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Old 01-22-2008, 10:49 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Yeah, I tried that maneuver with my old house (didnt work), and my dad tried moving a pristine condo that he'd completely redone everything on...but it had a wine colored rug in it. I actually liked the rug, it was a nice deep rich cabernet color...and hell, you could spill your wine and it wouldnt leave a stain!

Every buyer walked in, stopped and said "I hate the rug" and left. One woman made an offer and then came back to ask if she could rescind it because she hadnt slept for two nights over the rug. She cried because she liked the place but hated the rug. It was about $800 worth of carpet fer crissakes. Finally my dads sellers agent bought it from him because he couldnt believe it wouldnt sell. He tried to sell it for six more months, then changed the carpet and it sold in a month.

The whole "mark it down and let someone else fix it" just doesnt work as well. Its stupid. I know. Ridiculous. Who WOULDNT buy a marked down house that they could fix up any way they wanted?

Same with my wifes old house. The buyer said she picked it over everything else she looked at because "everything was already done over".

Ridiculous. But every RE agent I know told me the same thing "Most people cant see past anything that doesnt look really appealing".

This might be why I get some good deals on houses that are priced well below market and only need some updating and renovation. I dont seem to have this "It must already look good" affliction.
Yep, me neither on the 'affliction'. Most people only buy one, maybe two houses in their lifetimes, and they are looking for the 'new car smell'. If you can see beyond that, then you can really pick up some bargains.

I try not to add my (actually my DW) 'tastes' in the remodeling. You do have to keep it neutral.

We have passed on houses, where the sellers put $10K in new carpeting that is not to our tastes. They want the $10K value in price (... 'it's brand new and 'beautiful', don't you think?') and we value it @ $0, but hate to pull out new carpeting and pay for the privilage, so the likelyhood of coming to terms was slim. So you walk a fine line when 'neutralizing'
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:01 PM   #42
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And they havent sold...Got any prices for anything that actually did sell thats comparable?
they also haven't lowered their price as much as i have, especially considering mine still has a house on it. certainly the three county appraisers told me that the comps show that my house is priced right. i have a copy of their comps and they are not direct but they are close. but with so few buyers it just might take a very long time.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm in a very similar situation with an inherited house...on a golf course. The agent says that nothing is selling at all and we already lowered the price by around 10%.
hi jb, sorry for your loss. you must be from out of town. it is delray beach, no cap on the r. in fact, to continue answering fuzzy on his above comment, it is the deepwater homes east of your area which are now selling as the buyer gets more bang for the buck there. my house in that area would get maybe $900k to over $1mm according to other area comps my realtor sent me (the prestige factor is a little lower but the properties there are a little larger). i'm pretty sure that after those sell, buyers will look harder in my area once again.

it seems real estate is not just regional but local as well. i have a friend who is freaking a little in lauderdale. not that he has to sell because he makes a ton of money and is actually fiscally quite wise. but his house is in a neighborhood where every other house is now for sale. while where both my inherited & personal houses stands, very few are for sale. friend thinks my thinking is totally off base but really his perception is just very different from mine due to how we are experiencing this downturn.

his house is nicer than mine (if you like that sort of thing), but in an area of no particular significance. there are 1000s of houses and 100s of areas like his. my personal house almost smack center of the hottest gay area east of west hollywood and south of greenwich village. and mom's house is on limited deepwater surrounded by substantiated wealth. so even though the entire area bubble has popped, we've still got some areas floating better than others.

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1)Every house will sell at SOME price,if you discount it enough someone will buy it...3)Bottom line, DON'T FSBO........hire an agent
ok, i got it on the by owner bit. where are my ibid's. as to price. sure, i could price it at $100k and then everyone in florida will be able to afford to buy it. but not everyone can afford that house. i sure know i can't.

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Check the Sotheby's International Real Estate website. They have similar properties in your town. I'd give them a call.
will do. though i don't think our property is quite that grand, maybe they can better direct me.

