When Buying your Perfect Home Becomes a Battle with the Seller

When you saw the house listing on Realtor.com, you got excited. You could see yourself cooking in that kitchen, relaxing by the fire in the vaulted ceiling den, and clinking glasses with your friends on the deck in the back. When your agent took you to see the house, you loved it even more. The closets were full of shelves, the raised beds in the backyard were waiting for your gardening attempts, and even the mailbox, a shiny brass one, made you smile. The price was a little high, but “What the heck,” you figured, “the asking price is just a starting point, right?” This was your home and you knew it.

So you sat down with your agent and crafted a reasonable offer. A little less than the asking price, but nothing insulting, because the place was great, just priced a hair too high for the neighborhood, a little more than the comparables.

You anticipated a little back and forth with the sellers, and figured it would be friendly enough, because all homeowners are adults, right? Reasonable, at least. But it wasn’t.

First they scoffed at your offer. Like, out loud. It took them a week to counter, even though they had no other offers. And they were snippy about it. It felt personal, even though your real estate agent told you it wasn't. When you finally reached an agreement, they tried to get you to forgo a full inspection. Why? Because the inspection turned up a few problems, nothing major, but nothing they were willing to fix, either. But your agent helped you get through that. Just before closing, they let you know they weren’t ready to move and wanted to lease the place back from you for a month. But you had already given notice to your landlord and had to say no.

Want to hear a true story? Play by Play: Trying to Buy a House When the Owner Doesn't Want to Sell

They emailed you directly and were fairly rude. And when they did move out? They scratched the floors and put one large hole in the dining room wall. Then refused to accept responsibility, forcing you to pay for it yourself or take them to small claims court. And you swear you heard one of them mutter something under his breath about your dog being ugly. Your agent tried to be nice about it, but later admitted these were the toughest sellers she had ever encountered.

Your beautiful home didn’t seem so perfect anymore. An imaginary cloud hung over it.

So how do you bring back that loving feeling? Here are a few tips, some more practical than others.

  • Read your home inspection carefully. Jerks or no, those sellers aren't the ones who are going to have to deal with potential problems years down the road. You are. So make sure you know what you're getting.

  • Have a party. There’s nothing like filling your home with friends to make it feel like yours. Planning a party will also spur you to finish the rest of your unpacking and really settle into your new house.

  • Make sure the sellers met all the conditions of your contract. If you have evidence that they should pay for certain damages, it might make you feel better to hold them accountable. Find out what it would take to get them to small claims court.

  • Smudge your home with sage to get rid of negative energy. Yeah. Does this seem a little hokey to you? Then it will get you laughing and laughter is good. Are you totally into stuff like this? That works, too! There are no bonus points for making your own sage stick, but this might be a nice time to work on your garden. Learn how to make and use a smudge stick on You Grow Girl.

  • And if all else fails? Get over it. This can be tough, especially if the sellers’ errors are costing you money. But if it isn’t looking like you’ll get that money, figure out how to pay for it yourself, and chalk it up to a lesson learned. Eat some ice cream, vent to a friend one time, then let it go.

Whatever route you take, make sure an evil seller doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth or stop you from enjoying your new home. Look at it this way: Every owner is a new beginning and you’re going to give this home the love it deserves!