People have been telling me about how hard it is to sell a house in the US, and I have been telling them it’s different in Switzerland. Well, it is different all right, but that doesn’t make it any easier to sell.
There is an extreme shortage of housing in the part of Switzerland where I live. You would think that a housing shortage would be advantageous to selling. Well, it should, but it was becoming too advantageous and the banks got scared so they hunkered down on the amount they will loan on a house, and now people need more cash down payment than before. Those who would have been able to buy a house at the price I’m selling a year ago, now have to come up with more money, and many at that economic level just don’t have the savings available.
So, yeah, the Realtors all tell me the price is right, but the banks don’t agree, so the potential buyers are offering low and sticking to it.
I came close to a sale, really close. I thought it was done.
A certain couple really wanted to buy this house. Let’s use an analogy of letters instead of numbers, ZZZ being the ideal price for the house, and lower letters being lower offers.
So, this particular couple had an architect come to evaluate costs of redoing the kitchen, the bathrooms, etc – all personal choice. The kitchen is not only fine, many people have commented on how much they liked it – but this couple felt they wanted a different style. They loved the layout of the home, just not the decor. So fine, I thought, they’re not deducting that from the sale price.
Wrong. They offered low, really low, like UUU. They wanted to end up with the same price after all their renovations. I refused, of course, and they eventually made two other offers and got offer to VVV. Still way too low, and I told the RealtorMiss this. Meanwhile other people, from other Realtors, were seeing the house. Some very interested, but couldn’t get the financing.
Over a period of about 6 weeks, RealtorMiss called me once a week, asking if I was willing to come down to VVV, or even counter offer something near it, like WWW. I said no. She told me they really really wanted the house. I said fine, let them make me a better offer.
So, around 10 days ago, she called me again and said, “They really want it and if you’ll accept an offer of WWW, they’re ready to take it to the notary and sign on the dotted line.” (She said all that in French, of course, not English, but that’s the translation.) 😉
I talked it over with a couple of other Realtors, and they said that with the banking situation as it is, WWW was a fair offer. They also felt I could get more, but it could take another 6 months to find someone. I talked it over with my daughters, and we all finally decided to go ahead and take the offer. Lower than we wanted, but at least we could move on.
The next day, I called and said, “Okay, I’ll sign for WWW.” She called me back and said, “Sorry, they won’t go above VVV.” Huh? What kind of game is this? I said no, of course. It had been an effort to accept the decided price, but to go even lower? I guess they thought that if they could whittle us down, that I’d be willing to go the extra bit to their price.
I never did like Roller-coasters anyway. I may not get that top price, but I’m not lowering it that low again.
Too bad for them. They’re not going to find a comparable house in this area for this price. Their loss.
And possibly my gain. The same day, someone told me about a new high-scale big-name International Private School that is currently under construction – within walking distance of my home! It will be opening next year in September. This is a school for the rich. Private, world-renowned, and very exclusive. So much so that the families with kids in this school would probably look at my home and laugh, too cheap. Most of them will be going for the Luxury Homes. But hey, there are employees, right? Teachers, administrators, etc. My home is just in the right price range for someone like that.
I told one of my Realtors who has International Sales and he is contacting the school to reach the committee that works to bring in the people who are moving here specifically for this school. So I am hoping that someone will be willing to buy my house. It may not be til next year in that case, and of course, if I get a good offer before that, I’ll take it, but this is the best chance of getting the price I want. So maybe it was a good thing that “the couple” tried too hard to bargain.
So I’d say things are looking up.