I’m sorry, but no, I can’t show you those houses

A while ago, I was working with a nice couple in a hunt to find them a new home. They were pre-approved for a $130K USDA mortgage.  They were going to need a seller’s concession and they had no money to put down.  To make matters even more challenging, they needed a 3 bedroom home at a minimum, with a yard for their children to use.  The average sale price for 3 bedroom homes in the area they wanted to look was $325K, much higher than the amount they could spend.

So I explained we may have to look for a while before we found a home in their price range that had potential to be approved by a USDA appraiser, since many of the homes below $130K were going to need a lot of repairs.  But I told them I’d be happy to keep hunting with them, however long it took, as my goal was to get them into the right home.

I did a search and found a few affordable homes that might be acceptable and off we went to look.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, the homes we toured were not going to work and my clients were not willing to look in other locations where homes were less expensive, so I set up an alert to let me know when new possibilities came on the market, and I investigated the FSBO homes also.

stop signMy client then sent me other homes she wanted to see which was great – perhaps I’d missed something.  When I reviewed the homes she asked to see, I thought perhaps there was a mistake so I double checked with her, but no, she was serious.  She was asking me to show her houses that were $60-70K higher than what she could afford, because, after all, I could negotiate them down, couldn’t I?

Um, yes, I can absolutely negotiate, but expecting a seller of a home that is in great shape and priced at market value to accept a price 30-40% of their list price is simply not realistic.  And visiting those homes would not be fair to anyone.  Not to my clients, who would fall in love with a home they simply couldn’t have, nor to the sellers who would have to get the homes ready for potential buyers – which unfortunately, these were not, nor to me who would have to do all the work required to set up the appointments, drive the 45 minutes round trip, etc.  My goal when representing buyers is to help them find the home that fits their needs and their financial viability so sometimes I have no other choice than to tell my clients,

“I’m sorry, but no, I can’t show you those houses.”

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