Charleston, SC Posts


The house that hasn't sold 8 months later but could have

In December of last year, I submitted an offer for a buyer on a 3 BR 2500 sqft home in Goose Creek, SC.  The seller was transferred out of the area due to the military.  The listing price was $208,000.  We offered $200,000 and they countered at $206,000.  The buyer wanted to hold their ground at $200,000.  Due to the time of year (slower sales) and for the state of the market given the builder was building the same house for $17,000 less, I felt it was a great offer.  The agent said the seller couldn't do it because they would be bringing $6000 to the table.  I asked the agent to ask the seller to reconsider and view it as 6 more mortgage payments if the house didn't sell.  They refused.  She felt confident in her pricing. So my buyer walked away and said we'll just keep looking.  While she and her husband were qualified for significantly more, they had already predetermined a price that they did not want to go over.  We found another great house for my client just one neighborhood over that was 5 BR 2700 sqft and she got it for $200,000. It had a better lot that was wooded and it couldn't have been more perfect!  It's now been almost 9 months and the other house is STILL on the market and the price hasn't changed.Full price offer

No one likes to bring money to the table. I understand, but it's a buyer's market and the reality is that house prices have dropped, there are lots of choices, and a bigger better deal is probably just around the corner if seller doesn't want to play ball.  When I consult with sellers that receive an offer that results in a negative net, especially my military clients that have to move or PCS, it's important to look at the big picture of the market.  Sales are down by 40% from last year.  While there has been a 2 percent increase last month, let's not forget that we are still negative 38%! It makes me cringe for my military clients to bring money to the table because I know their transition is a must and the money is often tight.  The last 3 clients that had to bring money to the table were military transferees.  One had to pull money out of an IRA, one borrowed money from parents and the other had to go to the bank to borrow money.   The pain of being separated from a spouse or family member, the extra mortgage payments and other carrying costs is just worth being done with the house even if it hurts the pocketbook.  Unfortunately as a Realtor, I do not create the market.  I wish I could!  My job is to help sellers respond to it by making good choices on pricing, staging recommendations and any other items that might need to be done to get the house sold to so that the sellers can get where they want to go on time.  It's unfortunate to see houses still on the market when I know an offer has been submitted several months ago.  I have been in that boat with a seller.  There's an old saying in this business that the first offer is usually the best.

Michele Reneau, ABR, GRI, CRS

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Comment balloon 5 commentsMichele Reneau • August 28 2008 09:24PM


Michele -  That's a bad decision on the seller's part. Sadly, we see it far too often. Thanks for the reminder.


Posted by Ed Schneider, Washington DC Real Estate Specialist (Evers & Co. Real Estate Inc.) over 10 years ago

That's a real problem for sellers right now - They just aren't thinking with the the big picture in mind.  I went through this same thing once on a home we were selling. We got  a full price offer, but they wanted a $4000 flooring allowance (we had offered $1500, but they wanted hardwoods instead of carpet).  My husband was so angry about wanting so much of an allowance that he was willing to walk away from the deal.  Now mind you that we were less than a month away from having to move anyway and having two house payments.  The cost of that would have been significantly more than the $2500 we lost on the flooring allowance!!! 

I gave him the pen and told him to shut up and sign the contract!  Sometimes emotion is involved just a little too much in this high stakes money game. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

Oh - since I am a home stager I should add that it didn't make sense to replace the carpet in the home we gave the allowance for - we had 3 kids (high school, middle school & elementary school) plus 3 cats and a dog.  The carpet was in pretty bad shape in the living room, but it never would have stayed clean with us living there.  This was also a very small town where homes like ours weren't readily available - there were only 2 others similar to it for sale in the entire town.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

Great stuff Michele and so true. Something that has hurt me recently is.. that I have sellers price their home to sell and  take all discounts up front. So we are priced in a position to move.. then they will have offers come in quickly. Good ones too. But my sellers feel that since the offer came in so quick that they will be able to get exactly what they ask for.. Full price offer. It is a buyers market and there are plenty of homes to choose from. Sellers do indeed need to look at the big picture and consider cost of time on market as well as those upcoming payments.

Posted by Caroline Elkins, REALTOR® (Carolina One Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Melissa-Great personal story to reference.  Glad to know that he signed on :)

Caroline-That can be a problem! The best thing to do is to prepare the seller that it will happen if it's priced right and that there is no guarantee of another offer or a higher offer.  I know that they don't listen, but I think a lot of our job is to prepare them of what to expect.  So that you can gently remind them when it happens.  I agree with you that they sometimes still don't listen.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) about 10 years ago

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