Case Study: South Salem Listing

The memorable thing about this transaction was that the buyer was aware that the seller was in some distress. I can’t go into detail, but it was due to their own sphere of influence and not due to anything I did. But the damage was done nonetheless and I had to do all I could to mitigate the cost.

One spouse was already out of the picture and the remaining occupant was eager to sell and move on. The market was cooling at this point, but the housing crash had not yet started. So while the market conditions were not unfavorable, the knowledge the buyers brought to the table was deleterious to the seller- it ended up selling significantly under asking price, and, in the absence of any competing bids, the buyer exerted all the leverage they could.

This was a textbook case of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of the seller. The bidding process is not the only place where a buyer with knowledge of the seller’s distress presses their advantage. Once a meeting of the minds was completed, the buyers exerted themselves on the home inspection, the closing date, and anywhere else they could. And at every turn, where a concession could be demanded, these buyers made the demand. When the dust settled, it was a 6 figure haircut off of the original list price at closing.

Some things are beyond our power as agents. In this case, I couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle. But it did galvanize for me that a real estate agent in a divorce case especially must take extra mindful care in protecting the confidentiality of the client. Seeing this made a big impression on me. If the horse ever got out of the barn after that, it was never due to my words or actions.

Scroll to Top