Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Are You Still On the Fence About Buying a House - You Might Get Pushed

Are You Still On the Fence About Buying a House - You Might Get Pushed

How do Austin Texas Fence-Sitting buyers get off the fence?swimming pool
I push them!!

Just kidding... or am I...??

There are many times when buyers sit on the fence for no good reasons, whatsoever. Those buyers need to be pushed off the fence, abruptly, not gently. It's like when you're going to go swimming and you think the water is too cold, so you try to get in slowly, but when someone pushes you in the water, you realize that was the best thing for you, and that the water isn't as cold as you thought it was.

Great analogy, huh?

I had a buyer a few months ago who loved this house. It was a HUD, and offers had to be made via an online bid.  I had all the information needed to enter her offer, but then she decided she didn't want to buy a house right now.  Well, she didn't know this, but I had already put her offer in. I didn't mention it to her because I thought we probably wouldn't win the bid, and we didn't...

But then two weeks later, I got the email. You know the one that says, "You have 48 hours to submit the original contract with original signatures..."  Ummm, what happened? I called, and it turns out the previous buyer backed out of her contract, and our bid was next in line so we won.

I then had to make a call to my buyer which went something like this:
Me: Hey Carry, how are things?
Carry: Good, thanks. Been really busy.
Me: Well, I was just calling to check to see if you, by chance, still wanted to buy a house?
Carry: *sigh* I'm just not sure, Donna. It's a lot more stressful than I thought it would be.
Me: Well, ummm, remember that HUD house you liked? Ummm, well, it's yours if you want it...
Carry: What?  I don't understand, what do you  mean?
Me: Well, ummm, you see, you mentioned how much you liked it, and we talked about putting in an offer, and I did.  Your bid didn't initially win so I didn't tell you, but now they've come to your offer and if you want to buy a house, we need to meet by tomorrow to sign everything with original signatures so I can mail it to Denver.

After a few seconds of silence, there was a lot of screaming for joy! We met the next morning to sign everything, and she closed in under a month.  She needed to be pushed off that fence.  I didn't mean to push but sometimes, things happen... for the best... Her and her daughter are in their new house, and they've painted, put in new appliances, and have made it their own.

If you're a fence sitter, a buyer not sure about whether or not you really want to buy a house, think about how you would feel if something fell in your lap. Would you be happy or upset?  If you would be happy, jump off the fence before someone pushes you off!!


**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate

and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **

Copyright© 2011 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
Austin TX Home Buyers - Are You Still On the Fence About Buying a House - You Might Get Pushed * was first published on

Comment balloon 37 commentsDonna Harris • October 24 2011 06:31PM


Donna, I had a similar situation recently. A buyer had made an offer on a foreclosure and the bank rejected it. Two weeks later a got a call from the buyer's lender (whom I had referred her to). As it turned out, the foreclosure bank decided to pull out of TN and wanted to dump all the homes they had listed here. I called the seller, we resubmitted the offer and boom it was accepted. They closed 15 days later. It never hurts to push a little.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Donna, When a buyers comes to us in the first place that means they have a desire within them to buy a house.  It's our job to help them keep that desire going and find what they are desiring to have.

Posted by Steve Warrene, Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists (Your Town Realty) almost 9 years ago

Donna, Enjoy your story, and yes I have felt like pushing some of my buyers at times. In fact, I can relate to your story since that same scenario happened to me a couple of years ago. My problem since I was dealing with an out of town client was meeting that 48 hour deadline. But, they wanted to move forward since their bid came in second, and we got that call just like you did.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 9 years ago

Donna, everyone needs a pllace to live. I just read a blog today about affordabiity and how it is below the national average. Here is a quote from Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D., at Florida Inernational University concerning Florida, but the same is true for the rest of the country:

"In general, lower ratios (Price/Income) indicate better property affordability.  For example, the average affordability score for Florida over the last 30 years is 4.51.  In other words, a typical home in Florida has sold for 4.51 times the average annual per capita income in the state over the last 30 years.  Today, the property price-to-per capita income ratio in Florida is 3.66, which is a 30-year low.  Thus, housing today is more affordable in Florida based on income than at any time in the last 30 years."


Buyers need to get off the fence.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 9 years ago

Donna:  Wow !  That's some set of "cajones" (sp) you got there, woman !  Holy Macaroni !

I think I need to rip up my own real estate license, and have you represent me if I ever purchase another house.  I am glad things worked out for your buyers.

Fence-sitting can be very painful... especially if it's a picket fence.  Ouch !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Very timely article, Donna.  And in our area, we've had a couple neighborhoods make the nation's top list for good real estate better time than now to grab a good deal.

Posted by Virginia Cheezum (F. C. Tucker Company) almost 9 years ago

Donna....this is a great story, with a fantastic result,  but it worries us a bit that you placed the offer without the clients authorization and that you didn't pull it when you realized that she didn't want you to place it. 

We do agree, sometimes you do have to push them.


Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) almost 9 years ago

WOW - that's a different way to push someone off a fence.  I have never tried that plan of action! :)

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

Congratulations on the winning bid and for giving your clients a happy push in the right direction! Come on in the home buying pool is fine and fun! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572, Angel Realty, LLC (CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents) almost 9 years ago

I always think fence sitter buyers Donna need gentle nudges and reminders what THEY wanted to pull the trigger. Fence sitting accomplishes nothing.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Tammie, Great story!

Steve, True, but sometimes they're unrealistic and it turns out what they want can't happen.

