Releasing and moving on (continued)

Maybe the house is resisting releasing me. I’ve tried to reassure it, tried to convince it the next owners will love it as I do. Perhaps it senses my uncertainty about this.

Is it too much to hope for the ‘perfect’ buyer? Someone who will enjoy the house and environment for what it is and not merely see it as an ‘investment’, something to be manipulated for profit. There are such people around, but is it then too much to hope that such a buyer would also have enough money at their disposal to pay us a fair price.

Last week we signed another contract, for much less than we’d been hoping for, and much less than the earlier contract. There’s no doubt the market has been dropping, and we are more anxious to sell quickly than we were 3 months ago. So we were reconciled to a lower price, though probably not this much lower. What we weren’t prepared for was that the new buyer, just like the last, would try to reduce the price drastically once the contract had been signed, over perceived flaws which should have been accepted as part and parcel of an old house. After all, you don’t go into a used furniture store and demand the price of recovering be deducted from the selling price of an obviously used sofa.

Part of the problem lies in current real estate practice in these parts. There seems to be a determination on the part of agents to keep buyers and sellers apart, thereby depersonalising them and casting them in the roles of adversaries. I have an uncomfortable feeling of having my space desecrated … my home, which reflects me, is open for all to see, but I know little or nothing about these people who wish to take over my home. People who, the agent tells us, are absolutely in love with the house … yet expect it to cost no more than other places they’ve seen which they like much less.

Maybe I’m unusual, but I’ve come to expect to pay more for things I consider superior.

I’m tired of all this game-playing. If I leave feeling I’ve been screwed I’ll leave bad vibes behind … not that I mean to, but I’m human after all.

At this moment, I just want it all to be over.

The coming week will tell. There are a couple of other contenders who seem to be prepared to pay a better price, but after 2 failed contracts I’m not exactly filled with confidence.

Would someone like to pray to the patron saint of house-selling for me?


5 thoughts on “Releasing and moving on (continued)

    • Hi Alastair,

      I’m not sure what it is you disagree with. The resource (I presume you mean the one I found by clicking your name – sellahouseforcash), refers to conditions in the UK, which do not necessarily apply to Australia. Property buying companies may exist in Australia, but they are certainly not the norm for selling residential property. Almost all our residential selling goes through local real estate agencies (most of which have agencies Australia-wide). These days auctions aren’t as popular as they used to be … except, perhaps, for higher-priced properties, or properties which are likely to be in high demand. Most local real estate agencies conduct auctions if they consider it appropriate.

      I can’t find anything in the information at sellahouseforcash which negates what I said in my post, which, in any case, is my personal account of what I have encountered. The problems which occurred with the two contracts are precisely what I would have expected from the procedures followed by our agents. We bowed to their ‘experience and expertise’. So far this certainly hasn’t paid off.

      The thing that upsets me is that, regardless of the offer a buyer makes, they still want the SAME amount off for a perceived defect. For example, our 80yr-old house has an 80-yr-old roof. Our original asking price (which agents never actually revealed to buyers – a common practice here in recent times) took into account the age of the roof. Yet the buyers, AFTER they had signed a contract for $508,000, wanted the cost of a new roof deducted. The next buyers, who offered a mere $470,000, also decided, after signing a contract, that they wanted the price of a new roof deducted. (Incidentally, a roofing contractor has quoted repairs to the roof, which would ensure at least another 3 years life, would be $800. He also said that these repairs are not even essential at this stage.) My contention is that this should be revealed to prospective buyers in the first place, so that any negotiations are fair and above board, and buyers cannot later decide they want a further discount.

  1. I noticed that your last post was dated Oct 16, 2010, so I’m guessing you must have sold your lovely home by now. My sympathies goes out to you as I hate selling or even buying a house. Everyone expects so much and rarely are anyone’s expectations met.
    I found your blog because I discovered one of your wonderful eBooks I bought on my old computer when we were part of the the Artella community. I hope you are in a position to start blogging again as you have such a talent for writing! I also hope that you have found a positive conclusion to your situation and are well and happy:O)

  2. I tripped into your blog from John McWade’s post and a comment you left there. My editor (Gerard McLean) is a big fan and he drags me everywhere he goes πŸ™‚

    I hope you have sold your house by now. There is a whole bunch of people who share your frustration and angst. Some of us (me!!!!) are stuck in a place they would rather not be because the houses aren’t selling. But I, unlike many, can work from anywhere and have paid off the mortgage.

    Anyway, for your reading enjoyment if you’d like. Here is an open letter to anyone looking to buy my house when I finally put it on the market. I hope it at least puts a smile on your face. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m always amazed when someone finds my blog. Perhaps I’d better start writing again.

    Yes, we sold the house. The buyer was not heartless, and when it was explained to her that we had already reduced the house far more than the cost of a new roof, she accepted the price on the contract. It turned out, too, that she truly loved the house … she even happily took over care of the resident possums.

    We are now living near the sea … but perhaps I’d better write a blog post about that.

    Your open letter did indeed make me smile. I hope the reverse psychology works. You haven’t mentioned any of its good points though. I’m sure it has some (looks OK in the photo).

    I wish you well.

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