Sometimes it’s best to walk away from a house purchase…..even after spending money on an option fee and inspections.
In fact, that’s why we have an option period in Texas….so you can have professionals go out and inspect the house to see if it’s worth owning.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to have our buyers sign a “Termination of Contract”…..even though it wasn’t our buyers asking to sign it.
Our first warning should have been when the seller’s son-in-law called to let us know that all communication for the purchase would be directly to him….bypassing the agent on the Multiple Listing Service . We knew a “For Sale By Owner” sign was on the property….but had also seen the property on the local MLS. We checked our MLS….still showing as “active” but in remarks…it asked us to send all correspondence to the seller. Turns out…not really the seller, the sellers son in law.
Our buyers hired a home inspector and also had a septic company go out to the property to make sure the septic system was in working condition. A number of items were brought up by the home inspector that were items of concern…so our buyers asked for a few repairs. The seller’s son (not a Realtor, nor the owner) immediately responded that no repairs would be made. Our buyers decided to move forward…they really wanted the house.
Closing was to occur on October 5th and the offer was contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. The sellers son in law called on September 11th asking for our buyers to remove the contingency. He also stated that if they didn’t release the seller from selling the house to them he would do his best to make sure the buyer’s didn’t ever get the earnest money back. His words (in WRITING) followed with an ugly email: There is no “good faith” on this side because we feel we have been misled (?), and mistreated (?), the appraisal has not even been completed, we want to be released from this contract immediately. If your clients hold us up any longer and will not release us until 10/5 and do not close as promised and signed they can kiss the $1K earnest money goodbye, I will tie it up indefinitely. Sign the release….get your $1K refunded.
The buyers, after reading the email, decided to forget about the purchase. They don’t qualify without the proceeds from their home…..which is why it was contingent on their sale. They had put new windows in their house, new siding outside, had it painted inside and out, replaced the fence….all done and ready to put on the market for a very quick sale at $200,000 on Sept 12th. The house they were buying…..$310,000 and needed lots of updating. We have since learned the sellers daughter called the lender and told her they had another offer…but it wasn’t as good as this offer. She also told the lender that the Mom, the seller, had borrowed money to fix up the new house she had bought in a new city and needed the funds from the sale to pay the borrowed money back.
I can’t help but believe if we had been able to work with another agent on this sale…..instead of the seller’s son in law, a hot head, we might have been able to close on this home. We wouldn’t have seen an email that was so “heated” from the son-in-law…..we would have either got a call from the Realtor or an email asking how the process was going for putting the home on the market and getting it sold. In San Antonio…homes that are fixed up and ready for quick move in for $200,000 or under FLY off the market….especially in North Central San Antonio with great schools and in a great neighborhood. We probably would close sooner than the next buyer…..and it appears, from the disclosed call to the lender, that the seller would have netted more from our sale than the next sale. So…did the seller borrow the money from the son-in-law and he couldn’t afford to risk it not being back in his account by October 5th? We’ll never know…..but I still believe you hire Realtors to get your home SOLD and keep the emotions out of the transaction….and everyone wins because they understand what is happening, when it is happening and why it is happening. Without the Realtors you have this situation….a seller who has no clue what really is happening and why….and a seller that will end up with less money in her pocket because her spokesperson was a hot headed relative that didn’t know real estate.