Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Housing update

When we first went to see the house we are bidding on, our real estate agent couldn't make it with us so we went by ourselves and chatted with the seller's agent. He is a friend of the sellers and a little more revealing than he probably should be. For instance, does it help his clients to let potential buyers know that the woman's family is loaded and that the couple just bought a new place and got their "financing" via daddy? Probably not. But we were looking for whatever information we could get so we listened. Our agent went by yesterday to see the house and did the same. She found out that there were four offers received, but ours was the highest, which was interesting because we originally bid about $7 less than asking. People are low-balling in this market, but we thought we were bidding for a starting point for negotiations and would eventually pay between that price and the asking. The seller's agent indicated that they had considered taking our offer, but with that many offers he is ethically required to give everyone another shot. Sucks.

But now the game changes by going into "highest and best", because everyone has the opportunity to blindly up the ante. We spent a while thinking through whether we should just increase our offer by a couple thousand, go to the asking price or go above the asking by a couple thousand to make sure we get the house. With three other bidders, is it worth the risk to stay low? We finally decided to exceed the asking price by about $200 was the way to go. We would be kicking ourselves if we stayed under the asking and didn't get the house and a couple of thousand spread over the life of the mortgage really isn't going to matter. Plus, we could be in the house in 30 days, which will save us having to resign our lease for another 6 months and ensure that we get in on the government $8K tax rebate. So, technically, we're saving money by going all out to get the house. I know that sounds like the justification of a shopaholic just home from a shoe sale, but we're also ready to be done with the circus of house hunting and really like this place. The sellers get everything at 6:00 tonight and we have our fingers crossed that our asking price offer and our Top 11 Reasons We Want to Buy Your House get us in the door. Tick tick tick.

10 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed mate. It's a fucking crap shoot eh? Good luck

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  2. All the best!

    What a pain the process is though!

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  3. Have you checked how much this house is worth on http://www.Zillow.com ? You can tweak the estimate with details about what is in good/bad condition. We used Zillow for both selling our old home and buying the new one. I thought it worked great!

    Good luck!

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  4. Oh yes, we've been all over Zillow. The bigger problem right now is not exactly how much it should be worth, but how much is it worth to us vs. someone else.

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  5. Good luck - I have my fingers crossed for you!

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  6. Good luck, good luck, good luck (repeated all day long)!

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  7. When you say "$200" do you really mean $200? Has the market gotten so bad that people are sweating $200? I hate house-hunting (or shopping in general), so I would go over by some bigger number like $1000.

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  8. No, I really meant $200. Oddly enough, you have to worry a bit about over-bidding because the house has to assess out near the price you saying you will pay, or else the bank won't finance the loan. We looked at a bunch of sales in the area and are already on the high side. At the same time, there were other factors in our decision not to go much higher, some of it based on what the seller's agent had told us and our agent.

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  9. Ethics may ass. What a crock of shite that agent is dealing. They should have gone with your initialo ffer but maybe they still will. My wife and I just bought a house and their agent tried a similar thing. We walked away from the deal after they had settled on us as the buyers and they came running after us with many apologies. I hope you get the house. If not, maybe you can convince your colleague who is leaving to sell you his/her house at a great price.

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