A Roof and Four Walls

What does a house mean to you?

Is it a place to raise your family?

Is it a place to decorate and personalize?

Is it your private oasis and sanctuary?

Is it your palace for entertaining?

Or is it just a roof and four walls?

Lately I’ve been working with some customers that view houses as a roof and four walls. There isn’t really any emotional attachment. They don’t care about move-in condition, updated kitchens and baths, or whether the neighborhood is “fabulous.” They need a place to live, are tired of paying rent, and just want a good deal.

I actually find the process fascinating because the reactions from the buyers and the selling agents are much different than the “traditional” buyer.

Usually with buyers, I’ll show them several houses and eventually they’ll find “the one.” It may take showing 5 houses to get to “the one” or maybe 50 houses to get to “the one.” But we eventually get there and there is just one.

With this new type of buyer, there are many houses that will work for them. They are typically ranked in importance based on price, or their feelling of which house will be the best deal.

We put an offer on House A and if it doesn’t work out, we’re on to House B the same day. While we’re waiting to hear back on the seller’s response for House B, we are drafting the next offer for House C.

Most amusing about this process is the reaction that I get from the seller’s real estate agent. It typically goes like this…

Seller’s Agent: The offer was unacceptable. The sellers want the buyer to offer more.

Amy: My buyer is not interested in offering more.

Seller’s Agent: Don’t they want the house? They put in an offer. We can get this done if they can come up to $X.

Amy: The offer was $W. They are not interested in offering $X. We’ll leave the offer on the table and if the sellers eventually decide $W is acceptable, then we have a contract. We’re going to look at more houses this afternoon, so if they find something else, I’ll send you the recision paperwork. Otherwise, consider the offer out there until either the seller accepts at price $W, my client rescinds, or you get a better offer from someone else. Your seller is protected because they actually have an offer and my client could potentially get the house. My client understands that their offer could be used as a bargaining chip in a multiple offer situation, but they aren’t particularly concerned because they will just walk away if another bid comes in higher.

Seller’s Agent: Don’t they like the house? Don’t you want to get this deal done?

Amy: They don’t like the house enough to want to pay more than $W now. They will eventually buy a house that works for them. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s this house or another house. I’ll let you know if they’ve found something else later today.

And so we move on.