Are You Willing To Lose The House For $2,000 Difference?

Real Estate Agent with Fred Real Estate Group

Buyers today are in the drivers seat more than ever, we all know this and buyers are educated about it.  However, when do you stop and say - ok.  Every time a buyer or seller puts out a new offer or a counter offer they take the chance of the other walking away.  We all have our bottom line and some of us do not want to move off that number. 

But... Buyers and sellers are you risking the home of your dreams or the sale when you counter offer and are only a thousand or two apart?  Is getting that additional $1000 going to make any real difference on your payment or what goes in the bank?  Even if the answer is yes, every day that the negotiations go on is another day that closing can be delayed.

Today, the sad truth happened for one of my buyers.  We were battling back and forth over the weekend over $2000 and the seller finally caved in... we got the house for the price the buyer wanted.... GREAT UH????

Not so fast... you see, Friday lending guidelines changed and the buyer no longer qualifies for this second home.  So since the loan was not locked - the lender can not honor the program we planned to use.  So everyone lost out over a $2000 difference, the buyer no longer qualifies for the loan and the seller is without a buyer...

Back to the Drawing Board all the way around, be certain you want to take that risk when you are so close, the outcome could cost you more than the difference.

Comments (61)

Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

How frustrating to have the lending guidelines change...

Apr 07, 2009 08:21 AM
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

Robert - you are right - sharing others disappointment can bring a buyer in the future to their senses .

Bob - Tell Lisa  - Hi Back at Ya

Mike - Don't ya just want to say... stop I will give it to you

Michael - Sad but true - but you never know what the future can bring.

Carla - it is frustrating

Mark - yep next....

John - I think it came down to just wanting a great deal and they all lost.

Rebecca - we know how likely that is in today's world so it does not surprise me.

Apr 07, 2009 08:42 AM

I am not a real estate agent... but i came across this blog anyway - 2,000 dollars to me could easily be picked up if the agents reduced there rate! The real question is, how motivated is the buyer, the seller and the agents!

Apr 07, 2009 09:02 AM
Kim Dean - McKinney, TX
Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner

Thesa -OH, my heart just breaks for you on that one! After all that time and heartache, it's sad to lose out. But a great lesson for buyers out there that believe everything should be handed to them.

Apr 07, 2009 09:13 AM
Cat Zwicker, CRS
Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC - Redmond, OR
Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results!

Thesa- I can honestly say I've shared this same pain!  It's so hard to get buyers and sellers to realize that an opportunity can be a fleeting moment these days.  I had a similar incident except we literally went through three programs during the negotiations and the seller chose another offer while the door was open.... ARGH!

Apr 07, 2009 09:35 AM
Teri Walker
Rachael Cline Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV

You know you hit the nail on the head... This is so true today. I work with buyers that want something for nothing (imagine that). They will not get it through their thick heads that if they really want that property they better make their best offer and not hem haw around trying to get "something for nothing". We do our best to educate these buyers and sellers and they have a mind of their own, and of course they are always right..........

Apr 07, 2009 09:56 AM
Linda Ferrara
Coldwell Banker Enchantment Realty - Silver City, NM

When I have these types of situations I start asking the party:

1. How bad do you want to buy the property (or want to sell the property)?

2. Are you willing to wait for the next opportunity?

3. If it's the Seller, "How many more mortgage payments will you have to make?" Let's do the math, are you saving anything here?

Once you start asking the questions, the buyer or seller starts turning on their light bulb.

If it's an emotional decision with one party wanting to win (or feeling like they're losing), I try to discuss that point. I usually talk about the fact that in a negotiation each party wants to feel like they're getting something and giving something. Try to get them think logically instead of emotionally. Empathize with them. "I see you're frustrated. Let's talk about what's happening here".

Of course, there's times when there just ain't no talking to them!


Most times you can bring them around.

Apr 07, 2009 10:15 AM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Thesa -- I've experienced this as well, it's heartbreaking and financinally it is very disappointing to both buyers and sellers.

