Chris Griffith: Nibbling at the deal

CHRIS GRIFFITH

The big battle many anxious homeowners have had is finding the buyer for their home or condominium. Depending upon the price range and amount of competing of real estate offers can be few and far between.

Southwest Florida has had more than a brisk winter real estate season, especially under the $400,000 price point, which accounted for just about 80 percent of the sales. Some properties may have languished on the market for some time before inventory dwindled and buyers eventually noticed them.

There have been some great deals made by buyers. Grateful sellers anxious to move on to the next phase of their lives strike their deal and wait for the period of time for inspection diligence and the finances for purchase to be arranged.

Sometime shortly after the contract has executed a little bit of buyers remorse creeps in. There are buyers who will just say, “We’re having second thoughts.” There are others who are a little more passive aggressive and just start nibbling at the deal.

It is kind of like a plate of cookies where nobody can see that a tiny bite has been taken from each one.

First, there is a call of surprise by the buyers that they did not realize they’d be responsible for a little application fee to join the home owner association.

Next, they realize that there are a few missing window screens and they just could not possibly sleep a night in a home without window screens.

After that, there is a call about the “turn-key furnished” home missing items.

While personal items were clearly excluded from the sale the buyers are upset that the canned food from the pantry is missing and they believe that there is a set of towels that is missing. The towels in question are four yellow towels, which must have been made from Egyptian cotton so precious, that it has rendered the buyers unable to eat, on top of not sleeping.

Who would have known that buying real estate was so stressful?

The current homeowner, looking at the big picture, realizes the screens are about $100 and a couple of towels from the Target store are probably less than $30 so they commit to replacing them for the sake of a smooth transaction and to help the buyers sleep and regain their appetite.

Some buyers just can’t be satisfied if they’re unhappy from the inside, out. No matter what concessions are made they feel ripped off. Even though there is an agreeable seller bending to make sure they’re getting what they deserve, real and imagined, they’ll be miserable through the end … if they make it to the end.

These buyers didn’t make it. They clearly were just looking for a way out instead of just getting out with an inspection clause or just being honest from the start. The transaction didn’t have to be filled with hen-peckery. There really was no subterfuge.

Buyers, be careful what you ask for. You just might get it plus a set of bonus towels.

Sellers, you might just realize that people who will really appreciate your new spare linen and Campbell’s soup the most actually live on Haiti.

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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.

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