Second Chance


To recap the first chance, Kelly and I missed out on THE quintessential cottage on THE lake we really wanted to live on at least part of the year.  We were in a multiple offer situation and we went $17,000 over asking and didn’t get it. We tried to make the offer and the decision with our heads and not our hearts only to find out we were heart broken when we didn’t get the cottage and someone else would call the cottage HOME.  I was heartbroken because of how disappointed Kelly was that it didn’t happen.  We both knew it was important to use our heads and not our hearts- that’s how the housing market got it trouble in the early 2000s.  In my previous blog, I reflected on the emotional aspects of how a buyer feels and how it was really good to be engaged with emotions because I actually felt the feelings and the emotional rollercoaster Buyers feel. I have bought several homes, apartment buildings, and second homes in my life time, but never in a multiple offer situation.  It is my opinion, until you are in a multiple offer situation you can’t really understand the helplessness, the anxiety, or the desperation a Buyer feels.  When I was teaching, teacher friends of mine use to say, “You will never understand how a parent feels until you are a parent”.  I didn’t believe them until I was a parent.  This experience was just like that.  We can advise, we can recommend, and we can superficially think we understand and feel compassion; however I would say we are only fooling ourselves as Realtors. That said, let me tell you what I learned from my “Second Chance” a cottage on the lake.

As we all know, it begins with a “match” email from the search we have set up for the place of our dreams.  Bingo!  That looks perfect and we need to see it.  The list agent is a little slow getting back to me on my request to see the property. My mind jumps right in with, “is he stalling because he has a Buyer”?  That’s what a multiple offer market does to an agent and a buyer.  The Broker doesn’t call, but he does text that my visit is confirmed.  The next day when arriving I met the owner in the driveway. We exchange pleasantries and in our conversation she reveals that the reason they are selling is that they have 15 grandchildren and they want to build a house and divide lots off for their kids to live nearby in a “family” compound” type setting.  I filed that away for later.

Kelly arrives and the lot has a western exposure, 250 feet of frontage, large lot, surround by year-round homes, and the house was had great light, incredible stonework on the beachfront/patio, and was big enough yet not too big. Needless to say, it was perfect for us.  I called the agent and said we would submit and offer and his response was, “I have an offer in hand”.  I asked him if it was his buyer and he said “yes”. It was time to make a strong offer!  This is where the plot thickens.  I told Kelly we are in a multiple offer and suddenly our competitive juices start to flow. We aren’t going to lose this waterfront house!!!  The last time I treated the situation from a prospective that there will and are other houses- this time it’s like the last house on the lake and we need to have it!!!  The agent in me says, ok, how do we make this so strong that we will win?  Unfortunately we couldn’t pay cash; that would be our best bet.  I discuss with Kelly just like I do with my clients, “every line of a contract is important; so let’s look at what else we can do to strengthen the offer”.  I ask Kelly, how much do you want this house and how much short term inconvenience are you willing to bare to win this battle? Kelly says, “Bring it on!”  So pen goes to paper and this is what we come up with:  I looked at the disclosure and the septic system is brand new, it has public water, the basement was dry and that was enough for me to suggest no inspections.  There are two ways out of a Buyer-friendly contract and inspections is one of the biggest “outs” of a contract.  Giving up building inspections is not for the faint-of-heart, but if you want to strengthen your offer it’s a strong tactic. Next, if you remember I had spoken to the owner when I first visited the house and she mentioned she wanted to build a house.  Building a house and finding the land is a daunting task, we included an addendum stating we would rent back to the Seller if they were interested in that. Last, but not least, we went $10,000 over asking price. Then we waited to see what happens.  This is when reflection and no regrets come into play.  We were fine with the outcome either way and we put down everything possible to make it happen.  We both said, “If it’s meant to be; it’s meant to be”.  To be continued…