Feeling miffed

9 09 2007

When we sold our house late last year, the agent was adamant that the young couple who wanted it “absolutely loved the house”. And when I met them for the handover stuff in mid-February that’s the impression I had too. Because they loved it *so* much we accepted some $50K less than our ‘head figure’. The story was that they just couldn’t go to that extra amount, even after borrowing from friends and family (as well as the bank).

On Friday, after I’d collected the food from the Indian restaurant, I drove past the old house on the way to the freeway. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather! The house has been repainted and is for sale again, only 6 months after they supposedly moved in. The selling agent isn’t a local agent, so when I got home I checked the agent’s website…

I doubt this couple ever moved in at all. According to the website, there’s a ‘brand new executive chef’s kitchen’ and the photos show that the bathroom has had a full makeover, all the rooms have been painted, and all the carpet ripped up and the floorboards polished. Some serious work has been done in 6 months and much of it could not be done while someone was living in the house. The killer is that the price it’s now for sale for is some 55% MORE than the price we got only 6 months ago.

So why do I feel miffed? It’s no longer our house – I don’t have a problem with that. It’s been renovated and is offered for a much higher price – I don’t have a problem with that either. What has*really* annoyed me is that we (and I suspect our agent) were sold a pack of lies in order to reduce the price. Had we been told that this couple were intending to buy and renovate, fine. But we weren’t. We were told all along that they loved the place and wanted to live there forever.

I can’t even justify this ‘churn’ of the property based on a relationship break up. Some serious renovations have been done which would not indicate a relationship gone sour. I just think they saw an opportunity to make some money… and we got sucked in to dropping our price because we genuinely *believed* that they intended living in the house.

I really hope that they get burned with Capital Gains Tax seeing as though they haven’t owned the property for more than 12 months and haven’t lived in it as their principle residence. I know that sounds mean, but I’m feeling quite miffed about being lied to.

Update: It’s now November 2 November 24 and our old house is still for sale. They’ve dropped their whopping asking price by some $30K (chicken feed) and the advertising says they’re relocating overseas and really need to sell. Yeah, right. I wonder what lies they told this time. After I wrote this post back in September, I emailed the agent who handled the sale. She has NEVER responded, which makes me think she knew what they were up to all along, and possibly makes her complicit in getting us to drop our price. Real estate agents in our state are meant to act for the seller, not the buyer. I’m not sure that that’s what happened here. But I do get some sort of perverse satisfaction knowing that it’s been on the market for two three months, with ‘home opens’ most weekends, and it still hasn’t sold…

Further update (24 Feb 2008): The old house went back on the market in late January, with a different (local) agent, and with a further $115K reduction in price. When I went on the new agent’s website yesterday I saw that it was “under offer” after some 3 weeks or so back on the market.



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