I made an offer on a property where I want to move. This property had been on the market since last April. At the time it was $49,000 for half an acre (two lots) and two cabins. The seller told the person who offered to buy it that they were mistaken about the asking price and raised the price to $65,000. The buyer backed out. The current listing was posted last December. I’ve heard that people are moving away from the area and that there are a lot of motivated sellers. Also, many people in the area are loth to buy a house on an Indian Reservation. (Don’t ask me why. I don’t know.) So I thought my offer of $60,000 was reasonable – especially since the main cabin (the other is basically a shack) needs roof and roof-joist repairs (maybe $8,000). My offer was contingent on my seeing the property and a favourable inspection. (Incidentally, a friend of mine is a homeowner and he actually went out to the property to check it out. He said he wouldn’t go over $60,000. This was before he knew the condition of the roof. Also, the 2-BR house is barely bigger than my 1-BR apartment.)
I got word from the realtor today that the offer was declined. They counter-offered with the full price. He also said that they want to raise the price.
Even at full price, this place is probably about 1/3 to 1/8 what I would pay for a similar place down here. But it irks me that they would not haggle and that they want to raise the price. Call me paranoid, but I’ve heard about the anti-Californian attitudes of many people in the Pacific Northwest. I have a feeling the sellers said, “He’s from L.A.? He must be rich. Let’s raise the price.”
Needless to say, I told the realtor I’m not interested at that price and to let the deal die.
My realtor said that if the property is still on the market at the end of the month (when I go up there), we could try my offer again. But I feel like dropping my offer to $58,000 (if I don’t find something – even at a higher price – that I like better).
Would it be a breach of etiquette for me to do that? Or is it okay to offer whatever I feel like offering? I don’t think it’s very nice that the seller wants to raise the price again, so why shouldn’t I lower my offer? Is “hardball” okay when buying real estate?