Dear Mr. Seller: Play Hardball, and your Ball Just May Deflate!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living 272617

Intown Atlanta Real EstateIt's no secret that real estate is moving in some markets again!

It's no secret that in some markets, the inventory is scary low!

But Mr. Seller, when you decide to play hardball with an offer, your ball may just deflate!

I found my clients the perfect house. Seriously. It had everything they wanted....and more. It was in their price range, and the same school district where their two children go to school. On a busy street, but the house was still quiet when inside. They were in LOVE! Madly in love.

Until Mr. Seller tried to play hardball.

Now, my Buyers have had a complete divorce from this house, and are moving on. You see, Mr. Seller made some $15,000 worth of "improvements" to the home in the two years they owned it. Unfortunately, a 15 year old HVAC, an 18 year old hot water heater and a 20 year old roof did not warrant "improvements." But we were going to get a new screen door, a solar-operated entrance gate, and rain barrels. Oh goodie goodie.

So, after agreeing to 98% of list price, bring on the inspection. Boy oh Boy! But, we let many of the issues go and focused on roofs and hot water heater. Estimate for repairs, probably $8,000. Seller counters with a $2,000 price adjustment. We ask for $8,000. Seller squeaks to $3,000. I say give us $5,000 and its a done deal. Seller says $5,000, but now jerks out the home warranty and the HVAC servicing. I mean really.

Here comes our Termination was sent at 9pm. My phone rang 15 minutes later.

"Oh please NO! What do we have to do to save this deal?" Well, you might of started with a truthful disclosure statement. (Listed roof as 5 years old, and hot water heater at 8 years...remember dates above!) Then after a 98% list price confirmation, you come back with your stupid ass $2000. And that took you 48 hours to come up with?

I gave the Listing Agent 45 minutes to come up with an offer. Seller caved and gave the $8,000. But the divorce had already happened. In fact, we were looking at the very home we are now making an offer on when the $5000 nickel and dime offer came in. (You gotta love a Smartphone to add fuel to the fire!)

Dear Mr. Seller: I hope you've enjoyed your game of hardball. I wonder when the next offer will come. It's a pretty unique house and will take some pretty unique Buyers, which you had in your court, but your ball just deflated.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Thom - Some people just can't help themselves!  As you said, now the seller has to find another buyer and the next offer will probably be lower... too bad for him.  I'm glad to hear that your buyers have moved on mentally and found another home to write on.

May 22, 2012 01:52 AM #54
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

VERY difficult to sell a house on a busy street. Unless they LOVE the house or just plain don't see the traffic...

May 22, 2012 01:56 AM #55
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Obviously, your clients didn't really love the house and the selling agent was persuasive enough with his client, wasn't he?

May 22, 2012 02:09 AM #56
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


The seller in this case was being petty.  It is not worth losing a deal over $8,000.00.  

May 22, 2012 02:19 AM #57
Diana Roca
Century 21 Camelot Realty Inc. - Cape Canaveral, FL

I have a seller who would do anything for an offer. When the offer came in it was close to what she had earlier agreed to sell the house. Now her counter is being petty and greedy. I told her the buyer will balk and he might walk. We will see.

May 22, 2012 02:29 AM #58
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Good for you & your buyers. Being a tough ass is never a good part of negotiations. I had to laugh over the improvements of 'rain barrels & storm door' wooo hooo!  Trumps a new roof & water heater every time!

May 22, 2012 02:37 AM #59
Adam Brett
The Adam and Eric Group - Fullerton, CA
The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest

Your second line of this post is the story of my life right now in our real estate market. Great Post!

May 22, 2012 03:53 AM #60
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Thom-as I often say to my clients you have to remove yourself from the emotions and focus only on the business proposition in front of you. 

May 22, 2012 10:19 AM #61
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Some sellers, and buyers, need to learn the hard way. I wonder if this seller did? But it's a shame the buyers could not get beyond the crap and move ahead once the seller agreed. But they have to make the decision that's right for them.

Good luck with the next offer!


May 22, 2012 11:05 AM #62
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I love stories like this.  People need to learn to be honest, realistic and focus on the big things.  I hope your clients like the other home better.

May 22, 2012 12:51 PM #63
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Hi Thom,

I bet the seller is just sick now over that as he should be!  Best of luck to your buyers that they get this new offer they have out!

May 22, 2012 12:58 PM #64
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

there seems to be an epidemic of sellers in short sales wanting more money for homes that they are about to lose

May 22, 2012 07:06 PM #65
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I'm bringing prepared leases to viewings and asking prospects to bring their checkbook - if renters SNOOZE, then they will LOOSE....same with SELLERS - they should have been better prepared!

May 22, 2012 07:59 PM #66
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Thom, I agree, too often sellers do not realize that a simple counter offer nullifies the offer and the buyer can move on.

May 22, 2012 08:04 PM #67
Mark Cohen, Realtor-Broker, Eyemark Realty, Gainesville, Florida

Humans are not born with logic or common sense and the schools don't teach them.

May 23, 2012 02:31 AM #68

Love the way you wrote this story.  It is so true and can go both ways with buyers demanding more and more until the seller decides that they would rather wait! 

May 23, 2012 04:51 AM #69
Stephanie Arnett
RE/MAX Partners~ Starkville, MS - Starkville, MS
SRS, IMSD, Broker Associate, REALTOR

Sad for the seller, but serves them right.  I am a listing agent, and I tell my sellers that all to often.  Surely you'd be suprised to hear that only half of them listen!! :roll eyes:

May 23, 2012 05:20 AM #70
Frank Diaz
East Oahu Realty - Kailua, HI

"A bird in the hand...."

I had a similar situation. My buyer had agreed to 35% down, rare these days. We couldn't get together on price. Finally, two weeks later, the agent calls and says they'll take it. Too late, we are already in escrow on another. When I see high down payment buyers, I take them very seriously. Rare birds these days.

May 24, 2012 01:12 PM #71
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

I think it is the responsibility of BOTH Agents to keep each other informed. When a Buyer has been through a trying process, the Seller should be informed that it is not the time to play hardball, and vice-versa, of course.

May 25, 2012 05:16 AM #72
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Everyone! I've not had time to respond to each of your comments. That certainly does not mean I have not read everyone of them and I certainly appreicate everyone of them!

We close on their home this week (perhaps a day late due to the lender dropping a ball or two) but we will be closing!

Jun 24, 2012 12:47 AM #73
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Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale
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