For this home I just sold in Cupertino for $2,775,000, I was the agent for the buyers. In fact, this is kind of a follow up story to the home sale in Silver Creek Country Club (in case you are following along), in that these clients needed to sell that home in order to buy this one.
This sale was a rough one from the start at negotiations. The seller was VERY slow to respond to our offer and subsequent counter offers. This home apparently had been on the market previously, and the listing agent told me that at that time, they received muliple offers and got a price that topped out at $3million! Apparently, at that time, the seller wasn’t willing to accept an offer and backed off from selling her home because she was waiting for a job offer package that wasn’t completed at that time, and felt uneasy to sell her home without having all her ducks in a row.
Time went on and things apparently lined up for the seller to sell, but by that time, the listing agent told me that the $3mil buyer was long gone and I guess the other buyers must have moved on as well. So, this listing got ‘old’ in that as buyers saw it on MLS, it was showing that it had been on the market for some time. Basically, since the seller didn’t take an offer when the listing was ‘hot’ and then time went on to the point of the home appearing to the public eye that it was just ‘sitting’ on the market, the listing started to get ‘cold’, which turned out to be a blessing for the buyers!
When a listing doesn’t sell ‘quickly’, since that is what everyone is so used to and expects in the Bay Area, there is a psychological impact in which then buyers wonder ‘why’ no one else seems to ‘want’ the house, and then even if there is no reason for it, there’s just something that starts to make people ‘wonder’ why the home isn’t selling. But, for those buyers that can get past that mental block, it can be a great opportunity for a buyer. It basically turns into a ‘lucky break’, which was the case for these buyers.
Negotiations were rough and painful, we went back and forth about 5 times before we could come up with a contract that both the buyer and seller would agree on and even then, neither one was really all that ‘happy’ with the end result, both were ‘satisfied’ is how I would put it. The seller wanted a higher price and the buyer wanted to pay a lower price, and then there was some back and forth about a rent back, and terms and condtions of that rent back, in which the buyers were not thrilled about, but agreed to do.
The most stressful part of this transaction was when the seller kind of came out of nowhere and freaked out on her agents. Apparently, they had some big blow out, and unfortunately, it affected our side immensely. The assistent to the listing agent called me frantically that the seller was really upset with them, felt they were not ‘advocating’ for her, she was upset about some things on their end, and decided to do something totally unprecedented that affected us in a very impactful way. We really have no idea why, but she decided to send us a “Notice to Perform” BEFORE the contingency was even due! The reason this was so shocking, is because from the beginning, the listing agent told me that they would work with us for timing and dates, because we all knew that the buyers had a home to sell. And the listing agent ‘promised’ me that we all had the same goal, we all wanted to close, no one would want the deal to “fall apart”, so we would all work together for the end result of the closed transaction. And, really, the ‘truth’ may be that the seller was never flexible with dates or timing and that all just probably came from the listing agent to ‘make the deal’. In fact, a key item we kept going back and forth with counter offers, was the amount of time to sell the buyer’s home and remove contingency. In the last counter back to us, the listing agent ‘promised’ me that if the time was too short, but we were in contract on the buyer’s home, that the seller would be flexible and give more time to remove the contingency.
Basically, the listing agent told me a number of things that were pretty much the opposite of what really went down. When this ‘issue’ blew up in my face, the listing agent would NOT call me or communicate with me and I almost completely lost it with her. I kept my cool, I stayed professional, but I can not say the same for her. From that moment on, even though, the buyers and I jumped through hoops to make this transaction happen, the listing agent never contacted me again from that day forward, and I only had minimal communication with her assistant for only the things that were pertinent to close. I tried contacting the listing agent several times via text, email, phone call, and vm, and she just refused to talk to me, and the worst part is that I did nothing wrong, the buyers and I were on top of this transaction the entire way and we were totally on board and doing things as we should.
Anyway, long story short, since this story is getting way too long, and I am going to have to put chapters on it and get it published as a book, the buyers and I got through it with a ton of stress and frustration, but we made it happen and closed the transaction. Come to find out, the seller seems to be super nice and friendly, she and the buyers have exchanged emails after closing, but I think something big happened between her and her agent, and we were unfortunately the victim of circumstance. I did learn the hard way after over 2 decades in the biz to take nothing for ‘granted’ or ‘verbal’ again. Typically, I can depend on the agents I work with to be truthful and dependable, and when we say we will work together for the common goal, it has always been the case for me in the past, but not this case, and I never want to be in this situation again. And, God willing, I will never work with this agent ever again.
One big bonus for the buyers is that the home appraised for well OVER the price that they paid for it, so YAY for that!