Is This Negotiation, or Being Punked?
November 4, 2011 8:21 PM Subscribe
Is this a game of real estate chicken or what?
posted by Leta to Work & Money (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I recently put an offer in on a house.
(We own a house already, but we bought it from people we knew, FSBO, so there was no real estate agent involved, and no real negotiations.)
The house is listed on MLS for $100,000. We decided to offer asking, less a rebate for closing costs, so our net offer was $97,000. We had discussed this with our mortgage agent, so she wrote our pre-approval letter with $100,000 as the amount to be financed.
The seller counter offered $110,000. No concessions, no rebates, and 10% more than the listed asking price. The seller also expressed concern that we had only been pre-approved for $100,000, but the letter was written this way because we discussed the asking price and our offer with the mortgage agent- we could have had the letter written for more or less as needed.
We are baffled by the seller's counteroffer. Is this normal, or is the seller playing chicken with us, or what?
A friend offered a theory that the seller has had a change of heart and is just waiting out the contract with the real estate agent, but we found this confusing as well- couldn't the seller just take the house off the market? Can a contract with a real estate agent actually obligate you sell a house that you don't want to sell? (And, I think this is pertinent, the seller actually has moved and lives out of state now, so it's not like selling the house is going to mean being homeless.)
I'd love any insight from someone who is more experienced with real estate dealings, because we are utterly confused by this seller's actions.