From a frustrated , would-be buyer:
I hope this message finds you well. I am writing you to share a really bad experience that we had negotiating XXX in Old Greenwich and I would like to ask you what are we supposed to do the next time we enter into a negotiation to prevent from this happening again or if this is just either a common practice in the market or a risk we have to take. The house has been on the market for more than 12 months and it was initially listed at $XXX and today it’s at $xxx. We started offering $xxx given that the house needs extensive updating and it was the price we considered to be market price. After two further offers and their respective counteroffers we reached an agreement at $xxx Each time we made an offer they took more than 1 week to get back to us. According to the sellers there were several executors of the Estate that needed to be reached. Right after we had an accepted offer (submitted in writing and received by the seller’s broker), the inspections and appraisal were made. Our lawyer received the contract and worked on it with the seller’s lawyer. The day scheduled to sign the contract; the seller’s lawyer neither forwarded the final language nor gave any explanations. The following week we did not receive any communication from the sellers although our lawyer tried to contact them several times. Our broker tried to contact the seller’s broker but she was vacationing on a cruise. The next week, the seller’s lawyer told our lawyer that the executors could not reach an agreement but they did not tell us on what matters. When the seller’s broker finally contacted our broker, she told us that there was no problem at all and the transaction was per agreed and that as soon as she comes back from vacations she will put the property status in the MLS listing as pending. Then our lawyer received the message that the executors could not reach an agreement on any aspect. Again, the seller’s broker said to our broker that there was no issue with the transaction.
After one more week, we found out online through the brokerage house website that there was an open house scheduled for this upcoming Saturday. The seller’s broker said the open house was already scheduled and she couldn’t do anything about it. We decided that it was enough and withdrew our offer. We have to acknowledge that we have never experienced this lack of unprofessional behavior in any transaction before. Not even buying a car.
Based on your experience, is this something that happens frequently? We are really looking forward to hearing your views.
First of all, a sale by a bunch of heirs is always going to be trouble, because some will want their money now, others will have absurd ideas of what the property’s worth (Greenwich? Millions!) and it’s just a goat f**k.
But second, a realtor who tells you she’s powerless to cancel an open house is either a complete friggin’ liar or a hopeless incompetent. Either way, this poor buyer is screwed.
I’m not sure what to advise this writer. It’s not his own agent’s fault that he’s been jerked around, but he’s wasted time and money on a useless transaction. So what? Stay away from estate sales? Bad listing agents? (if only!) This is an embarrassment for my “profession”. I just hope Walt doesn’t read this!
UPDATE: You know, I’m thinking – I deleted the address and price of this house, but maybe I shouldn’t have, It’s Shady Lane, in Old Greenwich. Beware.