We Don’t Like Being Rushed

Today, we inspected some more houses in the Point Cook western suburb this time. It’s a fairly new land development so there are still a lot of brand new houses and empty lots for sale there. We planned to visit more display houses like those we visited in Caroline Springs yesterday (see my previous post).

In the end though, we decided to primarily visit finished houses that are in the market at the moment. The houses available for inspection there were either absolutely brand new (sometimes unfinished, even) or pre-owned for less than a year.

We took a great liking to the last house we’ve seen. The bus stop was just beside the house and the shopping centre is about a 10-minute walk away. The house had four rooms – a study, a formal lounge (sala), a formal dining area, a meals area, another lounge and a area called a rumpus which seems to be just another lounge. As you can imagine, it’s rather spacious. A little too spacious, in fact.

The real estate agent warned us, though, that somebody else would make an offer on the same house later in the day. That is, a buyer wanted to buy the house for an amount specified by the buyer and if the seller/owner of the house accepts the offer, it’s a done deal. However, the said buyer was dealing with another agent.

The agent was very anxious to get an offer from us. Very insistent, too. In Filipino, we call him makulit. He wanted to find out how much we’re willing to get the house for or how much we thought the house was. We didn’t want to quote anything at the time though. We love the place but we don’t want to reveal how much we love it until Raquel and I discussed it with each other in private. We kept saying that we’re interested but we weren’t ready to make an offer or even quote an amout for it. But he kept on asking anyway. In the end, Raquel ended up quoting a really low price, to be safe. That certainly silenced him.

We told him that we’ll have a think about it first and that we’d call him in the afternoon when we’re ready to make an offer. I just wanted to make sure Raquel liked the house as well. I certainly liked it and it might have already been showing on my face but it’s no good if Raquel didn’t like it at all. As it turned out though, we both liked it.

Another reason why I didn’t want to make an offer then and there was that I was afraid I might be forgetting something important about the whole process. We went to a first home buyer seminar and talked to some mortgage brokers and in both instances, we received various advice about buying a house. The only problem was that, we couldn’t remember most of the advice given. I had to refer to the notes we have filed at home.

One advice given to us was that when we make an offer, we should mention that it would be subject to certain conditions: Subject to finance with a 10-day finance clause and subject to a favourable building inspection. I’m sure there were other things we needed to remember but, for the life of me, I couldn’t recall much else.

I made the call anyway. If what the agent was saying was true, unless we make an offer, another party will get the house. I told the agent that we were willing to purchase the house for X amount of dollars. I also remembered to mention that the offer was subject to the conditions I’ve noted above. He told me that the owners already had another offer (currently already in writing, he emphasized) that was already above the price I’ve quoted. Okay. How about X+Y dollars? He said he’d call me back.

It was pretty quick because a minute barely passed when he called back saying that he needed that in writing. He was asking us if we could drive on over to do that. It was like an hour’s drive away and it was already pretty late. I said we couldn’t. How about tomorrow? He said that he needed to have the offer in writing by tomorrow morning. He said that he was willing to drive all the way from Point Cook to East St Kilda just to get us signed up.

We were rather uncomfortable with the idea of him coming over, though. We also wanted to have a bit of time to consult our friends and our mortgage broker first before we go through with it. I just called the agent to let him know that we were ready to make an offer and that what our offer will be but I guess we just weren’t ready to take it to the next level.

We were afraid that if we signed whatever it was that we needed to sign without consulting others first, we might be signing up for more than we bargained for. We just wanted to be prudent about it.

So I told the agent that I have to call him back in fifteen minutes (so I could discuss with Raquel our options in private). I don’t want to make a decision that Raquel may not agree with on this matter. A couple of minutes in talks with Raquel and my phone rang. It was the agent! Er, I remembered saying I’d call back in 15.

He reminded me that there was also a three-day cooling off period where I could back-out of the deal. I’d get a refund of the deposit I’ll make when I sign up for an offer on the house if I decided to call it off for whatever reason (so he says).

I couldn’t really tell if I should believe him or not. After all, he works for the seller and not for me. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting myself in over my head so I’d prefer to be given the time to consult with others about this before I sign anything. Sure, it’s entirely possible he wasn’t pulling my leg but I didn’t want to take the risk.

I now realize, of course, that I should’ve talked to the people I should’ve even before I called the agent — even before we went to look for houses. The problem was, we didn’t exactly know which questions to ask until today.

In the end, I said that if he couldn’t wait for me for at least one day to make sure I’m doing everything right, then we’ll have to skip on the property. He insisted that we wouldn’t find a better deal. He could be right. He didn’t budge. I told him that we are skipping on the house then. I just wished he wasn’t rushing us into it so much. If he had given us but one day to get our bearings, we would’ve signed up. I guess the other reason why we became more adamant with not going through with it was because the agent seemed too keen to have us sign up for the offer. It just seemed so dodgy.

Ah, well. Afterwards, we realized that maybe that property wasn’t what we wanted anyway. We originally wanted a house that wasn’t too big, near amenities and near a train station. The Point Cook house was none of those.

Also, after reading more about the process of making an offer on the Internet tonight, it seemed like the agent was just doing what he was supposed to do and he wasn’t pulling my leg or anything. Well, we rather be safe than sorry. We’ll just mark the whole thing as a big learning experience in buying a house.

Published in: on September 11, 2005 at 11:29 pm  Comments (2)