Well, I'm excited to report that neither my clients nor I play any roles in this drama anymore. There has been an unexpected turn of events, and from now on, we're just going to lean back and watch the show.
A week and a half ago, I wrote a somewhat desperate [members only] blog about preparing an offer on a very charming but outrageously overpriced house whose seller was her own agent. She was blinded by love and pride. (Or SAD, Seller Agent Dementia, thanks, Andrew!) Her former home was the only larger house in the historic district my friends and clients were interested in, and there hadn't been another one on the market in a long time. All you Rainers' comments were so comforting and encouraging, and I was getting ready to offend her in as nice and professional a way I could.
As I had just assembled all my docs from comps to a "tax CMA" (recommended by Martha Brown) and left a message for the agent to make an appointment to present our offer, I sat down for a last pre-weekend update on my most important searches. There, it caught my eye: a brand-new listing, still without pictures but a promising description. A 7-bedroom, 5-bath restored Victorian on a huge lot, beautiful open flow on the first floor with double parlors, library, an amazing kitchen and all the rest. A registered historic resource. A lot bigger than the bungalow, and just what we had been looking for. (And did I mention it was priced lower by more than $100k?)
I sent an email to my buyers, "we must see this."
"I agree," the wife said.
"Hold our offer until we've seen it," said the husband.
His wife and I saw the house on Monday. She was no longer interested in the other one.
The husband wasn't convinced -- until I took him there on Tuesday. By Wednesday, we had met half the sellers' family and neighbors and found out how much they all had in common (including a love for wine and identical looking Golden Retrievers). Thursday morning we received a call that another offer had been written and would be presented "tonight."
"Please wait for us," I begged.
"We will," said the listing agent.
Another hour later, she let us know that the other party was having a pre-offer inspection that day. Another five hours later, we had an inspection as well. On Friday, we found ourselves in a suspense-laden, 3-hour bidding war. It was "just like 2005" all over again, said the agent with a sigh as she was going back and forth between the parties.
We won!!! On top of that, this goes straight to the Top Three of the Coolest Places I Ever Sold. My buyer emailed me a photograph of the house taken in 1911. (Image courtesy of the Historic Takoma Inc Archives).
The SAD agent never called me back. In the meantime, she also listed her house for rent. She is asking about double the average rent for the neighborhood, plus a whole lot of other unreasonable conditions. If she doesn't actually want to sell, then she certainly doesn't actually want to rent, either. I guess nobody is worthy of her home. Today, she had another ad in the paper, another open house. Another audition for a new cast of buyers. Boy, am I glad I've left the set.
Update on May 5, 2008: I tried to take pictures of the house yesterday, but the tall trees in front obscure the view. The MLS picture (left) was taken before they leafed out completely; it shows nearly the same view as the historic picture.
The picture on the right shows the side (now the official entrance).
© 2012, Catarina Bannier