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Originally Posted by megacorp-firee;604775Suggest you get outta the mode of indignent seller (hey my house is worth $zillion dollars, ... look at what Joe Blow listed his piece of '%&^&' for ...') and take a [B
systematic business approach[/b] about this ... or NOT ... if not, then we'll see you posting on this for the next 6 months. Ok, I take it back ... before you yell again. Simply pointing out that you are going through what most sellers go through ... emotional attachment.
as i said to another poster in private. i really don't think i'm being emotional about the house. i'm being emotional about not getting ripped off. that the house should sell what it worth doesn't demand i hold a fire sale. it's not a foreclosure. it's just a bad market. i'm not dumping my indexed funds either. i left it empty for a year thinking it would better sell so now i will rent as i keep it on the market at least during our tourist seasons and see what happens.

while i would like to have the proceeds now to catch the end of the current elusive recession, i'm sure glad i didn't totally discount the price six months ago (even though i think i stayed under the elusive market), sell, and invest that money just in time for further stock losses. opportunity runs in both directions, apparently.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:03 PM   #43
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We raised our price by $3K.
Oh you were nice to them.

When I bought my mcmansion, they hadnt had an offer in a year. I lowballed them a little bit but they countered just barely below their asking.

So I walked away, came back a couple of months later and offered them a little less than I did the first time. They took it.

My agent was pretty well flapped about it at first "But...thats not even as much as you offered the first time!". "Yes, but they made me go look at another 50 houses and wasted my time, so the place is worth less to me now".

Bwahahahaha....
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:40 AM   #44
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Oh you were nice to them.

When I bought my mcmansion, they hadnt had an offer in a year. I lowballed them a little bit but they countered just barely below their asking.

So I walked away, came back a couple of months later and offered them a little less than I did the first time. They took it.

My agent was pretty well flapped about it at first "But...thats not even as much as you offered the first time!". "Yes, but they made me go look at another 50 houses and wasted my time, so the place is worth less to me now".

Bwahahahaha....
Yeah, but it was worth the $3K not to have to mess around with them anymore.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:45 AM   #45
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as i said to another poster in private. i really don't think i'm being emotional about the house. i'm being emotional about not getting ripped off. that the house should sell what it worth doesn't demand i hold a fire sale. it's not a foreclosure. it's just a bad market. i'm not dumping my indexed funds either. i left it empty for a year thinking it would better sell so now i will rent as i keep it on the market at least during our tourist seasons and see what happens.

while i would like to have the proceeds now to catch the end of the current elusive recession, i'm sure glad i didn't totally discount the price six months ago (even though i think i stayed under the elusive market), sell, and invest that money just in time for further stock losses. opportunity runs in both directions, apparently.
I see your point, but if you were say a real estate developer, and you had a $1M property that you just completed, as a buisness person, hanging onto the property in a down market as we have is not do-able. You start to cut your losses. You have the luxury of not needing the property for imcome, if you can recover some of the rents you can ride this down turn out. But sometimes it could turn out to be a bad decision as much as it be a good decision. So renting it out can be a good idea for you at this time. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:27 AM   #46
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When I bought my house it had the world's worst decorating in it .Think a black room and a zebra printed bathroom and kitchen counter tops and floor from h---.They could not sell even though it was on two and a half lots of bay front property .I gave them a real low ball and they took it . Usually I can not look beyond that stuff but I knew the money was in the view not in their tie dyed drapes .
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:09 AM   #47
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No offense, but it seems to me that youre asking for advice but really dont want any.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:29 AM   #48
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No offense, but it seems to me that youre asking for advice but really dont want any.
I get this feeling too. There's tons of great advice in this thread that we will take in two years (upgrade kitchen and decorating even it we think it's a tear down to a buyer, for example).

Every day you don't sell it it is costing you money that you likely will never recoup. If you really want to sell it get the hardest hitting (possibly the most obnoxious and pushy too) agent, do exactly what they tell you to do to market it, and get rid of it. If you want to get what you think it's worth then pull it off the market until the market recovers (but remember it's still costing you money every day) or until you're really ready to just get rid of it.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:54 AM   #49
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Best agent I've ever used is our current one. Nicest old gramma you'll ever meet. What she is is persistent, not pushy. Follows up on everything.

Not sure a super selling agent will help you much past finding the right price and telling you to do things you wouldnt figure out on your own (or could get from reading a couple of pages of a web site...or this thread).

