I just finished closing on the house we’ve pursued for the past several months. It took 3.5 hours. There were the 6 amendments to compile and review from the past two months. There was the fact that the roofer has yet to be paid. And someone forgot to get a termite letter. Mostly, there was the tension of having fought for the past several weeks over whether or not this would be fixed:
The past owner had 4 satellite dishes, and HF antenna, a skylight, and solar cells on the roof that caused leaks. Lots of them. And the seller, despite my suggesting that it might be covered by homeowner’s insurance, refused to fix these leaks, even though the mortgage appraiser wouldn’t allow a loan without a new roof. But once the insurance appraiser said it could be replaced via insurance (due to visible hail damage), the seller decided the price should go up to account for the deductible and the insurance premiums paid. Somehow, this totaled $9,000. We told our agent there was no way we were doing that and started looking elsewhere. Except, there wasn’t anything of comparable size, location, potential, and price. So we agreed, and I started getting estimates.
In the meantime, the sellers (executors for the past resident’s estate) took out things we’d expected would stay (and had voiced as much). Like, the 70” TV on the wall, the refrigerator (who does that?), the window treatments (all of them), the grate over the fireplace, and other items one would normally consider fixtures, but since there was no disclosure statement outlining what was and wasn’t a fixture like there is with a normal sale (since it was estate-owned), we couldn’t say anything but repeated “WHAT THE FUCK?” exclamations. Then we learned the furnace was dangerously outdated and screwed up, but there was no way in hell they would replace it (even though one of the 6 amendments said they would), so the two realtors agreed to pay to replace it if the sale would JUST GO THROUGH.
And just about the time we gave up on their returning the giant TV and the refrigerator, or their replacing the furnace, or their providing the home warranty we’d contracted for them to provide (the listing agent paid for this, too), I reminded them on the 6th amendment that the original contract provided for 4% of the loan to go to a contractor for renovation to the kitchen, and since the price had gone up $9,000, we should get an extra $360 toward that 4% figure. This was more of a formality, really, as everyone had previously agreed to the percentage, and we really didn’t need to lay out that a measly $360 would need to be added to the other total, because who cares about $360 on a house that’s several hundred thousand dollars with no mortgages on it, and all the money from it is going to a single heir, and we’re supposed to close in a couple days–the fifth closing date (10/28, 11/11, 11/21, 11/23, 11/28), right? Wrong. The seller said to forget it; they were walking away over $360. But, once again, the listing agent ponied up to cover her client’s greed and try to make the deal happen. So, today, it finally did.
The most important lesson I learned (and would recommend anyone reading heed) is this: don’t ever share the appraisal with the seller, if you’re the buyer, and it comes back higher than the contracted price. I was busy the day it came and just forwarded the email to the agent, so that the required repairs could be seen and completed. The tenor of the negotiations changed drastically once this was shared, as the seller appeared to no longer wish for our contract to close, presumably because she thought she could sell for more to someone else.
In any event, it’s over now. We went over tonight to hide some of the Christmas presents we got via Craigslist last weekend in the new garage. The painting and renovation start later this week. That’s when this space becomes a home improvement blog!
But, it’s beautiful. Congrats on your new home. 🙂
@Megan, Thanks! Closing was uncomfortable, but I guess that’s what helps make it worth it.
Wow! Is the seller some nutty old lady or something? What a pain in the ass! Still – the house looks awesome, and I hope you’ll share more house photos!
@S.Law, Yes (sister of the decedent and executrix of the estate). I will as we begin working in it.
It’s gorgeous. Hopefully you’ll never have to move again.
@donna, Thanks! That’s our plan for the next 20 years at least.
That is insane!! Every time I’ve sold a house (THREE TIMES NOW) I’ve been the seller bending over backwards to accommodate the buyer. I can’t even imagine trying to sabotage a sale like that.
@miss britt, Exactly. It was especially hard to go through this right after selling in late June and paying for such requests as a radon abatement system, a vent for a basement bathroom, an HVAC tuneup, a roof inspection, new framing for 10 windows, etc. to the tune of thousands of dollars before we could close! And of course, we didn’t demand a price increase to cover these improvements…we just did them. With the commission and repairs and moving costs, I had to drop $28k to get out of the last house. It was painful.
Congrats! It’ll all be worth it!
@dave2, Let’s hope! Maybe Davelanta ’12 can involve a visit!
I love the smell of Spackle in the morning.
@always home, Yeah, we’re fixing to know that smell well (actually, we’re going to work first and move in second)!
Congrats! Can’t wait to read more “Nutty Executrix” stories. She sounds like a piece of work (who really needed that $360, by the way).
@LAB, I hope to never have more such stories.
People are awful like that.
We didn’t have any fixtures in our place when we bought it, but someone made off with an interior door.
We kind of suspect the selling realtor, because a friend bought a house a few months later, and I SWEAR that’s the same door in his house. It matches all the doors in our house, none of the doors in his, and he bought it from the same realtor.
Which, whatever, we’d have had to replace it anyway, but still….who does that?
I’m sorry your seller was a huge PITA and I hope that this is the end of the problems with them.
@psychobabble, They STOLE A DOOR? Wow. I like the listing agent a good bit; she’s our new neighbor, actually. I’ve let go of my anger with the seller and now just feel a bit sorry for her.
What an ordeal! On the other side of the coin is a fella like myself that experiences the ease of home purchasing,……and then has the Las Vegas housing market rake him over the coals and destroys my credit, leaving me the whimpering renter.
It’s a beautiful house and a great looking yard. Have fun with that!
@jason, Thanks…hope ‘Vegas (and the rest of the country where things are bad) can recover soon…especially now that I’ve locked in my price and mortgage!
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