Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: February 2009

114 Showings and the House Finally Closed!

No, that's not a typo.  This house had 114 showings on it.  What was wrong with it, you might ask.  Nothing!  It is a great house!

This is where pricing competetively can sometimes backfire...

The house comped out at $289k.  I looked at the comps every couple of weeks to keep up with the activity in this neighborhood, and the comps were always very consistant at $289k.

We listed the house at $249,500 in order to sell it FAST!  It was completely updated with new granite counters, travertine floors, travertine fireplace, refinished and stained hardwood floors, stainless steel applianes, all new light fixtures and fans throughout, all new bathrooms with travertine showers and surround, new vanities and sinks, the works...

It is a GREAT house!

Showings happen immediately because of the price.  We get an offer.  I speak with the mortgage person like I do on all offers, and the mortgage person assured me that everything was good. We execute, and almost immediately the buyers back out because their loan was no longer available.

We drop the price to $244k.  We get another buyer, and go through the same scenerio.

We drop the price to $237,500k.  We get another buyer, and go through the same scenerio.

We drop the price to $225k.  We get another buyer, and go through the same scenerio.

Do you see the pattern??  Each time we got an offer, even though I would take the time to talk with the mortgage person, in which he/she would assure me that this buyer was "strong" and everything would be ok, it kept turning out that the buyers weren't ok. 

In order to drum up activity when it would be active again, I would lower the price as further incentive for an APPROVED buyer to come in and "steal" this house from the seller, since it comps at $289k.

You're going to laugh, but the same thing happened a couple more times in which the price was lowered to $220k, then $210k and then to $200k.  Not only could I not believe this house was listed for $200k, I couldn't believe that the same situation played out so many times!!  What was going on? 

At this point, I'm fielding calls right and left from agents asking what was wrong with the house and why was it on the market so long and why so many price adjustments.  To each and every single one, I had to explain that we kept dealing with unscrupulous mortgage people who were telling buyers they could qualify for such and such, but then turning around and letting them know they weren't approved with the rates and terms they thought, which made buyers back out.

How it happened to me so many times on one property, I have no idea.

Anyway, at $200k, of course I got another offer... the mortgage person told me on three separate occasions that the buyers were approved, but then I got further information.  The buyers were only approved with their parents co-signing. 

 "Oh, don't worry about the parents. I've known them for over 20 years and they really want their son and daughter-in-law to buy this house."

After the parents had the buyers spend the money on the inspection and appraisal, according to the buyers' agent, the parents decided they didn't want them buying a house this old nor in this neighborhood... Since the buyers couldn't buy without the parents, back on the market the house goes...

This time, I don't reduce the price as that would be silly.  $200k is a bargain for this highly sought-after area.  We VERY quickly get a new contract.  This loan officer worked for a guy who I've known for almost 9 years.  I sent him a message on Facebook and asked what he thought of the mortgage person and if he could almost "guarantee" an on-time closing and that the buyers were approved.

He assured me all was good... two days before closing, we find out that there was still an open FHA case file under the buyers with the parents.  They had been trying to contact the previous mortgage guy, but guess what, HE'S OUT OF BUSINESS!!

They had to call HUD in Denver to get an exception and assigned the case number without a release from the previous lender.  This took 24 hours... docs arrived at the title company yesterday, they were sent off to the seller out of state, and the buyers signed at noon this afternoon...

I don't like writing posts this long, but this was a long saga!  I'm so glad it's over.

Bottomline is that even if you price a property very competetively to start with, outside influences, beyond your control as an agent and beyond that of the seller, can still prevent a property from selling quickly. Be prepared for any situation!

Buyers' Agents, PLEASE verify with your buyers' mortgage person that they are truly approved for a loan, and try to get them to use one of your trusted mortgage people whom you know will shoot straight with your buyers.

Breathe, Donna, Breathe.  This one is finally over... breathe in, breathe out, repeat...

Comment balloon 28 commentsDonna Harris • February 26 2009 02:33PM
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