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It’s been more than three months since the last offer on our former family home.  And better than two months since my dad, the painter, and I spiffed the place up to within an inch of its life.  There’s been a ton of traffic through it, but no real progress.

So what’s happening?

We finally got a very low-ball offer Friday night.  And it had a deadline of less than 24 hours for response.

I’d had a long phone conversation with my friend-the-realtor about a week before.  She’s well aware that I’m freaking the hell out about not getting any offers.  Unfortunately, the market in our price range is no-vital-signs flat.  When this very low offer came in, I didn’t scoff.  I was glad to get it and willing to look for compromise so we can sell that house.

The offer was $30,000 below our recently reduced asking price from a couple with a VA (Veterans Administration) loan.  Right there in the offer paperwork was the condition that “Seller will pay Buyer’s closing costs up to $9,500.”

Um, what?

Without going into a microscopic recitation of the VA’s loan regulations, VA buyers have a list of allowable and non-allowable fees in real estate transactions.  So in addition to us (the sellers) paying all the other fees and commissions normally paid by the seller, this offer stated that we would be required to pay all the buyers’ fees as well.

The total discount these buyers were proposing was $40,000.

I can’t figure out why anyone would think a seller would give a gift like that.  I felt like I was missing some critical piece of information that would bring this offer into focus, like we get a tax credit or something.

But every search I’ve done basically stated that the reason to sell to a vet with a VA loan is patriotic duty.  Do it for God and Country.

It seems to me that if you’re a buyer and you know the seller is required to cover almost ten grand of your costs, you’d make a higher offer to compensate.

We countered with a higher price and proposed some compromise on non-VA fees.  And they countered back with a better price and no movement on the fees.  They were still looking to get more than $25,000 in financial concessions.  In total it would cost us in the neighborhood of $45,000 to sell our house to this couple.

I didn’t like the tight timeframe they kept imposing, generally 24 hours or less to respond.  I couldn’t get enough research done to make an informed decision in that amount of time, especially over a weekend.  And I couldn’t shake the feeling that they (or their agent) didn’t want me getting too much information.

I felt rushed.

It pains me to say this, but I see no benefit in working with a VA buyer who’s offering so much less on the price while simultaneously demanding concessions without giving an inch to reach common ground.  They’d already made noise about the carpet needing replacement.  I foresaw a lot of threats to back out of the deal unless we kept bribing them with goodies.

We’re not Mr. and Ms. Claus.  The counter-counter offer was rejected.

Was that the right choice?  I think so.  Ugh.  I hate this.