Fourth in a Five Part Series
We found it! Having decided to move, buy before selling, searching diligently, we had finally found the perfect home. After viewing hundreds of properties online and looking at a few, this was “It”! Now it was time to write the offer. I knew the home would be popular, as it was in a gated golf community in Southwind, part of Bluewater Bay. In fact, I slightly freaked out, as there were other agents’ business cards on the breakfast bar. That meant – it was being shown! I was no longer a “Realtor”, I became the “Buyer”. I wanted the house and no one else was going to get it. So part of this story is a bit of a confessional.
What to offer? The house had only been on the market a few days, so I guessed the seller, probably like most, expected a strong offer. I wanted to make what I thought was a “fair” offer. I looked at the comparable sold properties, and wrote an offer just slightly under market value, which was 12% lower than list price. Let’s see how the seller would respond. Would they be reasonable or want to play the counter offer game? I was hoping for the former.
Uggghhh!! They took four days to respond – past the counter offer deadline. The buyer’s agent kept saying he couldn’t reach them. In the meantime, I had bad thoughts. Seriously, I was no longer the Realtor. I was the Buyer. Here are my thoughts: “Maybe the seller was entertaining another offer? Maybe they were stalling HOPING to get another offer?” I went back to look at the house again. YES, fears confirmed, there were more business cards on the counter!
Finally, the seller responded by countering at just 3% under list price. I knew they would counter, but I thought they would be reasonable. Their counter was over market value. My turn. They wanted to play. I countered again quickly. I increased my offer to 7% under their initial list price. I also told them (card held back), that I would waive my Realtor fee on the sale. Duhhh. Why would I want to finance or pay my own commission when buying my own property? That doesn’t even make sense. (If your company allows you do to this – I am the Broker, so I could do so). I wrote a cover letter to the seller’s agent explaining that by adding back the saved “commission” expense, the seller’s net would increase, and they would find it very fair.
Tick tock. Tick tock. Again, we waited for their response, as I was getting prepared for a major back surgery. They knew that. (Buyer thoughts: I couldn’t believe they would make me wait. Surely, they must realize the stress I was under?) Three days later, the morning of my back surgery, a late night voice mail had come in. ACCEPTED!!
Next, the final chapter in the series – Selling our home! And yes, I really became that “Seller”!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". She sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.