Houses are SO Much More Than Just the Price!


Housing giving a thumbs upHomebuyers are always asking me to find them a “great deal”. Today’s market makes that easier in some respects (prices are depressed and mortgage rates at a lifetime low) and tougher in some respects (there is SO much inventory to look at). Inevitably, though, the buyer’s definition of a “great deal” involves much, much more than just the price of the home. Here are some examples of truly GREAT DEALS:

Example 1

A young first-time buyer tried his best, but was declined by the mortgage lender for the financing he needed. He had a 5% down payment, but the lender wouldn’t lend him more than 90% of the home’s value. Fighting tears, he told me he was so embarrassed not to be able to complete the purchase. I asked the seller if he would be able to hold a note for the missing 5% for a year or two until the buyer could arrange other financing. He was happy to, since he could receive interest income on the note and hold a security interest in the property. The fact that the seller also respected the young man for his honesty and integrity probably played a part, too. This was a GREAT DEAL because of the financing terms.

Example 2

A young married couple lived in a small cottage, but wanted to move to a larger home. The buyers specifically wanted a one-story home to accommodate the wife’s wheelchair. Hardwood floors would also be great because the wheelchair battery would last much longer than if the wheelchair ran on carpet. I showed them a home which met all their needs except that it was about $80K over their price range and the living room was raised up by one step. We kept searching, but nothing compared to THAT house. It even had a beautiful pool which could be used for physical therapy.

The buyers made an offer they could afford which the seller’s politely declined. Time passed and the offer was resubmitted just a few dollars higher. Again, the reply was “Thank you, but no”. A month or so later, a third offer was prepared, again just a little higher than the previous offer. Still no deal. Two months later, the seller called ME, asking if the buyer was still interested in their home. YES! The sellers explained that they had decided to retire and were selling everything. In fact, if the buyers would repeat their most recent offer, not only would it be accepted, but would they like the place completely furnished at no additional cost? This was a GREAT DEAL because of the timing. Oh, and it turned out that the step-up living room floor was a false floor with beautiful hardwoods beneath it. I love this business!

Example 3

An active family with teenagers needed a larger home. Both parents held doctorates and extremely “brainy” jobs. They had a specific list of needs and wants for their new home – all very analytically done.  We looked at homes meeting all the needs but nothing caught their eye until one day we visited a traditional home with great square footage and all the features they had asked for. That house was a total bore, but the house across the street was a stunner. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for sale.

Not a week later, I was on that same street with a different client in the car when I saw a “For Sale By Owner” sign in front of THE house as we drove by. Slamming on the brakes (almost threw the client in my car through the windshield, sorry!), I jotted down the phone number on the FSBO sign. As soon as I had finished with that day’s client, I hurried back to the FSBO, knocked on the door, explained my situation, looked around, called the buyers and had them rush over with their checkbook. They bought the house on the spot. In fact, the clinical psychologist and the nuclear physicist did CARTWHEELS in the back yard. This was a GREAT DEAL because of instant emotional attachment.

Great deals are different to each buyer. Did they get a great deal for their dream neighborhood or the sought-after school district? Did they get a great deal for the provenance of that home (Frank Sinatra slept here once)? Did they get a great deal with terms and conditions which met special needs? Did they get a great deal on a superbly maintained or beautifully customized home? Did the buyer get a great deal on the breath-taking view from the back deck? When we find what we want and we can find a way to make it happen, it’s a GREAT DEAL.

Tell me about your great deal!

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3 Responses to “Houses are SO Much More Than Just the Price!”

  1. Deborah Gaither Realtor Delivering On The Promise Says:


    The experience you shared are great examples of why this business is a “service” to both both buyers and sellers.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beverly Says:

    You simply cannot underestimate your buyer. A “Great Deal” is relative to the individual buyer. Thanks Ann…as always you rock!!!!

  3. Jonathan Maltsberger Says:

    Wow… This is such great information and I really appreciate the extra feedback from the comments.

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