Just Kidding!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Zevotron

The sun came up again, our new MLS system is still with us, and Steve has a shiny new computer. Two out of three aint so bad. As Steve began what would be a four hour phone conversation with tech support Sunday, my little Pollyanna declared, “They’re going to fix it!” This was my cue to immediately set about digging through the home office drawers in search of his system restore disks. Sometimes I just hate being right. I have learned that tech support’s solution to virtually every problem involves wiping the hard drive and starting over. This time, however, the system restore disks were not even enough to undo the damage.

Now that Steve is again interconnected, I can turn my attention to more pressing matters — Wasting time.

This week, I am finally convinced the world has gone mad. My shredder is working overtime. Imagine you spend three days in the new car show room. You take multiple test drives, you spend many torturous hours sitting in a little cubicle waiting for the salesman to get his manager’s approval on your offer, you fill out the financing papers, and finally, just as the arm is extended holding the keys to your new wheels, you grab your stuff and go home. “Gotcha! Just kidding! I don’t like it. I want a blue one.”

Wasting time. That is what I am mostly doing these days. Last week, I wasted time negotiating multiple offers on a home, multiple offers which each vaporized in rapid succession at the very moment of seller acceptance. Meanwhile, Steve was also wasting time on another offer. Upon acceptance of this one by the seller, the buyers decided they needed to see the home “one more time.” After 48 hours of no return phone calls from the buyer’s agent, he was finally told they had changed their minds.

Today, I will be wasting time in another way. I get to partition a few hours out of my day to deal in good faith with a buyer who has submitted an offer which appears to be missing a couple of digits. I want to believe they were using scientific notation, but I suspect otherwise.

I am seeing too many home-shopping hobbyists these days, writing offers for sport, only wanting what they can’t have, and only finding victory in rejection. If you reject my offer, then you are a seller unrealistic about pricing, and I have established my superiority. If you accept my offer, then I must have offered too much, so I will reject you.

In each of these situations, however, the playthings are well-intended people, people wanting to sell their home. Offers, both serious and frivolous, must be presented, each time requiring the sellers and their agents to spent many quality hours together thoughtfully discussing the contractual nuances and the implications and crafting a response. During the downtime, once the counter offer has been returned to sender, the sellers are emotionally scheduling the moving truck. They are making plans, and they are doing so because, through your offer, you have given affirmative notice that you have more than a passing interest in purchasing their home.

These are challenging times for sellers and their agents. Market times are long and prices are down. Buyers are plentiful, but serious buyers are few. Having been stung by the rollercoaster ride of the past few years, buyers are tentative. This is understandable, but please don’t use the offer and negotiation process as a test drive. The moment of offer acceptance is not the time to determine in earnest whether you like the home enough to make the purchase.

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