Monday, January 17, 2011

prop.erty vir.gins

So you know how we made the offer on the house? We signed the papers Saturday and our realtor (who is awesome and wears a cowboy hat and writes emails in the most fabulous colloquial English I have ever read in email form) presented the offer on Sunday. We offered a whopping $174,000 below list. To my shock, on Sunday - the seller actually countered, instead of rejecting us flat. Even more surprising was that his counter was $30,000 below his list price. (For reference, his list price is $218,000 above the tax-assessed value. We're not just crazy people harassing home sellers.) So while I don't think he's yet near the value of his house, that's a big concession, and he's not just messing around.

I am reading into this heavily, for sure, but it seems to bear a wealth of good signs, to me. He's taking us seriously, and he's really trying. That means he hasn't received (and don't expect to) any serious offers near his list price - or he would tell us to go away.

More important to me is the end-game. I never expected that this offer would directly result in a sale. I see a couple of possibilities for this house. The big question is why it is on the market. If that's because the seller cannot manage mortgage payments any more and has to get out from under the house, then I think in the long run, he'll either drop the price and bring money to the table (to pay off his own loans against the house), or be forced into short sale or foreclosure. If it's because he needs cash right now and thinks that he can get some by selling the house at a profit, then once he finally realizes that this won't happen (it really won't), he will pull it from the market - there's nothing we can do. (Other than spend $100,000+ of our own money on his bad financial decision.)

So my hope is to set ourselves up well in case he drops the price or sells the house short later. I managed to convince my DH of this, and we countered at what we had agreed was the most we would pay - $20,000 more than our initial offer. We need to scan and send the latest signature pages to the realtor, so that counter will be made tomorrow. This one, too, will be rejected, but if we're lucky, it will lead to a house in the long run, right?

Apparently, despite my super-rational attitude going into this process, I have a lot of emotional investment tied up in it. I conclude this based on the fact that, in the past three or four days, I have watched...um...about twenty total episodes of House Hunters, My First Place, and Property Virgins. I can pick out which of three houses the buyers will choose at near 100% accuracy, even when I think their decisions are stupid, and I yell at the TV about their poor taste, judgment, and reasoning skills. Unfortunately, this exercise is not getting me closer to a house.

Interesting times.

16 comments:

  1. This is HUGE! I can relate, since DH and I are actively (painfully) looking for over a year...WOW, I can not believe that he is potentially agreeing to an offer to far from the value...a great deal?!! I guess a home inspection will see....good luck!

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  2. I am so addicted to those shows!!!! I think that post-teaching that I'm going to go into real estate because I love it so much!!!

    Good luck with the negotiations! So stessful, but so fun!!!

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  3. I'm so interested to see what is going to happen, Misfit! As soon as I saw the title of the post, I wondered what happened with the offer! I love those shows, too! Sarah's House is a favorite of mine, too. Love some HGTV.

    Good luck!

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  4. How accurate is the tax assessed value to the fair market value in your area? It's not great in our area (big shocker), but by no means $200,000 off. Sheesh! That's being just greedy, Mr. Seller. Ours sold for about 36% more than the tax assessed value, but appraised FMV for the selling price.

    That's excellent news! I LOVE those TV shows, too. I especially love HH and PV. I hate the fake pretending to be surprised by the note on MFP. I have to mute for that part. ;)

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  5. I love those TV shows as well. I just watched House Hunters Intl and they were buying a vacation home in Slovenia. Interesting! But what is more interesting - is this turn of events....i agree it is GREAT news!! More prayers coming for you and St. Joseph, please intercede big time on this one!

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  6. interesting times indeed! I am excited to hear what will happen and I'm rooting for you guys :)

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  7. Tax assessments in our area do not relate well to the market value, but hopefully this negotiating works out in your favor eventually.
    I wouldn't hold my breath for a short sale, though. The seller is still on the hook for the balance of the mortgage - it is certainly not in his interest to take the heinous hit to his credit and STILL owe a ton of money to the bank.
    It always pisses me off on those shows, when people point out things they don't like about the house that are all aesthetic (those curtains are ugly, I don't like this paint color, hmm that's an old dishwasher). Basing a several hundred thousand dollar decision on whether or not you like the $70 ceiling fan? REALLY?!

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  8. I'm so happy Ican come out of the closet now...I've watched every single HH International several times....& Prp Virgins too. Sad but true.
    Hoping you get the house at that great price. If not, maybe you should call Sandra :-)

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  9. That's great news - perhaps a home is around the corner. I hope so. I like those home shows, too, especially anything with Sarah Richardson.

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  10. Sarah - I would only be suggesting the seller do a short sale in which the excess debt is forgiven. While short sales per se do not always include debt forgiveness, it's my impression that the bulk of short sales done these days do. (That seems to be true of all of the - few - short sales on the market right now, and a good friend of mine sold her home in Baltimore short in 2009 and had that arrangement, which the bank apparently treated as a normal method of proceeding.) Of course, that would still kill his credit, but I have a feeling that's already shot - I don't know for sure, of course. And, it might require him to pay income taxes on the forgiven debt, which could be an issue, but not as much as repaying the debt itself.

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  11. Hahahaha, you sound just like me when we were going through this! :) I was addicted to all those same shows! (I wanted to punch most of them in the face, of course, with their whining about carpets, non-granite countertops, and paint colors, but still, it was entertaining and sometimes even educational.)

    Good luck!!

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  12. It is hard not to be emotionally invested when making an offer! I completely understand. And I enjoy watching those shows too :)

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  13. I am a complete addict to HGTV, but I'm watching the other side. We're staging the house, so I can't get enough of anything that shows me how to better market it. Please, please, please can we sell the house for enough to break even? I don't think that's asking too much.....is it?

    Once we have it on the market, I'll be switching over and dreaming of where we will go.....I'm ready to be on that side of it all.

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  14. Go secretly bury a statue of St. Joseph in the yard...I here he works his magic! haha. When we were trying to sell our house, before we decided we wanted to stay, we buried the statue and now I can't find it! hahah

    Good luck:) LOVE house hunters intl!!!

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  15. Hmmm . . . very interesting! This may end up very differently that you had initially imagined!

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  16. I'm excited for the next post!! Praying for sale!

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