(This post was originally written on Monday, June 18, 2012 – see the intro post for more details…)
Well I suppose that was a little easier than I had thought!
We got word back from our agent that the seller accepted our offer. They had gotten several offers over the weekend, but ours was over the asking price so rather than prolonging it with another round of soliciting bids, they decided to just take ours.
We’re officially one step closer to buying a house!!!
It’s pretty relieving to see that our “strategy” actually ended up working, though! We had an inkling from the other lookers that this one was going to go quick, so the both of us had an idea that we needed to do something a little special to make our offer stand out … but neither of us know anything about real estate whatsoever, so it was hard to tell whether what we were suggesting was actually significant or merely comical when one is looking at such a large sum of money to begin with. We ended up offering a little more than 1% over their asking price – not a lot of money, but not exactly chump change, either, and we kinda figured that at worst, hopefully it would be enough to keep us in the running if the seller countered asking for more.
Now I should note – this is where our agent really did us good here because he was extremely fair and honest with us, giving us his opinions based on experience, without trying to pressure us to do one thing or the other. He suggested that with just the asking price, we probably had about a 50/50 chance of getting it, so if we could stand to lose it, we should just go in with the minimum. But if we really liked it, our proposal of a little extra was still pretty much in line with comparable properties in the area and would probably earn us some extra credit with the seller.
We also asked for the seller to contribute 3% towards closing costs, which I didn’t know at the time is pretty much standard, but my budget certainly liked being able to lessen the blow of those numbers!
Anyways, so obviously we don’t know what the other offers actually were … maybe they came in at list price, or I would guess that more likely they probably tried to low ball it because that’s what you always hear about people doing with real estate sales. I mean, on one hand it does make sense – you can never negotiate down, but you can always go up … and yet at the same time, I guess in a sense I’d also be concerned about insulting the other guy by offering him 70% of what he’s asking and wasting his time! And I know that this might be a little different because it’s a bank sale and there’s less personal ego involved, but even a strict businessman you’d think would get a little offended if you waste his time by offering him only a fraction of what his product is actually worth… 😕
That’s just me, though, but thankfully it didn’t have to come to that because taking the high road (literally!) seems to have worked out in our favor, and the part that seemed to me was going to be more challenging has (so far) actually fallen into place pretty easily. And you know what, I don’t feel like I got a bad deal, either, because sure, the asking price was 1% lower than what I’m paying, but I see a lot of value in this house that has absolutely nothing to do with dollars and cents. Plus, not for nothing, but the real estate market has been so convoluted over the last decade anyways that for me it’s really hard to judge whether a house is truly worth $100,000 or $350,000.
We’re not getting a mansion, and we’re not getting a glorified cardboard box, either. I think we really lucked out with finding a place at the bottom end of our budget that also has enough of the bells and whistles (and … regular stuff?) to make us feel good about dropping that kind of money on a place to live. Sure, we can still yearn for something more – you know, for when I write the next best seller or something 😉 – but in the meantime, this should work just fine and finally give us a place of our own that we can really settle into and call home…
Oh yeah – one more thing … WOOHOO – OUR OFFER GOT ACCEPTED!!!!!!!!!!