Blog: R.E. Tales
(Hey, not every place is pretty...)
I just heard from “Sunbeam Dimension” again. He’s a repeat customer, always looking for a steal. This time, he found a large woodlot priced at $115000 for 102 acres. No, he did not ask for further information, nor did he have any questions. Well there was one: can he get it for $61000. Since I have been bargaining with someone else at greater than 50% more, I saw no reason to give him much encouragement, saying merely he needed to give us his best and highest offer. I won’t hear from him again for a while now. He has been making inquiries at intervals for years and its always the same; he wants a VERY low offer accepted before he will come and visit. He has never been out with me, but he did call once. He had his reasons for doing things this way, convoluted ones which I don’t remember, something about expecting massive deflation. But I do recall that he sounded like decent enough person, though his monetary values were stuck in the 1960’s.
I call these guys “fishermen”. They peruse the webpages, looking for steals and will make offers to buy, sight unseen. Of course they won’t actually sign a contract without seeing the place first. They don’t want to spend the time to come out and look unless the price is agreed upon first. And the price they offer is always far below market value. If I advertise a steal, they’ll still make a lowball offer on it. I have no idea what they’d do if someone actually accepted one of their offers. Would they actually come and look?
Maybe I should tell them no offer can be submitted without a contract accompanying it as the owner does not want to waste his time on people who are not sincere buyers. I have been told that before from sellers, more than once. An answer such as that would probably stop them.
I remain nice and tell them that it Is a bad business practice to buy without seeing it beforehand. We all have our own definitions of “good” and how can he know what mine is and how it relates to his own? I have sold a few places to buyers who would not come and look. One went well, but he’d spent a lot of time with me earlier, and the property was so nice that no one could fault it. Another time, it went bad: I found a buyer who’d made a small practice of doing this, then suing afterwards on trumped up excuses, but not such a large amount that it would be likely to go to court. That one just happened to be equal to my deductible on our Errors and Omissions insurance, so the insurance company figured out pretty quick that if they just surrendered, it wouldn’t cost them a cent more – they would not have to spend money defending us and our deductible would settle the claim. Thirty years later, I am still pissed at that attitude.
There’s another type of fisherman. This is the guy who cast his net wide, hoping someone will jump into it. I had a Korean preacher go out many times with me. We saw several places he liked and then he made offers on all of them. I asked him, “What are you going to so if more than one accepts?” He looked at me as if I was crazy and said, he’d take the one he wanted. Meaning the offers on the others weren’t sincere. Oh yes, he didn’t get any of them, so he went off to see another company. I obviously was not working for him.
Some are merely amusing, some can be an immense help. All are interesting.
After 40 years, I've learned a lot, & acquired unforgettable experiences. Follow these long enough and you'll eventually get the whole book. (Names probably changed, for obvious reasons.)