livid. We're closing on our new house tomorrow and moving a few days afterwards.
I told my wife I will only agree to this extortion if she gives me the OK to give this lady a piece of my mind immediately AFTER closing.
I have some things I want to "get off my chest" w/ this buyer. I told my wife she may want to leave the room when I start.
Now my wife and our agent are really worried I'm going to go overboard. But I'll keep it clean.
My question is- if I rip into the buyer after she signs the final documents, could the buyer still cancel the agreement to purchase?
I know- this sounds petty- but it's principle and I can't live w/ myself if I don't speak up.
Where did you get the idea that your property would be considered tainted? Was there something else on the inspection report that leads you to believe this (like black mold)? Has a murder taken place in your residence? Or, are you just thinking that if this sale falls through all the other buyers will run screaming for the hills (which is not how it works)?
Remember that the buyer has a strong motivation to close or she wouldn't have stuck with you the entire time, shelling out money for the inspection. Unless townhomes in your area are very difficult to sell, call her bluff and decline to address the microwave and locks. Refer her to the HOA for the exterior "issues" (that aren't really issues).
That leaves the AC. If it's operating correctly, simply decline to give her $2800 off. Reiterate that she can either take the free HVAC inspection visit and repairs THEY suggest (which you'll pay for) or nothing. If she persists, it's fair game to open back up the negotiated issues that got the price down to $250k in the first place. Or, simply offer to split the amount to $1400 a piece.
Of course, if you are cash strapped and NEED this property to close, you may have to suck it up (the $2800) as your realtor suggests. If that is the case, your predicament has nothing to do with the buyer, so screaming at her wouldn't be right. First of all, it would show a problem with your character. Secondly, it could get the police called if she feels threatened or menaced. You don't need that hassle. If you see her, just give her the cold shoulder and walk away(by the way, buyers and sellers don't usually see each other at closing)This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jewel,
Thanks for your input! Regarding the tainted comment- it's assumed that an empty house is not as attractive as a home that has furniture.
We're also worried that if it goes back on the market that potential buyers will see that as a negative.
Regardless, we need to address the AC unit. Any inspection will notice that there was water/rust in the bottom pan... and like I mentioned, the buyer has a legit concern about the unit.
But this concept of making an offer, then trying to renegotiate during the DD period is ridiculous.
As for my character- I totally see your point. I always treat people with respect and give the benefit of the doubt. I own my own business and my mantra is "life is too short to work w/ aholes". I don't go for aggressive negotiating tactics and if someone tries that, I tell them to look elsewhere. Sounds cheesy, but I'm one of those "win-win" folks.
So when I encounter someone who tries to squeeze every nickel out of me over cosmetic issues and has unrealistic expectations that an 8 year old townhouse should be 100% free of cosmetic issues, I have a big problem with that.
We're moving to our new house this week and I believe the buyer is using that for leverage.
Our agent- who we really like and respect- is telling me not to let $2800 wreck a $250k deal. If the buyer walks, we have to put the house back on the market and pay (at least) another month's mortgage ($1400). Is asked me if I'm willing to risk this.
We're also the only townhouse in the community that is for sale... but I know that two other units are going on the market in the next 30-60 days.
I got emotion in this and the only way I'll feel any vindication is to make a couple comments to the buyer.
I'm not talking about threats or anything like that. But I want to make some comments about her nickel and dime'ing us and how we've told the neighbors about this frustrating experience.
Selling can be frustrating. It is for most people.
But I think you have misjudged your own character. This need for revenge, even if it is just verbal, is not productive. No one is forcing you to sell even if it feels that way. So making snide comments may make you feel better for a short time but it is not the right thing to do.
If it were me, I would probably go with the split in half cost on the AC unit as a credit. See how that flies? If your and the other realtor wants to kick in the other half to make the deal go through, let them.
Then just be done with the deal and move on to your new home/and life.
People (like her) who play these games, eventually get back what they spew...not from you, but from someone else down the line.
No, an empty house isn't the kiss of death. In fact, there's been several lively discussions on this board between people who PREFER to view only empty homes. So, don't let that be your deciding factor. Besides, you can always leave a piece of furniture or two to "stage" the place if you feel that strongly about it.
As an aside, almost all buyers negotiate at the beginning to reach a contract then again after the inspection results are in.
Regarding the AC, another option is to see if providing a home warranty that covers HVAC would be acceptable to the buyer.
Again, keep your lips zipped. You may not perceive what you want to say as threatening but that doesn't mean she won't take it that way. Besides, who would sit in a room and listen to someone rip them apart? You'll only see her back as she walks out the door leaving you in mid-sentence (which would just make you madder). Get your revenge by living well in your new home.
You have seen here very good advise, by the way, I alway prefer to see empty houses, it provides me with the option to see the empty walls, the real size of the room, anything that furniture may have covered. and also the opportunity to measure and visualize how my furniture may look.