Apr 07, 2009 11:06 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

It's also the same with the short sales. Sometimes you've got to ask, is the bank really willing to foreclose over an extra $2000? Ugh! So frustrating!

Apr 07, 2009 11:31 AM
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL

Thesa - that's so true. Buyers and sellers need to recognize that the other side has agreen to a certain price, but any change is a new decision, often with more investigation needed. Also - even in this market - while they're negotiating, a better, cleaner offer can come in and buy the property.

Apr 07, 2009 11:46 AM
James J. Weber
Keller Williams Pocono - Milford, PA

Thesa - I agree that it can be so frustrating. In these situations, when we're so close on price, I try to keep the buyers focus on why they originally wanted to purchase the house. The great schools, easy commute, killer kitchen, etc. and all the benefits for them to own this home.  

Apr 07, 2009 12:32 PM
Ron Parise - Cape Coral, FL

Heres a different take on the same subject.

I had two deals this year where we came to an impass, one was over a few thousand dollars, the other over a washer and dryer.In both cases the listing agent and I agreed that our clients were being pig-headed. In the first case we each took a little less commission and in the second case Im buying a new washer and dryer (Ill be the proud owner of the old ones)

My point is that sometimes we agents can assist in the negotiations and push a deal to a successful conclusion by giving up a little ourselves

Apr 07, 2009 02:46 PM
Robert Snowden


Thanks for the advice.  Believe it or not I was contemplating having a client request an additional $2,000 in closing cost from the seller, on an already good deal until I read your blog.  We now have a contract and both parties are happy.

Apr 07, 2009 02:57 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Yes, we had one this past week where the haggling was over less than $1,000. Gotta wonder.

Apr 07, 2009 03:23 PM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

What a shame... I'm dealing with a offer right now and we are on counter offer # 7. this whole time we were back and forth over a $4,000 spread that is now $1,600 difference... Buyer already lost his 4.5% interest rate as it was not locked in due to no contract.

Apr 07, 2009 03:38 PM
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

Ben - the point was the buyer no longer qualifies - I would have adjusted the commission in a heart beat... but if the buyer can not get the loan any longer so commissions do not matter.

Kim - it really does break my heart for the buyer and the seller. Who knows maybe it will be for the best in the long run - but it is how things are now.

Cat - I know you do.... It is so nice to see a great Central Oregon REALTOR sharing with me.

Teri - things do change and we never know when it will happen or if it will happen -

Linda - they both wanted to buy and sell - but the loan qualification became an issue.

Melissa - You know these same folks had been involved in a short sale - that fell apart so they would have been  heart broken had they waited even longer for an answer on a short sale.

Sharon - the buyer thought they were right and the seller agreed - but the loan fell apart because of new guidelines.

James - The buyers and sellers were all on the same page.... but... the loan guidelines changed

Ron - Assisting only works when the buyer qualifies for the loan - but you are so right under a lot of circumstances.

Robert - good for you.... it always feels good when it works out.

Bob & Carolin - sometimes we do gotta wonder how it all will come together uh.

Roland - good luck with your offer - I hope they get what they want SOON

Apr 07, 2009 04:31 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

People in general have changed so much since I got into this industry. Nobody seems to want to compromise anymore. It's all about "me, me, me". It's frustrating.

Apr 07, 2009 08:03 PM
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

Lisa - it is frustrating but at least this one went down in flames because the buyer did not qualify - they had come to an agreement  but a day too late....

Apr 07, 2009 08:15 PM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

Thesa it amazes me that this happens all the time.  Sometimes they just have that "magic number" in their head and nothing one can do makes any difference. 

So happy to see you back =)

Apr 07, 2009 08:22 PM
Laura Karambelas
Baird & Warner Downers Grove - Downers Grove, IL
Realtor - Downers Grove

Hi Thesa-

Thanks for sharing this story as it brings the true light of the current market.  The lending programs change all the time and it is something we need to bring to our client's attention.  This market can and has been very frustrating.

Sorry you didn't get your sale together!


Apr 07, 2009 11:23 PM