Why did I feel like I was fighting two battles? One with the potential buyer of my condo and one with my own agent.
I’d like to establish that I’m a big fan of real estate. With the tax benefits involved and passive income derived, equity accumulation and possible appreciation – hard to beat as an investment.
And I’m an advocate of owning your own home. Not only for the value of the investment, but also for the good feeling it gives you and your wife. Your own nest.
Second biggest sensation in the world!
Another small revelation that I feel compelled to make: I have been in the real estate business for over forty years. It did me good.
So – I tell this little cautionary tale with mixed emotions:
It was time to consolidate. I had been retired for a few years. I owned two condos. One I used mostly when I was in New York on business and the other I live in near friends and family in suburban Philadelphia.
I concluded that I could only live in one place at a time and I rarely went to New York. Now retired, I decided to sell the New York condo.
It was a small crash pad. A studio with a small separate kitchen.
I checked to see if there were any similar sales in the building over the past year and most of them were between $590-600,000.
I called the only real estate contact I had left in New York, a guy I had actually mentored in the area, John Abraham.
I taught him pretty much everything I knew.
We talked for a while, we patted each other verbally on the back, recalling old commercial conquests. John is much newer than mine.
I signed an enrollment contract with him. His agency gave me a break on the commission, only charging 5%.
That’s what friends do in “da business”!
We agreed on the asking price of $599,000, his suggestion with my consent.
I soon mentally calculated my profits on a sale price of $599,000.
Less than a week passed before I received a call from John.
“Brian, you are absolutely lucky to have sold your condo in less than a week.” John’s cheerful voice informed me on the phone.
Man, I thought, my young real estate protected did proud to sell my place in just under a week.
“We received an offer of $500,000! » he exclaimed excitedly as if he had just matched 5+ the red power ball in the New York lottery.
Eh! I thought you thought I could get $599,000 – I thought!
“You Should Take It” John counseled with solemnity.
But it’s worth $599,000, if comparable sales mean anything, my rational mind speaking.
“I’ll think about it” I said.
All this week, while I was considering the offer, John pestered me to accept the $500,000 offer. He gave me 100 creative reasons why I should drop my $99,000 expectation.
After a week of suffering, I came to the conclusion that I had 2 people working for their own benefit and against me in this transaction.
The buyer is to be expected.
And my own agent!
Wake up Homer:
Although John is ethically supposed to represent my best interests, human nature is what it is:
You the seller can take a $99,000 haircut on your condo, your agent, what quisling johnonly sacrifices $4,950 in reduced commission for his agency.
Your agent would earn another $25,000 to share with their business. Good scratch for less than a week of work.
Time is money in almost any business.
I didn’t like the sense of loss of support my former associate should have provided.
He went from advocate to adversary.
Almost as if he was representing the buyer for me.
Was I also interested when I was an agent?
Let me think about it.
This article was self-published on 6/10/22