So, empty houses are really great. Remember, new homes that have tons of not included options have great furniture so that you cannot avoid but to buy with lots of optiosn thinking that now your house may look like the model.
Could not agree more. Vent your frustrations privately to your own agent. Never to a potential buyer, unless you wanto sabotage the deal.
During my last home sale, I also had what I perceived to be a nickel and dimin' buyer, so I chewed off my agent's ear a couple of times. She listened patiently until I calmed down, and I took heed of her sage advice. Everything worked out very well in the end.
I wouldn't say anything. Just suck up the 2800 and be done with it. If it doesn't close, not only will you be paying your mortgage payments, but will be paying to heat the vacant house, pay for water and insurance, etc.
The market has recovered somewhat but we're not out of the woods yet.....so I would do what I could to get to the closing table. In your lifetime you will make that 2800.00 over and over.
As for venting after the sale. Nah, I wouldn't. It serves no purpose, except the buyer will look like the good guy and you could end up looking not.
Vacant homes are not tainted..not sure where you got that idea..but that's rediculous.
What does the contract say about repairs..as is with right to inspect? YES, A BUYER CAN COME BACK TO ACCEPT, REJECT OR COUNTER OFFER.
There is another format of contract that gives an up to allowance repair allowance. So it is important to know what your contract says. BTW , same here~~ a buyer can accept reject or counter offer with a home inspection contingency.
Not sure where the $2800. A/C cash (credit?) allowance figure came from, and thinking she may want that amount to use toward replacement of the unit.
Of course your Realtor is afraid the buyer may walk if you don't do the $2800...thus both of you losing out on the sale.
Not sure how buyer knows your business..of closing another house this week etc. which that is personal and confidential info that falls under catagories of fuduciary between Realtor and client. The buyers' knowledge of your business puts you at a disadvantage.
May be a good idea to pick a flat amount...whatever you decide $1,000 1500 $2000, $2800 or whatever you feel comfortable with..and give her a credit at closing "covering all repairs incl A/C".Very smart for your Realtor to be sure there is an addendum to the contract stating your decision topresent to the buyer's Realtor/and buyer..
Talk it through with your Realtor..because she knows the market there, and that maybe the reason as well she is for the $2800. amount.
Rise above it..emotionally.This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Property wouldn't be considered tainted. If you had the a/c unit fixed and it works then it works. If there is a problem with it and you have to replace it what is the cost of that? or even to make additional repairs? How old is the unit?
How long did it take to get this offer?
The buyers are also emotional at this point and it may be that their agent suggested the "laundry" list just to see what you would be willing to do.
You have several options available to you including offering to meet in the middle, simply saying no, or agreeing to their request.
Talk it over in a more reasonable manner with your wife and agent. Yes, you could lose the buyers but your agent should be guiding you through all the choices.
Thanks everyone for the responses.
We got the offer the first day on the market.
But our agent is talking to another potential buyer who was interested when we were showing the townhouse.
Regardless, I'm ready to be done w/ it. We just moved to our new house and I'm moving forward trying to get this place unpacked.
I don't have enough energy to be mad. Just want to get unpacked, setup, and sleep.
I think me posting here was therapeutic- I'm not amped up anymore.
All bark and no bite ;-)
Glad to hear! Now you can work it out one way or the other without the rush of emotion. Things have a way of working out...often times not how we expect but they resolve.
Enjoy your new home.
..and that's a good thing...and smart! Congratulations!
If rust in the pan is the only issue with the AC, you can have it replaced for WAY cheaper than $2800. Even have a plastic pan put in. Or... if it's not rusted through, there is a rubber spray you can use in the bottom of the pan, after a little sand and wipe down. My honey is a contractor, and we've done all 3 options in the past few months, from less than $20 for the spray to $315 to install a plastic pan, including the pan. There are options! But if the AC works, I'd leave it as is. (*"*)
I am surprised neither agent has suggested a home warranty. In most areas less than $600 and will cover the hvac and other systems for 12 months and can be renewed.
I sounds like the buyer's agent is not explaining the facts of life very well to his/her client. That is too bad for you at this stressful time.
Congratulations on your new home and I hope all works out for you. If this buyer walks when your agent renews the listing include a seller paid home warranty.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
The buyer's agent is paying for a home warranty out of her own pocket.
Then there is no problem. Does she not understand the Home Warranty? DS paid for one when she bought her home because the maintenance from the previous owner (it was a short sale) was lacking. It paid for itself several times over. They even renewed it this year.
I hear ya- but she's going for the **$. I was ready to tell her to hit the road, but the wife and our agent told me not to get emotional.
We just moved to a brand new home and I'm ready to be done with it.
The good news is that the due-diligence period is over. So if she walks now, she's losing a lot more ****.
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