We Almost Bought a Vacation Home

Posted by Madison on June 10, 2010

We’re back from vacation. Perfect weather. Perfect boating. We couldn’t have asked for anything more… except maybe a better realtor.

As you know, we were checking out vacation homes, and we found one we liked. It was a little bigger than we originally planned (doesn’t that always happen?), so I wanted to run some more numbers to make sure we could break even.

Part of the equation working in our favor is that Penfed 5/5 ARM rates have dropped below 4%. (Oh wow, wait a minute…. I might need to look at refinancing our house again…)

After I crunched the numbers on the drive back to my in-laws, I informed the listing agent that we would be putting in an offer; we just wanted one more piece of information (which they have access to in their office) confirming the rental history on similar condos at the resort to finalize our offer price.

Where It All Fell Apart

That was seven days ago. Two days ago, I got a message that he will “send something soon.” Seriously? Last time I checked, realtors only get paid if a deal closes. He’s not very busy right now (he told me so) and I know he’s alive, I’m following him on twitter!

Part of the reason that I wanted fast action, is because it’s already summertime. I was hoping to close before the 4th of July so we could enjoy it for a couple weeks around the holidays, but I think it’s too late now. The longer it takes to get an accepted offer and close after the bank takes another month to process, the less we’ll be able to rent it out this summer, essentially lowering the value of the property and our ability to use it this summer.

What Should We Do Now?

I’m considering just emailing the realtor and telling him he took too long and moving on. If you couldn’t complete a 10 minute task for someone you knew was going to put in an offer, then you certainly don’t deserve 6% of the sellers proceeds, right?

So that puts me in a quandary. We like the place, but I have no problem moving on.

I also have the owners phone number that I got from the condo showing; I’m considering calling them directly and letting them know that we were interested in purchasing it, but their unresponsive realtor killed the deal. Is that appropriate?

Or can we just have our lawyer draft an offer and send it directly to the sellers?

What do you think? What would you do?

While I wait for a response from the realtor, I’m catching up on some good reads. My favorite this week is Donna’s story on why she travels with mayonnaise.

Real Estate



By the Numbers

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Comments to We Almost Bought a Vacation Home

  1. There is too much money at stake to let things get personal. If you want the place and think that calling the owner is the best catalyst to getting what you want then do it. You don’t have to accuse the agent of anything. Just say you’ve been waiting a week for some information and that you plan to make an offer as soon as you get it. If the owner or agent don’t like this, so what? Ruffling some feathers doesn’t amount to a hill of beans compared to what I’m assuming is a 6-figure purchase price.

    Michael James

    • Thanks for the reassurance Michael. I tend to let things like this get too personal. Good reminder to focus on the purchase in mind.


  2. Could you talk to the realtor’s supervisor? I would be as upset as you are, and I’d also want to let everyone know about this person’s incompetence. Maybe have your lawyer talk to the owners and see how they can get out of their contract with the realtor. You may get a better price too, since they won’t have to pay this person.



    • You’ll get a kick out of this one. His supervisor is his mom! Nothing like telling his mom on him.


  3. Call the owner. If the realtor wanted to close the deal he would have done his job. With all of the financial ups and downs in the last couple of years, why if you had an offer would you not make every effort possible to close the deal? Good luck!


    • Yeah, unfortunately, the seller is definitely the one who is going to lose out here. No matter what happens, I might just call them to let them know.


  4. Thanks for the link love. 🙂

    Donna Freedman

  5. I would want confirmation of the rental history before making an offer as the numbers hinge in part on that. Maybe he’s stalling cause the info is different than what you think. Could you call owner so that they could light a fire under their agent?

    Laura D

    • Good point, Laura. Maybe the numbers don’t back up what they originally told me. But you are right, I really don’t want to make an offer until I have those numbers in hand.


  6. How about getting your own agent? At the very least, their agents commission will get cut in half…

    MITBeta @ Don’t Feed the Alligators

    • Good thought! Even if I did put in an offer at this point, I might just use our realtor here at home.


  7. Find a new agent. Your agent is not acting in your best interests. But you are right about one thing, get that INFORMATION. That is your negotiating power.

    Best of luck. And remember this, there’s always another “dream house” on the market somewhere.

    Editor @ Double My Net Worth

    • It is the listing agent, so it’s the seller who would have to find a new agent.

      Unfortunately, the information we needed was from the rental management company (which is also the realtor) in the same office.

      But your last sentence is the one that hits home…


  8. Well everyone, we finally got the numbers! Maybe he read my article!

    A little lower than I expected, so we would adjust our offer (but only by a little bit).

    After reading everyone’s replies and sleeping on it, I decided to take Double My Net Worth’s advice that “there’s always another dream house” out there.

    I emailed him and let him know that we would have put in an offer last week, but because of the week delay we will not be (since we wouldn’t be able to close before the 4th of July.)

    I might still call the seller and let them know….


  9. I agree, call the seller and let them know they lost out on an offer because their realtor did not do his job. If you want paid, you need to do something. This guy did nothing, so obviously he doesn’t want the money. The seller should know that. They are selling for a reason.

    Maybe I expect too much out of people, but if someone does not do their job, they should not have said job.


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