We finally closed on our house last Friday. People say that buying a house is hard, but our experience was a doozy. That’s because the listing agent, Doug, who was selling the home was horrible. I don’t usually say that about people, but it’s true. He was a very bad agent. From the start, I had a bad feeling about him. The day after he accepted our offer, he wouldn’t let us see the house. Throughout the whole process, he wasn’t good at communicating, and would usually take a day or two to respond to our agent’s questions. This made the negotiation process stressful and very long. When we had the house inspected, the inspector found a long list of things that needed repair. Although we didn’t need to have the sellers fix everything, we still requested that they did…as is tradition! Then we waited two days…only to hear back from Doug that they would fix three of the things on the list. We asked that they fix more or give us a credit to fix the rest ourselves. Then we waited two more days to hear…no. This went on for TWO WEEKS. When we argued that they should fix things or give us a credit, Doug kept threatening that if we “didn’t like it” we could cancel the contract. The bank was on our case to figure out the negotiations faster. We could have finished negotiating sooner if we just accepted that the sellers wouldn’t fix anything, but I didn’t want that. Maybe that was the seller’s reasoning for taking so long. Finally, we got the sellers to agree to fix the roof, electrical, furnace, and some other minor things, and give us a small credit for the rest.
Then we had to wait a month for the sellers to make the repairs. Waiting and not knowing if the sellers were making the repairs or not was so stressful for me. Although they had agreed to make repairs, I just didn’t trust them. Two weeks before our closing date, the bank read the inspection report (which we had given them a month earlier) and decided the garage needed to be fixed. No garage repairs, no loan. Our agent asked Doug if the sellers would fix it, he said no. For two days our agent went back and forth with Doug, trying to get the sellers to fix the garage. More threats to cancel the contract. I felt so angry and stressed and helpless. We couldn’t understand why Doug was making things so difficult, and once again I questioned if we had made the right decision to buy this house. My husband assured me that we had, and everything would turn out alright. He definitely wanted it more than me. Finally, the sellers agreed to fix the garage and take away some of the credit they were going to give us in exchange.
Then came the day of our final walkthrough – two days before closing. We had the list of things the sellers had agreed to fix and signed, and went through the house to make sure they did them. Well, guess what, they didn’t! The new furnace was installed wrong, and there were several very minor things that they didn’t fix. Things like caulking some fixtures in the bathroom, which might take 10 minutes at most. Our agent quickly contacted Doug and told him some things weren’t done. He claimed that they had done everything, and the furnace was fine. He said they wouldn’t do anything more and again threatened to cancel the contract – the DAY BEFORE closing. The audacity of this guy was mind-boggling. Even our agent, who is very professional, admitted that Doug was an idiot. I was on the phone with my husband, the bank, and my parents all day while at work. I finally asked my boss if I could leave work early to figure out what to do because I was too distracted to actually work. I was furious, but again I felt helpless. I couldn’t control what Doug said or did. I was tempted to call his bluff and say he should cancel the contract if they couldn’t make the repairs, but I couldn’t do it. We already had a subletter for our apartment, and we had already made arrangements for moving. Canceling the contract wasn’t worth the risk. By some miracle, our agent got Doug to make some more repairs that day. We insisted on seeing the house again after the repairs were done, to make sure that he did them. So the evening before closing, we went through the house again. Doug had done a couple more things, but not much. We decided that the things that still needed to be done were minor enough that we could do them ourselves.
So the next morning, we went to the title company and the house officially became ours! Since then, we changed the locks and moved several boxes of our stuff over. A bunch of our friends and my parents came over on Sunday to paint four of the rooms, and it made the house look a hundred times better. D made everyone breakfast, and it felt good to have a lot of people in the house. It made it feel like ours. Once we move our stuff in, I hope it will make the house feel more like home.
There were many times throughout this process that I felt that the house wasn’t worth going through hell. Many times, I wanted to back out and find a different house. I still don’t know if we could have done things differently. I don’t think we could have…we did everything right. Now that the house is ours, I feel that it was worth it. At the very least, it was definitely a learning experience! If we ever buy another house, we will be much wiser and we won’t take crap from anyone.
Thanks for reading! If you’ve had a bad experience buying a house, tell me about it! I’m sure we’re not alone in this experience.