My Craziest Real Estate Transaction
As a REALTOR, it is common to say "each week I learn something new in this profession". Actually each week brings us something that "never" happened before. Thus I can say "I will never know everything there is to know about people or the practice of buying or selling real estate."
This year I had the opportunity to list a property with a couple who is planning to downsize after raising their family and getting closer to their retirement. I was highly recommended by their daughter, who I had listed and sold her home ... so they were expecting a similar experience.
I listed the house and on Day 1 we had 4 offers. Three of the offers were reasonable but one was almost perfect and the seller decided to counter the best offer on a small but technical point. We waited a few days for the Realtor to respond. After numerous attempts to get a response the agent relayed that his buyer changed his mind and moved on to another property. And luck would have it, so did the other 3 buyers as the market was so hot no one was waiting long before continuuing their search. I assured the sellers that since we got those offers so fast we would be fine.
A few days later another excellent offer came in. The seller accepted the offer right away and everything seemed wonderful. After a successful Home Inspection and Earnest Money Received I got a call from the Buyer's Agent letting me know her buyer wanted out of the deal because he found out that it was going to cost more money than he "thought" to build a 3-car garage on the property. Seriously? Deal went dead and rather than get stuck in litigation we let the buyer go and put it BOM (back on the market).
This time is took about a week and I had a very nervous seller thinking we would not find another buyer. But another buyer couple came in and wrote a fabulous offer after previewing 3 times. The progress seemed to be moving along nicely and the seller called me every single day to see if I had any news for him. I assured him all was well and that I would be in touch as soon as I heard anything about our sales transaction.
About a week before closing I got a call from the Buyer Agent with a serious problem on the buyer's of the buyer's home sale. WHAT? What home sale?!*!? Luck for all of us ... no one ever mentioned the buyers had a house to sell before they could close on ours! And on top of that, it was a Short Sale? SERIOUSLY??? Too many details to share ... let me just say emotions were running high and wild and I was on the phone what seemed like 24/7. It was up and down and all around trying to come up with plans that would or might work. The Seller and his wife were pulling out their hair and were willing to give up a portion of their proceeds in an effort to help the buyers. But at the end of the day (before closing), the buyer of the buyer walked.
ANOTHER DEAD DEAL
This can't be happening. I can understand once, but finding myself in this place a third time was more than crazy. Something I never saw in my 25 years in real estate.
NEVER GIVE UP!
That weekend I did everything I could to keep my sellers calm. And of course, I put the house again, BOM! Now it was going to be much more difficult as the market was so hot that a house on the market 2 months looked like there must be something "wrong" with it.
I got a call from a First Time Homebuyer over the weekend and you can just guess how FAST I ran out there to show the house. He and his girlfriend loved the house, but as First Timers they wanted to think about it overnight and said they would get back to me after talking with their parents, etc. I mentioned my meme (see above) to let them know if they decide to sleep on it they may never sleep in it.
That night the seller called late in the evening and left a discouraging message saying, "we are taking the house off the market - we are so upset - so prepare the paperwork" ... since it was late I decided to wait til morning to call him back. To let them sleep on it and hopefully cool down. The tone in his voice was one of anger, disappointment and resolve. The next morining I called ... there were MANY words exchanged and I did my best to stay calm for my clients and reminded them that I had shown the house the day before and could I have just 30 minutes to at least call them to confirm if there is or isn't any interest?
Long story, made short. My buyers did love the house. I met with them and we wrote a Full Price Offer -- void of any home inspection or contingencies other than financial. We closed in less than 30 days and my reputation was resurrected.
The Sellers are now living with family and we will be home shopping after the New Year!