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Old 02-01-2014, 08:37 PM
12 posts, read 15,787 times
Reputation: 21


Please give me your opinion on all of this. Would it be reasonable for me to ask for an itemization of costs of the $17,000 window renovation this seller is stuck on? Am I asking for too much information at this stage of the process? Was it too much of a coincidence that two of my agent's former buyers just happened to be at the ice cream shop the same day and time I met my agent there to sign a contract?

I'm currently in the negotiating process on a contract for a house I want to buy. The house I want listed at $126,000, which is higher than the "comps" listing prices. The home has been on the market for over 90 days now. It's not a short sale. I put in an opening offer of $98,000 which is the average selling price of the "comps" my agent sent me. The seller counter-offered at $117,000 and their reasoning is that they paid $17,000 for vinyl impact resistant thermal windows. I asked for the seller to provide receipts and warranties, and all she provided was one receipt with the final price she paid and it wasn't itemized. I increased my offer to $106,000. My agent said she doesn't think the seller will accept. My agent also keeps telling me I can go up on my offer then cancel after the inspection if I find anything wrong with the house. I told her I am aware of that.

I would have to put a $1,000 escrow deposit down if the seller accepts my offer. My agent hasn't made it clear to me whether or not I can get my deposit back if I find out during the inspection the windows are overpriced.

I have already been through one agent and dropped him because I felt like he wasn't patient when I asked questions (I am a first time home buyer and both agents are aware of this). I am starting to get second thoughts about this new agent because I don't feel like she is backing me up with this offer and helping me with getting the seller to accept my offer. Since I am a first time home buyer I think agents should understand I will have a lot of questions. Before signing the contract, I asked for a document explaining what the HOA covers and if the house had a termite bond (so I could decide if a termite inspection would be needed). I am getting the feeling my agent didn't feel it was necessary for me to ask for that. I am thinking about getting another agent if my offer doesn't get accepted. But when I met with the agent at a cafe the day I signed my contract, two people they sold homes to happened to be at the cafe. I thought it was a coincidence and said "wow you guys are pretty popular in this area!" But now I am wondering if that was a coincidence or if the agent was sneaky enough to plant them there to give me that impression.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:01 PM
4,787 posts, read 10,033,295 times
Reputation: 12686
I would stop worrying about the price of the windows. Sit down with your agent and get her to show you comparable sales that have SOLD in the past six months, preferably in the past ninety days. Don't worry about listing prices. People can list for anything they like. It has no relation to what it will sell for.

When the lender's appraiser comes out, they're not going to be too worried about list prices. They'll go by closed sales. They also are not going to give the house value dollar for dollar for new windows. New windows are maintenance ( windows eventually have to be replaced). It might add a tiny bit to the value of the home but certainly not $ 17,000 in a $ 95,000 neighborhood.

Make sure your agent gives you a copy of the HOA rules & regs if you want a copy, plus the termite bond. If she's fussing around over providing that, find another agent. You want an agent who is working for you. This one seems confused and IMO is not doing a great job of representing you. Good luck
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:14 PM
Location: Toledo, OH
1,725 posts, read 3,128,500 times
Reputation: 1275
You can ask for everything you want, the seller is under no obligation to show you that. Why the seller wants what they want for the home can be 100 different reasons. If I was selling, I would ignore your request.

BE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW YOU CAN CANCEL A CONTRACT. Finding out that the windows aren't 17K to me isn't a reason enough. You could lose your deposit or worse be held to a contract for a home you don't want to buy.

You should be more concerned trying to get an appraisal for a home 25% above comps. No appraisal, no bank loan.

At todays interest rates the mortgage difference between 117K and 106K is about 50 dollars a month. Ask yourself, is that home worth that amount of money? At the end of the day, that is what you are talking about.

As for a new agent, if you don't feel completely comfortable and you didn't sign an agreement with them, get another one. Your spending a lot of money, feel right about it. However, here is what you may run in to.

Say you buy home for 100K. Typical commission for an agent is 3%, but I have seen a lot lately at 2.5%. Say your agent gets 3000 (3%). Now say they have a 60/40 split with there broker. Now they are only getting 1800. They have to pay 250 for MLS or a transaction fee and 50 for E/O insurance. Now your agent is making about 1500. That's a fair amount of money, but is it worth spending 4 weeks looking at 20-30 homes? There is a point where some customers or clients just have to be let go.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:05 AM
350 posts, read 274,938 times
Reputation: 849
I can recommend without ANY hesitation a very knowledgeable, honestt realtor who helped 100% with our move from southern Indiana to Tampa 5.5 years ago. PM if you are interested...and no, I am not that person, nor related. She was a part of a nation wide relocation service. Our realtor in southern Indiana found her for us.....
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:52 AM
26,799 posts, read 41,524,254 times
Reputation: 14979
I agree with what other wrote but I disagree with asking for proof of the $17 k for the windows...if they claim that is what they paid than it should easily be proven by a simple receipt. If they don't want to provide that will be their choice but it will show you that it will be harder to trust them.

