Wise Foolish, Pound Foolish,
or, “Minnesota Not-Nice”
When it comes to real estate transactions, graciousness begets graciousness, and pettiness begets . . . lack of graciousness.
In the vast majority of deals, whatever tensions may have accompanied the negotiations are long forgotten, clearing the way for a warm and amicable closing.
Which is only natural: long-time owners with many fond memories want to wish the incoming homeowners the best, and impart some of their pride and sense of connection.
And then there was the deal I closed last week, in my capacity as listing agent (representing the Seller).
During the walk-thru the day before, the owner-to-be identified a small home repair that may — or may not — have arisen subsequent to their inspection six weeks before.
Instead of overlooking it, they insisted on a $100 credit — at closing — to do something that might, might have taken a good handyman 15 minutes to fix.
This, on a $400,000-plus transaction.
Not wanting to jeopardize the closing, the owner — who’d already moved out of state and had pre-signed — authorized me by phone to pay the Buyer $100.
Phone call #2?
To Byerly’s immediately after closing, to cancel the $150 housewarming gift they’d ordered for the Buyer.
Even if there hadn’t been a gift basket waiting for the Buyer . . . such tactics are short-sighted and ill-advised.
Query: in the event that the new owner needs some information about servicing the furnace, or matching paint colors, or fielding any one of dozens of post-closing questions that can arise — how eager is such a Seller going to be to respond?
Answer: not very.
And how much might such information be worth?
Probably a lot more than $100.
P.S.: Sellers who like their Buyers are also more likely to spontaneously offer neighborhood introductions, names of nearby babysitters and playmates, favorite restaurants, etc.