John (not real name) called me at the office on Oct. 3, 2012.
He wanted to buy a house and move in quickly since he was going to be in the Columbus area for only 2 years. His budget was $30,000 for the house and fix it up later on his own. His idea was to buy an inexpensive house instead of spending money in rent. He gave me a list of houses that interested him in Linden. Most of the houses in the area were investment properties with tenants or short sale houses. John wanted to move in right away, so we eliminated those and looked at two houses which had no tenants and were regular sale on Oct. 10, the day he drove into town.
One was listed for $16,000 and the other $38,900. While $16,000 house needed lots of update, $38,900 was “move in” condition with brand new carpets throughout the house, fresh coat of paint, newly updated kitchen, etc… John made a cash offer of $26,500 to the latter house based on CMA in the southern Linden area. We received a counter offer of $37,000 next day which we countered for $30,000. Another counter offer of $35,000 came in with a comment from a listing agent that this was the bottom line of the sellers.
At this point, John asked me to write a $15000 offer to the other house. I suggested him to sleep on it for one night while the counter offer was still open. I asked him to think about these things: 1) it would cost more than $20,000 to bring the other house to the condition of this one, and 2) surrounding houses of $16,000 house were boarded up. It would be very hard to sell the house 2 years from now while this one sits across the street from a school and a park. There might even be a chance of appreciation by the time when he moves out of town.
He called me next morning and decided to take the $35,000 offer. After a home inspection (nothing major was found), we closed the deal on Oct. 16.