Buyer Beware: It’s Okay to Just Say No

Recently, I made an offer on a little condominium. It needed some new paint and carpet, but it was cute. Still, I didn’t follow through. In today’s post, I’ll explain why.

The real estate market is hot in my region of the country. And although I’m ready to sell my house and downsize, I’m patient enough to let wisdom override emotion. In a hot market you have to move fast. This makes the whole real estate experience feel pressured. So you really need to be ready to make an offer. But you also need to be ready to know when to say no.

Remember, It’s Always Buyer Beware

I found a condo for $154,000. It was in fair condition but for a few cosmetic issues. Oh, and there was evidence of one little plumbing leak. So I made an offer for 150,000, plus I’d pay all closing costs. The offer was also contingent on selling my current home. I thought it was a fair offer.

The counter offer: The seller did not except my offer. Instead, they said they wanted asking price on the premise that we could negotiate after the inspection. They said that they knew the inspection would bring up some issues.

Red flag!

I was the second person to make an offer on the condo in a month. The previous offer had fallen through due to financing. However, there had been an inspection made. So I asked if I could see that inspection. The answer: only if I agree to buy the property as-is. Hmm? Something seemed funny. I said no.

The next day I was told that the owners would fix the problems in advance. Would I still be interested? I still said no. And here’s why. I was not told what the problems were. It felt like somebody was hiding something.

It’s Okay to Say No

I’m not blaming the owners or either of the agents for any kind of dishonesty here. But things were too vague for me to feel comfortable moving forward with the deal.

So here’s the takeaway: It’s okay to turn down a deal. Never feel like you have to follow through with a real estate transaction until you sign the closing papers. There are many contingencies that allow you to opt out along the way.

If I’d have said yes and then discovered that the problems were severe and long-lasting, even after an initial fix, I’d have been the one to get the short end of the stick.

I’m in a good position. I have a house that is increasing in equity every day. I don’t need to move immediately. I want to downsize. I want to pay off debt. But I’m patient enough to wait until the right situation presents itself.

Be careful of moving too fast based on your emotions. Just because the place is cute, doesn’t mean it’s right. Be ready to use logic and wisdom in regard to buying and selling real estate. Remember, it’s always okay to say… no.

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James Ewen
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