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The The Layman's Guide to Buying Real Estate in Chapel Hill-
A Quick guide to get you started!

Case Study
Property #5 Continued

My agent made it clear to me that there was a lot "of interest in the house" and when I told her that I wanted to make an offer she recommended that "if I really wanted it then I should offer $235,000". I guess I didn't really want it, but I did want it, so I made an offer of $225,000 and put down $2000 in earnest money.

The reply came back at $237,000 and $5,000 earnest money. I asked my agent about the $5,000 earnest which seemed a bit high. She talked to their agent who came back saying that "in other parts of the country that's perfectly acceptable". The argument that other people are doing it never held much weight with me(it's kind of like bowing to peer pressure), so I offered $227,000 and no more earnest money.

One of the big objections I had to giving them their price was the easement. If that land was worth $239,000 with a 1/3+ acre easement and high tension wires, why were the houses without the easement and wires selling for the approximately the same amount. My agent said that easements and high tension wires were not an issue to resale value.(I spoke with another agent a couple of months later and he kind of laughed and said 80% of my clients won't even look at a place with high tension wires! But the way…what IS the issue with high tension wires?).

The next day my agent came back to me and told me that my offer was turned down and that they didn't want to negotiate with me. On top of that, she asked if she could be removed as my agent because she was confused about what I wanted and I was all over the place. I was a bit surprised by that since we discussed every house in the terms that we outlined above and how we could develop a property so it met those conditions. Anyway, considering I had $90,000 for a down payment, had been approved for a no documentation loan for up to $375,000, I thought of myself as a pretty serious house hunter, albeit one that would not have to compromise if I didn't want to.

After she signed her release it gave me a lot of time to think about the pros and cons of agent representation which I'll go into later, but first… the last two houses.

Embarking on our own we started looking at FSBO(For Sale By Owner) homes. I was a little hesitant about not having an agent, but I decided to continue and if I found something I wanted and wanted an agent to represent me, it would be easy enough to find one.

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