Wednesday, July 30, 2003

editor's note: this is the first in an irregular series of blogs related to the recent house hunt of Cap'n Ken and his First Mate

The House Hunt
Tonight's Episode: Venus as in Fly Trap

The wife and I knew we would not be in our current house forever. I bought the place three years ago before we were married, and it's small and mostly unspectacular.

From time to time we'd see open house signs in the neighborhood and swing by places that looked interesting. One Sunday back in March, I saw an open house sign on this place at the corner of our current street and the avenue running past. It was one of the 20 or so new homes built as part of a subdivision back in 2001.

I'd always kind of hated these particular houses, because the architecture was Alpharetta, not East Atlanta. But I had wanted to see what these places looked like inside (they appeared to be nicely-built homes), so we decided to swing by after brunch.

We were blown away. This house was amazing. Top of the line detailing, a great kitchen, huge master suite, hardwoods throughout, 2-car garage and all that stuff. The lot was fenced and mostly level (a must for the dogs). It was part of a new subdivision, but was on the avenue, not in the cul-de-sac. Close to the Village. Perfect.

After much discussion, we decided this place was worth making a run at. I got in touch with the Realtor I had used to buy the current place and set up an appointment. Turns out she knew the owners and all the history on them and their house.

Turns out the couple used to live in Atlanta, got transferred out of town, and were now back here. The wife, however, had a hard time finding a job and had moved again to get work. The husband stayed behind to sell the place before moving back to his wife.

I had already gone down to the courthouse to look up the original sales price, so I had a good idea of what a reasonable offer would be. The Realtor showed us a few other properties on the market, but nothing came close to this place.

We prepared an offer.

The first offer was a real lowball, but came fast and furious enough for the sellers to know we were serious. They countered with an offer that was $5K less than their listing price. Unacceptable.

We retooled and pitched them the "serious" offer, a really good deal they'd be foolish not to take. By the end of the day, we'd still not heard back from their agent.

I drive by this house every day on my way to and from work. The morning after we put in our second offer, I noticed something. The big wooden post that had the For Sale sign was still up, but there was no longer a sign hanging from it. I frantically called my Realtor, who had still heard nothing from the seller's side. All day long, nothing.

On the way home from work, I noticed that even the big wooden post had been taken up. Our Realtor confirmed that the sellers had pulled the home off the market.

Wow. Our offer was so impressive, they took the place off the block.

That's not the way these things are supposed to go. A seller lists his house, a buyer wants it, and they work out a deal. The place had only been on the market for a week or so before we went to the open house, and less than a month before our offer was made.

Our Realtor was at a loss, as was the seller's. It had been a very good offer.

Why, then, did the seller cut off negotiations? His wife has already moved away, and he's got to sell the place to follow her. Why, indeed ....

to be continued ...


Anonymous Frances said...

After buying a home, getting yourself some used cars for sale by owner need not be a hassle on your part since you could now do that online.

1:12 AM  

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