Look at it this way: its a sales business. Rather than spend a lot on the one selling agent, if you want eyeballs and looks, pay 4%-5% to the buyers agent and have a couple of hundred go-getter sales people who want the commission dragging every single client they get to the house, even if its not really what they asked to see.

One of the things I've also done which seems to help is to carefully write my own "Hi, welcome to the house" document. I outline the improvements I've made, maintenance thats been regularly performed, key but perhaps unobvious home features, talk about the neighborhood and neighbors, local features and things to do around the neighborhood, etc. Keep it to one page. Edit it carefully. Then put a funny disclaimer down at the bottom that this is all just your opinion, and any specific items important to the buyer should be independently verified.

Sales is a simple process. You sell when you have something someone wants and you remove as much of the uncertainty as possible from the transaction. When someone is uncertain about some part of the transaction or lacks satisfactory knowledge about key decision making aspects...they dont buy. Part of that certainty is knowing your product and your buyer, knowing the right prices, and creating a clean value proposition without a lot of unclear bits and pieces floating around.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:43 PM   #50
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One of the things I've also done which seems to help is to carefully write my own "Hi, welcome to the house" document. I outline the improvements I've made, maintenance thats been regularly performed, key but perhaps unobvious home features, talk about the neighborhood and neighbors, local features and things to do around the neighborhood, etc. Keep it to one page. Edit it carefully. Then put a funny disclaimer down at the bottom that this is all just your opinion, and any specific items important to the buyer should be independently verified.
As a marketing idea, I can testify that this one works. I've used it a couple of times when selling a house and buyers really like it. I used a brochure, actually, written and printed by yours truly.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:39 PM   #51
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No real advice, except that I think you should use an experienced realtor to get the job done and over with. I read this article in our local paper this weekend and it talks a little about similar stuff: Fast home sales require attention to pricing and promotion. Pretty quick read.

Here's my story (sorry so long): My dad recently died and left me with a home in San Francisco. I never lived in this house, but my mom had passed away w/i 6 months after they moved here, and I visited my dad almost every week for almost 14 years in this house before he passed away in his bedroom. Some, but not a lot of, sentimental value.

I didn't want to be a landlord in SF (there are about a thousand reason not to), so I had always intended to sell. By the time we got everyone living in the home to leave (caregivers who needed a little more time, tenants who were reluctant to leave, etc.), it was July 2007, and the market was starting to go south (slower for this area's homes to react to the market). I figured if I were lucky, we could put in about $15K to fix the dry rot and sell it for $750K, or we could remodel it and sell it for $850K - I could also learn something from the remodeling experience. My realtor is a friend and also friends with a contractor who is very good, so they worked on getting my house into "modern" condition. About $75K later, we had a very nice house where everything that needed to be fixed or changed was taken care of: new kitchen, new bathrooms, new division that gave it another bedroom, new appliances, new paint inside and out, new fixtures. By now, it was already November, so prices have dropped even more. We decided to price it at $829K, put it on the market for two Sundays, and got 1 offer for $795K. I took it!

I had to take the emotions out and think logically... if I waited, I might get a lower offer or none. It might take the market another 12-18 months to get back to where it was earlier in the year, and I would have lost the opportunity to earn more money. I wasn't willing to wait... and I'm happy I sold. Many many other properties in the area are still just sitting there, so pricing it right and remodeling it right make a difference. Yes, potentially I lost money (or best case scenario, I broke even) on the remodeling based on what I thought I might have been able to sell it for without the big remodeling job, but I think it helped move the property. Paid off the realtor, paid off the government, now my biggest worry is what to do with the profit... it's a nice place to be.

