Putting my house up for sale, I braced myself to endure the endeavor. I balanced a positive outlook with reality. In short, my expectations were met, the good, the bad, and the ugly ones too. Here’s how I prepared for what was to come.
I impounded myself with the positive outlook one needs when selling a home. Borrowing the seven attributes of successful people and taking them to task as I put my house up for sale, I proved myself positive as Pollyanna upon donating the house keys to the lock box. How long would I wait for the full-price cash deal home sale I wanted?
Reality produced positive results in terms of activity. For as many days as my house has been on the market, an equal number of showings occurred. This is good. Also, by leaving the area, I avoided the annoyance of leaving the house when showing. Both turned out to be very big plusses. And they, in turn, produced the reality of three expectations in the form of offers that I did not want, but got anyway.
When an offer comes in, the realtor serves it up with positive anticipation and great expectations, stoking the image of money mounds in your bank account in an easy exchange for your exquisite abode. The raunchy reality of those offers follows.
The low-ball offer stands as more of an insult than admiration for the house. My realtor was quick to qualify the offer as only a little low, rather than the low blow with which it struck my psyche. Such an offer is called “testing the waters” or bending backward below the bamboo bar to see “how low will you go.” I gave up backbends long ago.
I call the full-price offer with contingencies the yin-yang deal: the seller gets a good price on some condition that can, and usually does, kill the deal for the buyers. They can’t sell their house. They can’t get a mortgage. Their family business went Chapter 7. Such situations are not my problem and ones in which I refuse to involve myself. Contingencies set up a sale for failure. I don’t do deals with all yin and no yang.
It was the “verbal feeler” that tested my patience, that positive virtue I stored up in spades for this awful offer. A question is posed “ex-process,” meaning the offer comes as an informal inquiry over the phone rather than an offer in writing on which the buyer puts down money. Such an offer dangles a dollar figure over which the buyer absolutely cannot go, (yeah, right) but asks whether you want it, take it or leave it, on the spot, right now.
“Put it in writing” is my usual response to the fast-paced verbal feeler, which typically comes from hyperactive realtors looking to learn the seller’s lowest acceptable price without the inconvenience of putting up money and paperwork to ask the question. There is a process to be followed, and it involves a pen and a proposal on paper. Zero tolerance reigns for folks with their own ideas about buying my house over the phone today and flipping it for profit tomorrow.
So, somebody make me an offer I can’t refuse.