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Subject:  Selling: more of a rant than anything Date:  3/4/2013  1:00 PM
Author:  VTAlumni Number:  124928 of 127683

Just sharing a frustration on our selling process. I'm a very analytical person, so maybe someone can give some insight into something I'm missing here or it was just cold feet from the potential buyers.

We live in the DC metro area which is low volume and currently a sellers market. Prices are just starting to rise here over the last 6-9 months and looks like a lot of renters are trying to get into homes at today's rates. We interviewed a few realtors and found a pair that worked together that we really liked. The one who would be in charge of selling had a system that looked great. He does a lot of leg work to get bidding wars going the first weekend on the market, and with such little inventory it is important to pick just the right price. We were looking at our house selling in the $430-440K range, and before telling him what we wanted to list for he recommended $435K thinking that we'll get multiple people putting offers down the first weekend and could end up with closer to $440K. We were happy.

Our house went on the market Friday morning, the first people waiting in line to view it were a couple that we'd seen driving by our street all week looking at the "coming soon" sign in our yard. They got in to see the house Friday morning and put an offer down immediately for $443K (8K over listing) with 25% down and waiving the inspection and appraisal contingencies. This was just way too good to not accept. We had 3 others very interested that first day and one was in the processes of putting together and offer, but we accepted the 443 an hour before its 7pm deadline. The next day our Realtor still did the open house and there was more interest but most people didn't bother because the sign already said "under contract" in the front yard. Realtor was trying to get a backup offer going but most people saw what they've seen everywhere else. The houses go fast that are priced appropriately.

Fast forward to today, we get news this morning that they are backing out a few hours before their 3 days are up to do so. The reason they list is "upon review of HOA documentation" which our realtor tells is is typically what people fall back on when they need an excuse to back out. He said, they really didn't need to give a reason - but the fact that they did shows they want us to think it is for a specific reason.

Question... is this a case of cold feet? Guess we'll never know. I can't help but wonder if this person was attempting to undermine our ability to get a bidding war going on opening weekend. Is that they they set the 7pm deadline to accept their offer the night before we were to have our first open house?). We spent a lot of time and energy getting the house is pristine showing order, and now our opening weekend (open house) seems to have been a waste as the serious buyers all saw it wasn't worth pursuing since we were already under contract. We even stayed the whole weekend at our parents house out of state to allow the realtor time to do what he does best and let the home sit in pristine showing shape.

Our realtor is reaching back out to all of those people now to let them know we're back on the market, I'm sure we'll get another offer in today - or soon, but I also can't help but think they will be back down near listing price now $435K as people will wonder if something is wrong with the house for the first offer to have fallen through.

Is something like this pretty standard? I'm not questioning it legally. I understand the rules in place giving people 3 days to review things and back out... but as my realtor said, to do something like this is really poor on their part. If you're so quick to jump at throwing an offer out like that to get us off the market in the first 24 hours we're available and then fall through on something like "HOA docs" that means they really didn't do their homework (highly unlikely), or they really shouldn't be fronting a stance of aggression like that at getting a house that is clearly going to sell fast.

Frustrating to say the least. :\
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