OK, leaving this board to decide how to invest the proceeds today before the market gets better tomorrow... wish I could fortell the future. Oh, here's a warning to everyone... I'm moving money from money market to other mutual funds... everytime I've done this, the market has tanked! So be forewarned!
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:40 PM   #52
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Sales is a simple process. You sell when you have something someone wants and you remove as much of the uncertainty as possible from the transaction. When someone is uncertain about some part of the transaction or lacks satisfactory knowledge about key decision making aspects...they dont buy. Part of that certainty is knowing your product and your buyer, knowing the right prices, and creating a clean value proposition without a lot of unclear bits and pieces floating around.
Sounds to me this is how CFB made all his money....
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:24 PM   #53
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I see your point, but if you were say a real estate developer, and you had a $1M property that you just completed, as a buisness person, hanging onto the property in a down market as we have is not do-able... So renting it out can be a good idea for you at this time. Good luck.
thanx much mega. though i totally appreciate your advice and will be incorporating it all into my thinking, lets face it, you and i would never do a deal together. this sure would be easier if i was as aggressive as you though. who knows, maybe the turtle will win this one.

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No offense, but it seems to me that youre asking for advice but really dont want any.
we don't know each other well enough for you to offend me but thanx for the concern. as to your appraisal of what i have garnered from this discussion, i find little value there, just the facts, no offense. not that i'm interested in doing a complete psychological profile of you, but just from checking a few of your past posts, seems you are merely projecting your own closed-mindedness upon me. but i am not you. and you are not me.

i have submitted for forum review very detailed information precisely so that i can best gain from their financial wisdom. however, i do not feel obligated to submit for your review, in particular, a manifest of any work which might currently be underway based on their suggestions.

just because i argue a point does not mean that i have not heard what the other person says. you might try to keep that in mind the next time you pick a fight with someone in your own personal life. you'll both get more from it.

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...Rather than spend a lot on the one selling agent, if you want eyeballs and looks, pay 4%-5% to the buyers agent and have a couple of hundred go-getter sales people who want the commission dragging every single client they get to the house, even if its not really what they asked to see....One of the things I've also done which seems to help is to carefully write my own "Hi, welcome to the house" document.
again, would i be blacklisted if i did a for sale by owner but offered a 5 or 6% commission to the buyer's agent.

very interesting on the welcome document. like that a lot.

in fact, how about you and mega come down, live in the house and sell it for me. you get a free vacation in a fabulous area and i get to watch cartoons all day.

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No real advice, except that I think you should use an experienced realtor to get the job done and over with. I read this article in our local paper this weekend and it talks a little about similar stuff: Fast home sales require attention to pricing and promotion. Pretty quick read....Here's my story (sorry so long): My dad recently died and left me with a home in San Francisco. ...leaving this board to decide how to invest the proceeds today before the market gets better tomorrow... wish I could fortell the future. Oh, here's a warning to everyone... I'm moving money from money market to other mutual funds... everytime I've done this, the market has tanked! So be forewarned!
sorry about your dad, retiring, and thanx for your story. my big problem with renovating at the $100k level is that i really have been looking at this as a teardown. but per fuzzy on knowing what i'm selling i will be rethinking all that. also sorry you missed the 2.5 the market rose today. but maybe you will time it just right to tank tomorrow. and that also is my hesitation on rushing this thing.

as to foretelling the future, that's easy. the hard part is picking the right future.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:33 PM   #54
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hard part is picking the right future.
That is so true, in general and in every way! If we can pick the right future, then all we have to do is get there from where we are.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:49 PM   #55
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I was at a party last night and this friend of a friend got telling me her tale of woe .She & her husabnd bought a small house on a canal for $190,000 in 2001 .They put in $50,000 worth of renovations and when real estate was booming they decided to sell and reap the rewards. They put the home up for $690,000. It did not sell but the market was still booming so they decided to buy a cheaper house so they would have somewhere to live when they other house sold .They bought a small house not on the water for $ 325,000(this was when houses were way overpriced ) .Now they have still not sold the waterfront house it is down to 459,000 Plus the other house is now appraising for $100,000 less .So what do they do .they mortgage the waterfront house to the max and give the money to a Broker.At this point I almost spit out my wine . By they way they are both 66 and had to return to work .
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:40 PM   #56
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Sounds to me this is how CFB made all his money....
I made much of it by removing peoples uncertainty about why they should spend more on things I sold, but I also made a heck of a lot by making people feel less certain about other peoples products...

