Mortgage Myth Busters: Regarding the Golfing Buddy Who Wants to Buy Your House

Regarding the Golfing Buddy Who Wants to Buy Your House

Hey buyers out there.... window shopping is okay in a way, but not when wasting someone's precious time. You are either serious or not, and most people know. You just don't wake up one day and say, "Let's go look at houses". Buying a home should take thoughtful planning and consideration. Phil Faranda does a great job explaining some specifics, especially when it comes to market value. Trying for that good deal is okay, but low balling an offer in my opinion is not a serious buyer for that property. Not if you have a realtor explaining to you that it's priced in the right market. My advice? I wrote, "When is it a good time to buy a home?" -

A commitment to playing, even in the rain.There is a real estate axiom I was reminded of recently by Bill Lublin that goes like this: every piece of privately owned property in the country is for sale. It might not be listed, but it's for sale. If you knock on the owner's door and offer them market value plus enough of a premium, you get the keys. It could be a dollar, it could be $4 million. But if you offer someone enough money, they'll sell. 

There is a corollary to this, which is, of course, that everyone is a buyer if they can get a good enough deal. I am not currently looking for a beachfront property or a condo in Manhattan, but if you deed one over to me for my pool table and $500, I'll sign today. 

There are two kinds of buyers in any market. Those that are looking, and those that aren't. Those buyers who are looking are probably willing to pay market value. Those that aren't looking, well... do I have to tell you?

If you have an acquaintance who expresses interest in your home over golf or cocktails, you should ask yourself first why they are just finding out about it at golf or happy hour. Strange, no? Because someone who is looking would know you are for sale if they have a pulse (especially if you are listed with me). What does this tell us? Your friend will buy your place. And he'll clean your clock. Because the only reason he'll close is if he can get a steal. 

If you have a buyer for your property the real work begins in many ways. It isn't all downhill after a meeting of the minds necessarily, because many of these accidental buyers are among the most difficult I have ever dealt with.

  • They could not be as qualified as they think they are, because they haven't bothered to speak to a lender yet. 
  • They might not be very cooperative, because they think they are doing you a favor. This can create havoc in a transaction, because unresponsive or entitled buyers frankly suck. 
  • You could ruin your friendship. Ever do business with a friend? 
Someone who expresses casual interest in your home in an unconventional setting does not make things easier for you or your agent. We still have to navigate contracts, inspections, financing, title and code compliance, the foibles of humans in a high dollar transaction and plenty of other pitfall-laden territory. For these and many other reasons they aren't an automatic exclusion or reduction with your broker, and they may not end up being "the one." But an expensive distraction? I've had plenty of those. 

In New York virtually all listing agreements stipulate that sellers will refer all interested parties to the broker. If there is a sale there, I'll make it. And if there is a headache or distraction to avoid, I'll weed it out. There is fools gold in any industry, and in ours it often comes from casual interest from acquaintances who were never looking to begin with, but would pause a brief moment for a steal at your expense. 


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Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

Comment balloon 2 commentsJeff Belonger • June 14 2011 09:48AM


I missed this post the first time around so thanks for reblogging it. It is certainly true that there are plenty of folks out there looking to waste your time. The art is in weeding them out.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 9 years ago

Thanks for reblogging, Jeff.  I also missed it.

Posted by Christine Hooks, Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate! (Pino Agency) over 9 years ago