What Do You Do When the Real Estate Market Sucks?

I was in my hometown back in November with my mom and my brother for about a week.

There are some religious things that needed to be taken care of so we stayed a few days longer with the intention to work towards getting more things in my dad’s estate settled. On that list is my parents’ house.

Of course mom wants to get a decent price but the market is soft in cottage country (if only the house were in Toronto!) and the economic recovery hasn’t quite filtered down in such a way that has made a difference in the daily life of most Canadians.

So, what do you do?

Do we wait until the spring in hopes that the economy and everything else picks up along with it? Or do we consider a lowball offer just to have one less thing to worry about so that my mom can really start to settle in Toronto?

We want to do what is best for mom but we can’t make that decision for her.

I received a call from my sister this morning. She and my mom are home to continue packing up the house. In the meantime, the real estate agent, who spoke with us shortly after the funeral, brought his relatives by a few times to look at the house.  They came in once with a contractor and took copious measurements each time.

I did a little research on similar properties in town and we came up with what we considered a reasonable asking price. We haven’t even listed it yet but did this as a courtesy because we knew his uncle. Gotta love small towns.

Well, the offer came in yesterday. I expected to be lowballed but not this low. Of course it is their job to get the best deal for themselves but it is our job to do the same for mom. The offer was lower than the least expensive bungalow in town, in an undesirable neighbourhood, on a dead-end road that leads to the recycling depot- that is semi-detached to boot. Compare this with a detached bungalow on a large corner lot in a well established older part of town, mature maple trees, conveniently within walking distance of the main drag, two grade schools and the beach.

Of course there are a myriad of conditions that conform to their needs, the big one being the sale of their home. I understand all of this but what do you take us for? We may be a little too trusting but we are not that gullible.

I am not going to allow (not that I have any power whatsoever) my mom to give the house away and she seems to be of similar mind. I would rather buy it myself than to see it go for such a mean amount.

I have asked my sister to relay the message to give us more time. I want to have a look at the paperwork, talk to the lawyer handling my dad’s estate, talk to my brothers etc but my gut (and my temper) tells me to just say no.

There are no monetary pressures to sell but I am 99.99% sure I will recommend rolling the dice and put the house on the market in the late spring or early summer after a few judicious renovations. More research is in order but with about 25K and a lot of sweat equity, I think we can get our mom 50% more than what they offered.

A lot of books I have read recommend not being greedy and taking the first offer but I am in a gambling mood and I am willing to shoulder all the risk if I am wrong- but I don’t think I am.

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~ by angryegg on December 22, 2009.

One Response to “What Do You Do When the Real Estate Market Sucks?”

  1. Sounds like you need a new realtor… is it a double-ended deal (where your realtor is also the purchaser’s realtor?) You have the right to ask if this is a DE deal, and to decline if that’s the case. Don’t get pressured into a lowball. S+K like their realtor if you need another recommendation … drop he or me a line on FB to chat. Good luck! And happy holidays and best wishes to to K and your bros and Mom!

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