Thanks to a reader’s tip I learned about this bank-owned property that wasn’t listed on either the Greenwich or Connecticut MLS. My clients tossed a bid at it and today have a contract.
Which is nice, and it’s an excellent value, I think, but more instructive is how my clients came to make their offer. They had an accepted offer on another property in Old Greenwich but while we were there with the building inspector the listing broker called: someone else had bid higher and the sellers were going to accept it unless we matched the new price. We paused to consider this breach of promise and, while considering, I submitted a bid on the Linwood place just in case my clients declined to pursue the Old Greenwich property.
They did decide, reluctantly, to meet the higher bid, but felt wronged – some people don’t consider their word to have any value but for those who do, going back on it is an egregious fault. My clients were of the latter school, the Old Greenwich seller obviously belonged to the former. In any event, that same evening, as they were in their lawyer’s office signing contracts I received notice that our bid on Linwood had been accepted. So we all trooped off that night to see Linwood for the first time, my clients preferred it, and thus the contracts for Old Greenwich remain on the back seat of my car.
Last heard from, the “winning” bidder on the Old Greenwich property is having second thoughts and may have walked away. Which happens. The Linwood house is indeed a better property but due to the ill will generated by the reneging Old Greenwich seller, it would have sufficed had Linwood been merely equal to or slightly inferior.
So we got a better house, at a better price, and the seller either has his price with buyer 2 or he doesn’t – we’ll find out soon. My advise to sellers in this situation is that, once you’ve accepted an offer, stick with it, but tell the buyer what you’re doing and that, while you are honoring your word, you do have a second, higher offer waiting in reserve. That eliminates most of the first buyer’s power to negotiate down from the accepted offer but preserves the good will between you. And good will holds deals together better than anything else.