Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

Alma shares her experiences and observations as a Realtor in Riverside California.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pride of ownership has its drawbacks

A realtor in my office told me that he took a seller to look at some of the other houses available around him with the hope that the client would realize that his own house was overpriced. A little bit of background: the house smells (even after replacing the carpet that the dogs had peed on), and the doors over the 3-car garage hide an illegal conversion (think fire trap). After they got back, the seller proudly told him, "See, I told you my house is better than the others!"

Pride of ownership can be a good thing in that it implies a responsible seller who has maintained the property, kept everything up to code, even updated. At the very least, the house ought to be spotless though stuck in the 50's. I had one client who is a perfect example of this--she had the house inspected for termites, tented, and the repaired spots painted before a buyer even came along. Despite the lack of granite counters, her house sold for over asking price. However, I've also seen cases where pride of ownership can also lead to the sellers taking less money rather than let someone they dislike move into their house.

We have some gorgeous window seat cushions that my in-laws gave us. I call them the $10k pillows. My in-laws put their large pool home on the market in the middle of the recession after falling in love with a tiny house on the beach that was priced much higher. Their own home didn't sell, and so my father-in-law got a bridge loan (now rare)in order not to lose out on the new house. They finally got an offer that was a little low, but what really upset them were the details. They knew that Vicky (not her real name) really wanted the house because she kept driving by and gazing at their rose bushes, but they thought Alan (not his real name) was just too obnoxious because he asked for the window seat cushions and the cats among other things. I never met him but thought he was being facetious, which isn't a good idea when writing contracts. Then another offer came in that was lower, and my in-laws took that one instead, countering the first buyers for back-up position. Alan was flabbergasted, which was exactly what my in-laws wanted.

So the cushions, which had been custom made to fit in that spot, stayed in the garage of the next house for some ten years before they came to live with us. Our little girl likes to play house with them, and our dogs lounge on them. The cats proceeded to claw up the new furniture and ruined a carpet because they were too fat to get out the pet door. They lived to a ripe old age, which was only fitting since they were worth so much! As for Vicky, my in-laws did feel sorry for her, and I hope Alan was more careful not to offend any more sellers after that.

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