June 29, 2010

Seller Beware!

Yeah, I know it’s usually “buyer beware” but once you read this, I think you will agree THIS seller got the short end of the stick.

When we had to move my mom to assisted living last September, we immediately listed her home for sale.    This past June 14th she would have lived in that house 40 years.     For the last 10 years or so, I’d stay after her to do some updating and maintenance from time to time but she just didn’t see the need.    I knew that the house would require some pretty extensive cosmetic fixes to get it in shape to sale.     However, no one had the time nor the resources to do major updating so we did what we could and then listed the house at a reduced price hoping for a quick sale.      We did not get even one offer until Mother’s Day weekend!     

After going all those months without any offers, I made the executive decision to take $1,500 of her money and have the house completely painted inside, painted the outside shutters and front door and quite a few other things to make the house appear fresh and updated.     We then reduced the price AGAIN and finally got our one offer!    We were so excited as the tentative closing date was scheduled for the weekend of my mom’s 90th birthday.    

Then an inspector came through and threw a stink bomb in the plans.    Let me tell ya’ll----if any of you have your home for sale, get ready for a real eye opener when the inspector comes through.    He came back with 2 pages – and more than 20 items – of the most ridiculous things I’d ever seen to be fixed!    The prospective buyer was getting an FHA loan and it was my understanding that he was covering his butt with FHA but I could not believe the items he had listed!       After I calmed down, we agreed to do all the items on the list with the exception of 2 minor things and we were willing to put some $$ on the table so the buyer could do those items herself.    

Wellllll, all of a sudden the buyer got cold feet and would not get in touch with her agent.     By this time, I had talked to her agent myself and he told me she would not return any of his calls.     When he finally heard from her, she had changed her mind!      And now I understand that the contract states she can change her mind and get her earnest money back which is being held in escrow!!!    Of course, I am leaving out a lot of this whole sordid story as I am getting mad all over again just typing this.     Basically, here’s where we are:     We went in and did everything on her “wish list” which were cosmetic in nature and offered her $$ but she still wants out of the contract!    Personally I think this woman would never be happy with anything we did at the  house.     So she gets her $500 back and we’re back to square one.

Does this seem fair to you?     Being a legal secretary, I was ready to take this woman to small claims court and had begun preparing my case today…..however, due to the language in the contract, I would probably lose in the end.      And after I got to thinking about it, I don’t want this person in my mom’s home at all.

Okay, my rant is over.    We desperately need to sell this home!    Please keep our family in your prayers that the right buyer will come along SOON.

Thank you!


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I so agree that the inspectors do come through with the strangest things on their list sometimes. At least the whole list is done so when you do get the next buyer, you won't have to go through with this again. Good luck, I will keep you in prayer. Hugs, Marty

TinaTx said...

I feel for ya! We sold our home last summer (after living there 24 years)Some of the things the inspector came up with were just unbelievable. There were a few things we knew they would come back with and we were prepared for that but things like the outlets on the front porch not working - they were on a timer for Christmas lights and the inspector didn't have the sense to over-ride the timer! We were able to mark most of it off and we did finally sell it, but it sure was a pain in the you-know-what. Good luck to you!

Cheri said...

Now you have me scared when ever we get our home sold because we are already losing money and don't want to put one more dime into that place. Can ya hear my teeth chattering, Judy?
I'll pray for you and you pray for me...deal?

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Praying for you Judy.

We have wanted to sell our house for awhile but this is one thing that has us worried. Another is...those home selling shows and all the bells and whistles people expect because of what seems the norm on those shows, when buying, makes me wonder if our house will be good enough for anyone. I know it's a nice house but you never know.

I hope things get better for you.

Designs on 47th Street said...

I feel so sad for you. What a rotten deal in many ways. I'm sure we will be facing this same issue with my mom's house in the next few years. She just had a fall and I was with her for many weeks thinking about all that we need to be done if she decided to sell it now and move to something smaller. She is getting better and decided she wants to stay in her house!

I will send a prayer up for a quick second sell.


Simply LKJ said...

So sorry to hear all you are going through. On the upside, my brother was selling the home he had bought as an investment property (my parents were renting it until they found a home that better suited them, long story)...it really turned in to not so good an investment given the current economic situation. However, after many, many ridiculous offers...a buyer came in with a CASH offer. Done deal! Praying God sends the right person to purchase your mom's lifelong home!

Cheri said...

I'm so sorry!! I am a licensed real estate agent (now disabled and not practicing) and I can sadly tell you that this is common nowadays. Buyers want perfect homes and will very often get cold feet when a property comes back with issues, even silly ones like FHA requires be fixed. It makes a buyer wonder what else they will find later that might have been missed on the inspection.

It makes no sense and I got more than few gray hairs dealing with skitzy buyers in the day. BUT, good news - you now probably meet FHA'a requirements and your agent can put that in the MLS listing (unless those couple other things DO need to be done to make FHA happy).

FHA is the ONLY lender giving out loans to anyone easily (conventional loans are super hard to get right now) and that narrows your buyer pool to drastically small proportions. This way, at least that stress is over with. (If anything significant was wrong, it does now have to be documented on the seller disclosure BUT you can also provide documentation it was fixed, by whom, and when.) This should increase the pool of available buyers.

Good luck! The person who is meant for that home hasn't found it yet, but will!

Kelly said...

I agree with you. That buyer should be held accountable for insisting that all those things get done and then backing out after you did them. The nerve of some people!! I believe what goes around comes around so when she goes to buy her next house, there will probably be something that won't fair well with her and in the end you'll probably get a much better buyer. It's stressful enough trying to sell a home in a down economy and then to put up with someone so picky. That's ridiculous!

Suzie at "The Southern Gate" said...

I'm so sorry! We've had similar nightmare scenarios play out when selling our last two homes. The worst of all was standing at the bedroom window watching the moving truck pull away with everything we owned and hearing the phone ring. It was our Realtor calling to tell us that our "cash buyer" had no cash! Long story short, they ended up somehow coming up with the cash but we had to delay three closings...one of which was our new home 600 miles away! I will keep you in my prayers!!

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Kim said...

I thought the real estate lady said this tacky woman COULD back out up until a certain point in the negotiations the day I signed that paperwork. I think that inspector is a complete idiot. On the other hand, the house is in better shape. We bought the lake house as is and have had plumbing and heating/cooling problems since we closed. The house will sell and everything will work out. It always does although not always on our timeline.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I am a licensed real estate agent but not currently active in that field. FHA is the absolute worst about requiring every little thing to be fixed. If there is even one thing on their list they will need to come back to do a sign off and charge the seller an additional$75.00. I once had an FHA inspector report that the light above the sink was not working. All I did was change the bulb and he still charged to come back to make sure the light was working.
Good luck to you and I hope you sell soon.

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