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I’d like someone with real estate experience to answer this.

We are looking at buying a house and have found one that we really really like. They are asking $ 369,000 for it, it’s a little over 70 years old and needs foundation and fireplace repairs that cost $ 70,000 (we had an inspector take a look.) In our state, not sure about others, if there’s something that needs to be repaired structurally than either the owners pay for it or it comes out of the asking price. So we made the offer we made and said that this is what we offer and this includes taking out the $ 70,000 in repairs. They said no. Now if we paid the full asking price and they took the repair cost out of the offer than they’d be getting $ 299,000 for. So we’re actually offering more than what they’d get anyway. The house has been on the market for almost a year, but hasn’t been lived in for longer than that. Why wouldn’t an owner sell a house when there’s an offer that’s more than what they’d get if it was sold at asking price? We have excellent credit and have lived in that neighborhood for almost 40 years. The realtor is trying to get them to realize this is a good offer.
The price of the house has actually gone down four times since it’s been on the market and we had their realtor’s suggestion of an inspector and our own and they both came up with the same costs. It’s also listed as a 3 bedroom, but in reality it’s only a 1 bedroom since the other 2 rooms don’t have a closet.
Also..the owner’s live out of state and haven’t been in the house in 5 years.

5 Thoughts on Why Won’t They Sell the House?
  1. Reply
    Professional Peon
    August 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Most likely they think they can fix it for less then the 70k and want the full asking price.

  2. Reply
    Mr. K
    August 13, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Their asking price could already be taking into account the repairs needed. They may be upsidedown on the home loan, and cant accept that much less than their asking price. They may be hoping the home goes up in value with a recovering economy. They may think the repair cost is half of what you are figuring.

    But regardless of the actual reason, it comes down to one thing, they believe they can get more for the house than you are offering.

  3. Reply
    Michael T
    August 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Actually there isn’t such a law but only a brokers agreement that allows either party to back out of the contract if the other party doesn’t accept responsibility for a certain category of repairs.

    The price of a home is still based on supply and demand.

    There are many old Victorians near where I live that are sold each year with structural damage that the purchaser takes the responsibility for.

  4. Reply
    allie in NY
    August 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

    greed. they want a better offer from someone who won’t realize the structural damage.

  5. Reply
    August 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I think you are confusing Practice with LAW regarding structural repairs. Never heard of such a thing being law, anywhere. Disclosure is mandated, not repair, and buyers can walk upon discovery of structural issues during inspection. Sellers can refuse to do anything, repair, repair something, but not everything or offer money.

    But what it comes to is that sellers don’t like your offer. They don’t need a rhyme or reason. You need to move on, or move up your offer. As seller, the realtor wouldn’t convince me that your offer is a good one in these circumstances–you haven’t convinced me.

    AND if the listing price has gone down 4 times, that is a good indication that the sellers have some strong reasons (like the amount of their mortgage) for not accepting your very low offer. The listing offer probably took the structural condition into account. What is important is assessing the FMV of the house, and what comparables in area are selling for.

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