In a deal to me it is a lot about able to trust the other part and flapping their gum but not putting the proof where their words are would make me feel uncomfortable.

Be careful not all contracts let you out and walk free so be sure you are advised right.

If you feel the agent set up some friend buyers just at that time than I would go with your gut feeling.

I always think it is weird that an agent is sitting in a public area to sign a contract and not in an office or at the clients home.

Many brokerages don't offer office space and it is very unprofessional to sit at Starbucks/pandora where everyone can hear every word and you can't speak freely about private and personal info.

We have a conference room for all agents to use so clients can feel comfortable to speak freely and discuss everything without that set up feeling that you have about previous buyers that can be a coincidence or a set up.

Nowadays buyers can buy above appraised value as we seen in many deals if they bring more cash to the table and mortgage companies don't mind, depending on what kind of deal it is...but you have to really want the house so badly to do that.

Go with your gut feeling and if you don't have a good feeling or they withholding proof that they claim they have than walk...more homes will be on the market.

Just this week ideals with one of our agents who is newer and needs guidance who believed every word the sellers agent was telling her and how long he was in the business but not one disclosure was given due to the owner holding the property as corporate owned.

The owner happened to be a real estate broker and claimed to be unaware of anything since he only owned for a few months, fixed it up and put it on the market...

I happen to run into them with other agents and we know this broker/owner is famous for not disclosing sinkhole homes and indeed this was a sinkhole home and I told him to sign all disclosures and stating whatever he felt he could disclose but that I need all disclosures signed by him as the owner...

All of a sudden he write on it that he believes it is a sinkhole home...and now the mls listing changed all of a sudden to sinkhole home!

We still going to close since the buyer still wants the house and is now getting $6000 discount but at least we have it in writing.

Careful there are many great agents and sellers but just as many sellers who lie, deceive and some agents who have no clue that they lie since they don't want to be confrontational or don't want to loose the deal or just trust the sellers for every word they say.

If the windows are new than at least the sellers should be able to give the name of the company and you can call and check on what type and when the windows were put in...
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:28 AM
Location: Atlanta
330 posts, read 998,715 times
Reputation: 253
Just my opinion but it sounds like if you are looking to get rid of your second agent and find a third, you are a high maintenance client and some agents are only going to have so much patience with you. Time is money and if they think they are wasting time with you then they will want to spend their time other with clients who will put money in their pocket.

Then again you might find one who is willing to coddle you like a baby until you finally get a deal to go through.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:38 AM
Location: Massachusetts
2,702 posts, read 4,225,178 times
Reputation: 4796
I agree with the preceeding posts….the cost of the windows at the end of the day should not be relevant to your buying decision. It might very well be why the seller is stuck on a particular number, but you should decide whether the house - as a total package - is worth a particular price. Many if not most home improvements do not add as much to the value of the home as they actually cost.

And you definitely need to makw sure you understand the terms of cancellation. I don't believe in any of the homes I have purchased the case has been that I couldn't terminate the contract regardless of whether there were problems found on the home inspection. That's what a home inspection is for - to detemine if there are major probelms. It is probably true that minor probelms won't make a difference but if the electrical system is completely out of code or something like that should be a reason to terminate or renegotiate.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:41 AM
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,112 posts, read 5,416,230 times
Reputation: 3444
In one word, yes. I paid about the same amount to replace all the windows in my house last year shortly after I bought it. I don't have an itemized receipt. I have the original estimate which just has the window measurements and the total price at the bottom.

I have the info for the permit they pulled, and a sheet about the warranty. That's about it.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:10 AM
323 posts, read 610,994 times
Reputation: 270
All other issues aside, a counter offer by the seller that's still basically 25% higher than the comps in the area is ridiculous. I also agree that paying 17k for windows doesn't up the value of the home dollar-for-dollar. I'd be walking away from this one if he can't come down to 106k. You don't want the priciest house in the neighborhood anyway. Buy in the middle and let the sales of the pricier homes up your value.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:44 AM
3,313 posts, read 4,596,996 times
Reputation: 1838
Jane Z, you were not unreasonable at all. Buying a house is major financial decision and you is the one who will be responsible for payments, not realtor. Their main purpose is to close as soon as possible, so they will be paid. Paying over comps is not smart at all. Never listen to talks like "but $XX over XX years is just extra $X, so it's nothing". Next time someone will tell you this - ask if he/she is willing to pay it for you since it's nothing.
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