What in the world?

As you know, I have a listing at 5304 Illinois Ave, NW. We lowered the price dramatically from 275K to 235K because my seller needs it to move. And we've gotten 2 offers as a result. YEA!! Right?? Um..no.

Apparently, if you're in this price range in the DC market it's a clear indicator to buyers that they MUST low ball you..to death.

Let me remind you before I go further: this is not a foreclosure, short sale or estate sale. It's a house that needs a lot of work but is livable. A thorough cleaning and some new paint would need to occur, but livable.

The first offer was all cash (yea!..quick closing) for 149K. WOW. 86K off list? We countered at 220K. My seller has an idea of what she'd like to get and we know everything is negotiable. Their counter? 150K. Yes..you read that correctly.

Our second offer was 180K with $12,500 in closing costs , a home warranty from us and they're using an FHA loan. Did I mention this house is "as-is"? Have I also mentioned that banks DON'T ALLOW a closing cost credit higher than 3% of the purchase price? But, I take every offer seriously. We're countering.

I'm writing about this because I hadn't experienced this market. I'd read about it. I knew sellers were hurting. But this..this is appalling. My seller is in the position to wait for an offer that she finds appropriate. This is her Aunt's house and she's selling it to fund the rest of her life in a retirement home. She feels a responsibility to get the best possible price. But there are sellers out there that HAVE to take one of those offers. Ugh. Let me wipe the slime off my face.

Maybe I'm being too idealistic. Maybe we will have to accept one of these offers. But bluck.

Life as an agent in 2009. Wahooo!



  1. Anonymous

    What about all the talk of “the market is the market?” Countless decisions made by buyers and sellers create the market. Many buyers during the bubble faced a broken market and paid much more than they should have. Now the sellers face a similar reality. Our faith in real estate is broken and will take years to repair the trust of an inherently non transparent process.

  2. First, I got my license in 2005 which was the start of the decline in the real estate market. I never had clients that flipped their house for 100K more after 6 months. I missed that boat. Second, the last sold comp in the neighborhood was 250/275K for a house in a similar state. It’s not like we’re price gouging. Third, we understand “the market is the market.” That’s why we took both offers seriously and countered both. We couldn’t come to an agreement on the price. Fourth, my seller isn’t money hungry. She’s doing this out the kindness of her heart. She’s doing a good deed and taking care of her family, an elderly Aunt that never married, as I mentioned. To find glee those circumstances sucks. Fifth, thanks for reading and commenting even if I don’t agree.

  3. Has she considered renting it out? Certainly the rental income would contribute to her elderly aunt’s care.

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