Bizzaro World: negotiating to buy a house

Bizzaro World: negotiating to buy a house

We have bought a number of houses along the path to here. And we will be buying another one this year, as we look to settle permanently in Western North Carolina. We consider ourselves experienced in the ebb and flow of the process, but we recently veered off into Bizarro negotiation which left us chuckling at the twists and turns. Here are the highlights:


We went to take a second look at a house we had seen a few weeks earlier. We were ambivalent about the house emotionally (we didn't LOVE it), but in many practical ways it could be a good place - at least for the next 5 years or so.

We told our agent that we thought the house was over priced, but we would like to make an offer at a lower price point. He called us a couple of hours later and said the seller's agent told him there was another offer in that afternoon.

We told our agent to tell the seller's agent that we were not interested in a bidding war for that house. We were considering an offer of $$ and if they were interested in an offer of $$ they should let us know.

We went to bed assuming that this house was off the market.


On Saturday we heard from the seller. She would like us to write up the offer we had verbally described. We thought that this meant the other offer had fallen through and, knowing our price point, the seller was ready to engage at that price point.

So we submitted our offer as we had indicated.

We heard back from the seller that she had multiple offers (2) and that we should submit our best offer. This meant we were right where we said we didn't want to be - in a bidding war over this house.

Since we were prepared to move on from this house, we basically resubmitted our original offer (with a few minor technical changes).


On Sunday we heard nothing from the seller. This was a clear indication that she was negotiating with the other buyers.

So be it.


At this point, we had still heard nothing and we were starting to get pissed off. It seemed to be disrespectful to let us sit for two days without a response or any communication. And then...

Monday evening we get a verbal counter to our offer. Our offer which was "best and final" according to the terms she had indicated on Saturday. And the counter was pretty close to her asking price - which we had rejected the first time we looked at the house. D'oh!


As I write this we have not responded to the counter. We will probably just resubmit our previous offer - which was our best-and-final when last asked - move on. There is no way she will accept it. Or will she?

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