Ok, so we found a house that was acceptable to us and within our price range. It was a very small house that needed A LOT of work, but it was do-able. The house was built in the very early 1960s and the seller was the original owner. He was, of course, quite old and physically frail. The reason he was selling was because his wife had passed away some time ago and he was now moving into a retirement home. Now, because of his physical condition, he just wasn’t able to do any upkeep on the house for quite a few years, and the house had fallen into quite a state of disrepair. Here is the short list of what needed to be done:
– The entire downstairs bathroom needed to be completely ripped out and re-installed. A new toilet and tub needed to be purchased (toilet was cracked and leaking, tub was beyond cleaning) and the ventilation system needed to be brought up to code. (There was a bath-room fan vent that was ventilating into the next room… seriously)
– The downstairs carpets absolutely reeked of cat urine; the carpet needed to be ripped up and burned. The sub-floor underneath needed to be re-secured and new carpeting purchased and installed.
– The kitchen floor, which was that old (it likely was the original flooring) rolled linoleum was curling up at the edges and coming away from the floor underneath. The entire kitchen floor had to be torn up and a new one put in.
– The kitchen counters and upstairs bathroom counters were probably original and were in very rough shape, they needed to be replaced.
– Front porch, all railings were unseated from the porch floor. All the railings needed to be replaced.
– Every inch of lawn, front and back was nothing but weed-beds… not a single blade of healthy grass to be seen. Both front and back yard needed to be completely re-sod.
– The house was once equipped with a fireplace that the owner had removed some time ago, but didn’t cover the spot where it had been. This left a huge rectangular hole in the living room floor. New hardwood would have to be installed over that hole.
– The garage was completely unsafe for human use. It was literally teetering on the brink of total collapse. In fact, the owner had installed a hap-hazard series of ‘come-alongs’, stretched between walls to keep the walls from buckling outward and the roof collapsing in on itself.
– The furnace, at most, had another 2 to 3 years worth of life left in it. The entire furnace would need to be replaced in the not-too-distant future.
– The entire house needed to be re-roofed.
The owner was asking for 220k for the house. We offered $189,000.00 and he countered with an offer of $215,000.00. We raised our offer to $195,000.00, and he countered again with $210,000.00. We refused the offer, said thanks-but no thanks and went looking at other houses. A couple of weeks went by and we saw that he had re-listed the house at a reduced price. So, we said: “Ok, we’ll offer him $200,000.00 and that’s it! And, we’ll let him know that under NO circumstances will we EVER go one penny higher.” So, we made an offer of $200,000.00 and made sure that he knew it was a take-it-or-leave-it deal. So, what did he do? He countered the offer with an offer of $201,000.00!!! Can you believe it? A lousy $1,000.00!?!?!? Talk about nickel and dimeing! I was really tempted to counter back with an offer of $200,001.00 but decided against it. Instead, we said thanks, but no thanks, and again went about looking at other houses.
About a week later we received a call from his real-estate agent who said: “I’ve spoken with the owner, and if you would like to once again put in an offer of $200,000.00, I can guarantee it will be accepted this time.” So, we made another offer of $200,000.00 and he did indeed accept it. Now, we are still trying to sell our house, so the offer we placed was conditional on the sale of our house. This of course means that legally, until our house sold, he was free to entertain other offers. Regardless of this, we did pay him a $1,000.00 deposit on the house, and we had to fork out $400.00 for a home inspection.
So, what did this greedy little weasel do after he signed our offer? Within 24 hours after the offer went through HE RE-LISTED HIS HOUSE! He re-listed the property at $205,000.00! Now, legally, there is nothing barring him from doing that. But, after 30 years in the business, our real-estate agent said she had never seen it done before. In fact, every real-estate agent I have spoken to has told me that it’s very, very rare because it’s a trick that is so dirty and underhanded that any self-respecting real estate agent would likely drop the client immediately. It wasn’t long before we got a call telling us that another offer had been placed on the property. An offer of $203,000.00, and unless we could exceed that offer, the seller had accepted the bid of $203,000.00.
What a weasel, what a greedy low-life! To pull a dirty, underhanded trick like that for a mere $3,000.00 gain… and after he came to us asking us to place another bid for the same amount that we had already bid and he turned down! Unreal. He was obviously hoping to start a bidding war for that dilapitated, old, run-down shack. I wasn’t going to have any of that. So, we got our $1,000.00 deposit back… but, we’re out the $400.00 that the home inspector charged us to inspect the property. Luckily, and I can’t thank them enough for this, our real-estate company has told us that if we find another property, they will foot the bill for the inspection on the next one. Our real-estate agent and her office has been nothing but helpful and I recommend them highly if you are buying or selling a house. They are the office of Sarazen Realty, with Coldwell Banker and our agent is Elain McCurdy. You can visit their webpage here: http://www.coldwellbankersarazen.com/
The website of the agent representing the money-grubbing, underhanded seller is located at: http://www.sylviebegin.com/