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Avoid Buying Your First House From a Difficult Seller

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My Short Sale Experience
New Construction Condo Experience
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We Almost Rushed Into Buying The Wrong House
I Am Now A Homeowner
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Last time, I wrote all about how we almost bought the wrong house. Thank goodness that offer did not work out. Overall, the home buying journey has taught me that things happen for a reason. While it may take some time, you will end up in the house that was meant for you! I'm now in the condo of my dreams and everything totally ended well. First, however, I wanted to share another difficult experience with you. We missed out on a short sale, we thankfully pulled our offer from a new construction condo that had many problems, we were deceived by a seller who lied about his square footage, and we almost rushed into the wrong place after all these stressful experiences. After all of this, we experienced one more difficult experience - a very difficult seller who owned the unit we had been waiting for!

The Home We Had Been Waiting to Buy

If you have been reading this series of articles, you may recall that our home buying journey started out with a very stressful experience trying to buy a short sale condo. We absolutely loved the condo complex where the short sale was located. Consequently, when another unit in that same condo complex came on the market, we just had to have it. The topic of the rest of this article is all about how this experience did not work out. Thankfully, as a preview, we actually now live in the same condo complex - just in another (and better) unit! (As I said, everything ends up working out if you keep the faith and have a lot of time on your hands to be patient.)

The Difficult Seller - Not Worth It After Saving Up Our Down Payment For Years

So we found "the perfect condo" again... We wanted to tour the property immediately to avoid missing out, like we did with the short sale. Our real estate agent was not available so we decided to contact the seller directly. We set up a showing for the same day. Everything checked out and we were really happy, ready to talk to our real estate agent and prepare an offer. Our first bad sign was the seller pressuring us to buy the home directly from him. He was an agent himself and offered to represent us. He mentioned that he would be able to give us a much lower price if we made the purchase directly from him, excluding our real estate agent from the transaction. We had a real problem with this. If you have been reading the last few articles, you can see that our home buying process was very long and arduous. Our agent is great, she worked really hard during all of these hard times. She deserved to get paid for her hard work. The seller, however, was trying to push us to do the wrong thing morally. Not cool!

We Almost Listened To The Seller & Almost Used Him As Our Real Estate Agent

Not proud of the following at all, but we almost decided to go directly with the seller. We were desperate and the home was already at the top of our range. We were at a point in our home buying process that we just wanted to get it done. We had been trying to buy a house for about six months and it was not working out. Thank goodness, our better judgment kicked in and we decided to write the offer with our real estate agent. It was a hard time because we were in a state of being easily influenced, especially with the dream of a low price on a great home. My advice to you: never lower your guard. I have said it time and time again but the industry is cut throat. When buying your house, do the right thing. Keep your moral judgment in tact, find a good real estate agent, and stick with them. Having a good buyer's agent (who is not the seller's agent) is necessary for the first time homebuyer - it's just too difficult otherwise. You worked so hard to save up your down payment. Have a great agent on your side so the deal works out perfectly for both sides and all that hard work in saving up your down payment pays off!

We Made A High Offer On The Home

We found the right place and decided to make an offer, a high one. In the course of six months, only two units went on sale in this particular complex (one being a short sale). The premium of buying the right place was very high for us. Consequently, we decided to put in a very fair offer, only a little below the seller's asking price. We felt very good about our offer because we're in a difficult market and other comparable units were selling at similar prices (actually lower if you look at the price per square foot). As a side note, even if you really want a place, never overpay. A high offer is ok, but don't go so high that the home will not appraise at that price. If it doesn't appraise, the mortgage lender will not give you a loan.

Our Offer Was Rejected By The Seller - We Decided To Move On To Another Home

We made it very clear that our real estate agent communicate with the seller and tell him that this is our final offer. It is all we qualify for from our mortgage lender. Despite this, the seller decided to play hardball and reject our offer (even in a down market). How crazy! At this point, following the seller's pressure tactics to bypass our real estate agent and the rejection, our judgment told us to move on. This was the best move we could have made. We bought another unit in the same complex which is much better. (Really looking forward to the next installment in this series because it shows how things finally worked out and we bought the home of our dreams. All of those years of saving up our down payment and our six months of home buying struggles finally do pay off!)

To conclude: My strong advice to you is to never ever lose your judgment and morals. If you run into a difficult seller, it's going to be better to walk than tie yourself up in a bad deal, life is too short and the market is too bad to deal with these types of people. The funny thing is this seller is still trying to sell his unit - it's still on the market (now with an asking price well below what we offered just a few months ago). I guess other buyers are having similar difficulties with him. Next, the last article in this series shows how I am now a homeowner.

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