Thats not about negative selling or bashing the other guy, necessarily...but rather arming your customer with lots of questions that the other guy really doesnt want to answer.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #57
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in fact, how about you and mega come down, live in the house and sell it for me. you get a free vacation in a fabulous area and i get to watch cartoons all day.
LG4N, I don't know about that... although I would love a free vacation home, on the water, for a month or so, ... as a matter of fact I have been looking at a 'housesitting' listing site. However, I don't think you'd appreciate my giving away the farm selling your house at the going market rate.
Good luck on whatever you choose LG4N.

p.s. I have found that in retirement, MOST things either no longer matter (have less importance) or have fallen way down on the priority list. You should join us. That might make a big difference in your approach to this.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:04 AM   #58
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LG4NB -

FWIW, here's my two cents...from personal experience of buying and selling six homes over the past 30 years.

For every house, there is a buyer. In some instances, you're selling the house based on "price" (i.e., best priced house in the market); in others, you're selling based on "potential" ("imagine what this house will look like with new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint or at the extreme, picture the new house that will occupy this site once you do the teardown"). Sometimes, you're selling "lifestyle" more than the house itself (i.e., picture yourself out on the water/skiing right to the door of your condo/enjoying the privacy of your own hot tub/whatever).

In every one of our successful SALES, we've worked with the best agent in the market, priced the house competitively, and (this is the important part): HAD A DEFINITE MARKETING PLAN for the property. With our first house, we expected that a growing family would buy the house, so we really highlighted the convenience to schools, number of families with children in the neighborhood, etc. And for the house itself, we focused on the kitchen and the backyard. Despite the fact that the house had some major layout "issues", we sold it for more than we asked...to a family with three kids and another on the way.

Another one of our houses was definitely stuck in the Brady Bunch/Leave it to Beaver style of decor. We just never got around to doing all the decorating improvements it needed...until it was time to sell. For example, our kitchen looked pretty similar to yours, copper hood and all. And the family room carpet was pretty awful in color and condition. I asked our agent what we should do and she advised us to upgrade appliances and countertops, replace kitchen sink and floor and paint the cabinets. We did -- at a cost of about $8,000 as I recall. Also replaced the family room carpet and removed wallpaper in the foyer. We were in a neighborhood that was more established and most families had teenagers or were empty-nesters, so we marketed it accordingly -- putting more emphasis on the screened in deck and hot-tub; and telling young families that there were lots of kids in the neighborhood who earned extra money baby-sitting. We sold the house in a very slow market for exactly what we were asking. (And later I heard from our agent that the buying family completely redid the kitchen !! within the first year. Whatever.)

Point I'm making here is it sounds like you're not clear on the marketing plan for this house. When I see FSBO, I'm thinking (excuse me) oh, this is someone who doesn't want to pay the agent or is so emotionally tied to the house they think no one else can sell it like they can do it themselves. When I see a house for sale, but also for rent, I think that there's a distress sale coming up - this seller is probably carrying two houses/two mortgages.

But what I see from your photos is that you're selling more of a lifestyle. Yes, the buyer might be seeing a teardown, but IMO you should be staging the house for sale to a (likely) South American/European buyer after at least superficially upgrading the kitchen. The right selling agent can put you in touch with staging companies that can do wonders to create the illusion you need to find that one buyer you need. The suggestion to contact Sotheby's is a good one -- you might just find that one person overseas who's looking for this exact kind of property.

And finally, I know it's hard not to get frustrated, but if you can remove the emotion from the equation, and look at it purely as a business transaction, it might make it easier to deal with. (So, I know you've got an attachment to that copper hood, but really dude, it's gotta go.)

FWIW...YMMV.

PS: Indicating the number of sex offenders in the area in your marketing plan is probably not a good idea.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:11 AM   #59
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LG4NB, have you received any feedback from buyer's agents? In my experience, they'll be pretty straight with you about what their clients thought after seeing the place. All you have to do is ask.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:23 PM   #60
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
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Funny, my experience has been the exact opposite. Buyers agents have better things to do with their time and no vested interest in helping me better my property and I rarely got a peep out of them even when pursued about it. Only time they're interested is when they have a buyer thinking of making an offer and they want to soften me up about all the problems they can make up observe.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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