Thursday, December 17, 2009

The hardest phone call I made in years

A couple of weeks ago I had to make the hardest phone call I have made in years. I had to tell a listing agent that my client was backing out of the deal.

The reason this was such a hard phone call were the circumstances of the deal. Most real estate transactions are like an arranged marriage. The buyer and seller do not meet until the close of escrow and sometimes they never do sit at the same table. My buyer and seller had met and really wanted to work together. My buyer had even charmed the listing agent. Everyone was pulling for her to buy the house.

This was a very emotional sale for the seller. It was an estate sale; grown children were selling their mom's home that she had for over sixty years. The sellers wanted someone who loved the home and would not tear it down. My buyer was in love with the house; she loved the historic charm of the home.

However, when it came time to review the inspection reports and the recommendations for repairs she started to get concerned about the cost of upgrading the home. My client then had a general contractor who specializes in restoring old homes inspect the home. He elaborated on the extent of the project in terms of time and money. My client decided that it just was not a project she could commit to at this point in her life.

She agonized over the decision to withdraw her offer, but she learned a valuable lesson about herself. She had a fantasy of being the owner of a historic home because it appeals to her aesthetic but she had not really thought about the investment; time and money. She now realizes that she needs to better understand her real lifestyle instead of her fantasy lifestyle in looking for a new home.

The listing agent contacted me a let me know that he found another buyer not long after her withdraw of the offer and for more money than my client offered.

So the story as a little bit of a happy ending but my client needs time to heal her broken heart. We will start looking for a new place that reflects her actual lifestyle.

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