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I thought the first potential sale of our house was stressful. I really did. The inspection, the negotiations, the 72-hour waiting periods, and finally the lack of return phone calls from the buyer’s lender…it all left me really frazzled.

I laugh at that now. As in, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAH!! Laugh.

I laugh because we have just been through Round Two with new potential buyers. A couple of weeks ago we got another offer on our house – a seriously low-balled offer which we countered with a much fairer price. They responded with their original offer.

No freakin’ lie.

And I was soooooo DONE with these people!

But they came back again with a higher offer and believing them to be sincere, we came down a few notches and somehow managed to meet just on our side of the middle line. Not my particular desired selling price, but I could live with it because these buyers were pre-approved, had secured local financing, and were wanting to close in under three weeks. Eureka!!!!

We were happy to see things moving along quickly when the appraisal took place within hours of the home inspection. So, together with the good faith deposit, these buyers were already in for roughly over $1,000, which we took as a sign of their commitment to buying our house.

And then the home inspection report came back. It was pretty decent; it noted some things we were already planning to fix, but nothing too terribly major. Dom figured even if we fixed EVERYTHING in the report we’d be out of pocket less than the buyers had already paid out.

{Side note: We loved the part of the report that said all of the bulbs in our outdoor flood lights were burned out. I guess I need to put a sign up that alerts the next inspector to the fact that they are photo-cell motion-sensing flood lights, which means that they won’t come on unless it’s after dusk and something moves. So an inspection at 9:00 a.m. isn’t the best time to judge my exterior lighting. Just sayin’.}

In conjunction with the inspection report the buyers had provided their Response to Inspection Report, which typically is a list of the things they want the seller to fix. It was here that we got our second red flag: “In lieu of repairs, buyer requests $6,000.”

I asked my agent if these people were smoking crack. It was the only explanation I could conceive.

We wrote back with a list of 8 items that we were willing to repair, in lieu of paying them any money. They wrote back with a list of 5 additional items to make a list of 13 repairs total. But get this: one of their 5 things was noted on the inspection report as “Acceptable.” So we wrote back and kicked that plus one other ridiculous item out, dropping the list down to 11 things we would fix. We did all of this communicating within two days, bypassing all that standard “72-hour response time” garbage.

And then they responded that the thing that bothered them the most was that the inspector had said one of our AC units was nearing the end of its expected life span (but not its twin, which was installed at the same time…interesting…) and if we would just REPLACE the AC unit, they’d let us off the hook for any other repairs. Note that the AC unit was on neither our list of 8 nor their original list of 5 items. This came from out of nowhere at 5:30 on Monday night.

Thankfully, my “air guy” answered his phone and gave us a rough estimate of the cost we’d be looking at to accommodate this hair-brained request. We weighed the benefit of being done with all this bargaining compared to our potential expense. And we slept on it – ‘cause we were frustrated and besides, it was by now after 6pm and most normal working people had called it a day already.

The next morning (at 8:05 a.m., to be exact) we let our agent know that we would agree to replace the AC unit, but we would not replace what was still working AND buy them a home warranty. They would be on their own for the warranty expense.

The buyers replied that we had taken too long to respond and were now demanding that (again) in lieu of any repairs WE PAY THEM $4,000.

I got mad. Reeeeeeeeeally mad. I said things I’ve never before had reason to say. As I drove out to my new home construction site, spewing obscenities into the speaker phone in my dashboard, Dom asked me to please not show my anger in front of our builder and my Father-in-Law. In hindsight, I’m glad he made me check myself. My tirade really wouldn’t have left a nice impression on anyone. And I have enough to go to Confession for.

We replied for the last time that we would give them $2,000 and make NO repairs just to put this matter behind us. I secretly hoped they would not agree because I had a bad feeling about what else might be in store for us with these buyers. In the end I think they settled on a contract price they weren’t comfortable with and were looking for any way to get the price down, because ridiculous amounts of money were the only things that were consistent in any of their requests.

So, of course they said no to our final proposal. And we are back on the market. Again.

I hope St. Joseph doesn’t mind working overtime.

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