A few months ago while hosting an open house in Portsmouth, I had the pleasure of meeting Sean and Audrey. They were recently married and looking for their first home in North Portland. And they were lovely. (I secretly hoped that our Southeast connection (they’re from Georgia; I’m from Alabama) would entice them to ask me to represent them as buyers!)
During the course of our conversation, they asked me what all buyers want to know about the Portland real estate market: Do we have to bid 20% over list price to get the home we want? And I gave them the same response as always: Not necessarily.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I got an email from them asking me to help them find a home. I was ecstatic! And when I asked them why they chose me, they said I was one of the few real estate agents they talked to who didn’t insist they would need to hugely overbid on any house they might find.
Upon hearing this, I was nervous. It was the middle of the summer, and houses in their price range and desired location were sometimes getting a dozen or more offers within days. Escalation clauses, personal letters and disappointment were all part of the game. But, I was determined to help them find the perfect home. In the perfect location. And at the perfect price. We committed to each other that we’d all keep an open mind and a level head, and we started looking at homes.
Within a few showings, they found one they liked. We wrote an offer. It was ranked 9 out of 12 total offers received within 5 days of listing. But we didn’t let that get us down! I told them it was just a sign that something better was to follow.
Shortly after that, they attended an open house for what they told me was their dream home. I told them to not get tooooo excited about the home since it was a bit outside their price range, and we knew the market conditions over the summer were driving prices even higher. I ran comps on the house and didn’t think it was too overpriced, so I thought there was little chance this home was a possibility for them.
But after some encouragement from the listing agent, they wanted to write an offer. An offer significantly under list price. And being the
obedient hopeful (okay, I’m obedient, too) agent that I am (and wanting to back up what I told them when we first met about houses not ALWAYS selling for 20% over list price), we submitted it.
Aaaaaaand, it was countered for much higher than originally offered. My buyers rejected the counter. We kept our heads up and continued the search.
Then, a week or two later, I got a text message from the listing agent. She asked if my buyers still wanted the home, and she said the seller would consider the original offer.
WHUUUUUUUTTTTT? I was a bit taken aback, but I could understand why some buyers might not be psyched on the construction noise and inconvenience of the new home being built right next door. But my buyers didn’t care. They are at work during most of the time the construction’s going on, and this was THE HOUSE. They couldn’t stop thinking about it. It reminded them of Georgia and Audrey’s grandmother’s house and ALL THE GOOD THINGS. It had a fenced back yard for their two dogs…a master suite for their frequent guests…A DISHWASHER. It was the one.
With that, we re-submitted the original offer which was quickly accepted. We were under-contract!
A short 37 days later (yes, their appraisal only took two weeks!), my clients sat together at the closing table and bought their first home. Their dream home.
This is what it’s all about – and it’s why I love my job.