There comes a time in every real estate agent’s career when they encounter an unusual situation.
But you never know when that moment is going to come.
I was thrilled when my previous rental clients decided to make their relocation to the DMV permanent by purchasing a house. They wanted to stay close to the Wheaton area of Silver Spring, where they had grown to know the community and make friends. Wanting to show them a wide array of options, I asked if they were open to exploring other areas, and lo and behold they fell hard for the Riverdale area of Hyattsville.
Not only did they fall in love with the neighborhood, but they fell head over heels for one home in particular.
The challenge? Instead of being a listing that goes through the standard process, the home was for sale by auction.
Every auction can operate differently than the last, but they’re more or less what you would expect them to be if you’ve ever watched HGTV or bought something on Craigslist. Sometimes people are bidding blind (meaning they aren’t able to actually tour the home), some are required to be all cash, and a some of them have snipers – someone who waits until the last possible second of the auction and comes in with a slightly higher bid to steal it away without anyone having the time to counteract.
So we did our research on the auction platform, ran the numbers, and placed our first bid three days before the auction was set to close. (If anyone has ever bid on an item over eBay, it was like that feeling of nerves and anticipation times one million.) On the final day of the auction, one other bidder came into play, and thus a “bidding war” ensued. Thankfully, the back and forth only went on for a couple of hours—and the site being used for this auction didn’t allow sniping. In the end, my clients were the highest bidders.
We won! Right?
The sellers had hoped for a much more competitive bidding war; their low starting bid price had bit them in the butt. None of the bidders had escalated up to the price that they actually wanted to sell the home for. So they declined everyone’s bids.
Dejected, my clients thought for sure that they had missed out on their dream home. But I urged them to keep the faith. Wanting to see if there was another path forward, I reached out to the seller’s agent; perhaps the agent and seller would still be willing to work with us.
After speaking with her client, the seller’s agent shared the actual price her client had been hoping to get. We negotiated and settled on a price and terms. Then with a few signatures we were under contract on the home my clients feared they had lost!
It may not have started out as a typical deal, but ultimately, the process benefited my clients. I applaud them for their bravery in pursuing an auction—and their resilience for sticking it out after the initial heartache!
The moral of the story: at Collective, we have the know how and flexibility to help navigate our clients through a variety of unexpected scenarios. We are here for you and any situation that collectively comes our way.