Remember those owner-occupants who wanted to sell, but were not in a distress situation? They used to dominate the market. But now they seem to be in the minority.
These sellers are probably a bit disappointed with today’s prices – after all, if they’d sold in 2006 or 2007 they’d have a lot more money in their pockets. So, you’ll probably find their homes priced at the top of today’s market.
The advantages of working with a non-distressed owner occupant are that they’ve probably kept the house in good condition, they can show you how all the systems work, and they’ll be required to fill out a property condition disclosure.
With the exception of some contrary souls, they’ll reply to your offer within the time you specified, and they’ll probably be at least somewhat willing to negotiate on price and terms. They may be willing to pay part of your closing costs, and if the home inspector finds problems, they might be willing to make the repairs.
So what are the drawbacks?
With some sellers there will be no drawbacks, but with others you could run into issues. For instance, it may be difficult to schedule the inspections and appraisal, as well as the closing and possession dates. After all, they live there. You may need to coordinate your closing with their closing on another house.
Also, with some sellers you’ll need to be wary of personality conflicts. In an ideal situation, you and the seller will not meet until after the closing, but if you do, saying or doing the wrong thing can cause numerous difficulties. It could even put a halt to your negotiations. Owner-occupants often have an emotional connection to their homes that you need to take into consideration.
Negotiation tactics are something you and I can discuss when we get together. So get in touch and we’ll set a time for that meeting. I’m looking forward to helping you sort through all the homes on the market to help you find the perfect match for you and your lifestyle!
P.S. We’re not finished… there are two more categories of seller. Next time I write, I’ll tell you what to expect from the non-distressed non-occupant owner of a “used” home.