Jerry, Great relo buyers!

Sharon, Thanks for sharing that information.

Karen Anne, Yes, it's the picket ones that really hurt. I try not to get a pocket or pant leg stuck when I push!

Virginia, Us too, here in Austin!

H & S, Don't be worried. She was never emphatic about not buying a house, as she was still wishy washy about it. She just didn't understand how easy the bid process worked even though I told her it was fill in the blank online.

Joy, It couldn't hurt!

Angel, THanks!

Gary, Exactly!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 9 years ago


Brillinat and well done.  The HUD bidding process gives you a great opportunity to help your buyer get what they really want but are hanging on to the dear fence in the mean time.  

Way to go!

All the best, Michelle

PS - We got one on the third bid.  Third time is the charm!


Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Donna, now that's a great way to get the buyers to make a move.  Congratulations on a great sale.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, RealtorĀ®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) almost 9 years ago

Good for you. Sometimes we know it's the right house before the buyer does. That's why we get paid the big bucks!!!!!!!

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Donna,what a great story; it was meant to be!!  I'm sure your buyer is thankful for what you did, and as interest rates eventually go up...she will be even more thankful!! :)

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) almost 9 years ago

Just don't tell HUD the offer was kinda sorta not really approved in advance. That wouldn't go over well. But otherwise, GREAT JOB being an advocate for your client!

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) almost 9 years ago

Sitting on the fence isn't always a good idea.  Find a good opportunity and pounce is what I say.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

Donna-That is an incredible story.  I have had to have a couple talks with buyers to nudge (push) them a bit, but nothing like that ;)!  I am so glad that worked out for your client and you :)!

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) almost 9 years ago

That is awesome that she was so excited to get it. I know I have a few fence sitters that might need the push but I only push so much and then it is up to them! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Our job is often a chance to help others make the difficult decision. 

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) almost 9 years ago

OK... that is not a push... it is a shove  :)  Glad that it worked out!                        

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) almost 9 years ago

Donna, it's not a push - it's something that is so right for them and you are helping them take the right decision - that's it. They'll remember you once they own the home, believe me.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 9 years ago

Donna, Congratulations on the featured post. I am glad it worked out .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Down here in Florida homes are flying off the market once again and I love it!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 9 years ago

Donna, that's great for the buyer. How ironic, that the fence sitter that I wrote about last week got theirs the same way as a back-up call from HUD asking the same questions.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 9 years ago

Donna, weren't you taking a big chance? What if they didn't want it any longer? Glad it worked out for you and your buyer.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 9 years ago

You know what really makes me laugh? I recently sold a condo to a buyer in a matter of hours. So far...everything is going so good and so fast the buyer thinks something is wrong..I guess there is a premise that if things are moving fast and easy that there should be hold ups...I'm very happy but wh do buyers complain when things go bad and when things go good...can't they be happy ever?

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Splinters from that fence sitting can fester. Get that real estate buyer moving with higher powered marketing, tractor beaming them toward the real estate long closing table with all the high back cushy leather expensive chairs surrounding it. I like video as the number one way to show and tell, using the property eye candy imagery with audio sound business advice to buy while bank rates are obscenely low.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 9 years ago

That is very interesting that they decided to buy it once they new they had it. I think the disappointment of not getting the house can keep some people from buying. Good idea submitting the offer with the HUD home too.  

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) almost 9 years ago

You have some great thoughts on this post.  I never understand what some people think when they don’t giver consideration to other points of view.  I guess I should have know by now that there are so many different thought out there.

Posted by Mark Welsh almost 9 years ago

I am glad everything worked out in the end.  Just curious, have you ever had this type of scenario backfire on you with the buyers becoming upset?

Posted by Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO, Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan) almost 9 years ago

Wow Donna!  I'm glad everything worked out for you and your buyers.  I would have hated to see the backlash if the buyer decided they didn't want it.  

Clearly you knew your buyer and had the confidence that you were doing the right thing.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 9 years ago

Thank you for all the comments. A few people have asked about backfiring and what if she didn't want it. Easy, this can't happen in a regular sale because everything has the be signed by the buyer. This was an online bidding situation, which required no signatures.  If she decided she didn't want it, you just call/email them and say no, or just don't turn in the paperwork within 48 hours. No money has been exchanged, there is no "contract".

When a buyer decides not to buy a house when there is a contract, in Texas we have a thing called the Termination Option. The buyer has the option to terminate the contract for whatever reason within a negotiated period of time for a negotiated amount of money, traditionally about $100.

In either situation, the buyer would not be "forced" to buy a house she didn't want. It was her choice to move forward.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 9 years ago

I'm really starting to think that the more we know about this business the worse off we are at times.  We , myself included, are often worried what someone will think or say.  Guess what the people with the negative thoughts don't pay my mortgage.  Donna, if I ever move to Texas you are my agent, Period.  Nice job

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) almost 9 years ago

Donna, remind me never to go on the playground with you, you just might push me down the slide...LOL!  Love comment #31 about splinters on the fence.

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (RE/MAX Executives) almost 9 years ago

Good for you for getting this one right, it could just as easily gone the other direction and you may have gotten the gold star for that blog as well.  A good story is a good story.  I am glad it worked out for you.  Offers without any downpayment are not considered here, did you put up the money for the offer?  Did you use hers?  Just wondering

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles UnlimitedĀ®) almost 9 years ago


Great post, the buyers who sitting on the fence need a little professional help to get over the fence.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 9 years ago