An Open House

“Jules and Elliott”

I was hosting an open house in Ann Arbor on a Spring Sunday afternoon. The traffic was slow, and I didn’t think much would come from the day, when in walked two young women. I greeted them at the door, handed them some information about the house and let them look around. They toured the home and thanked me for my time. Great, another bust, I thought.

The next day, I received a call from the brother of one of the women (Jules) at the open house. He is a Realtor in another state, and was helping his sister find a home. Apparently she liked the home from the day before, and her brother was seeking more information. I ended up contacting Jules and discussing her situation. She is a college professor and her husband Elliott is a physician. They were relocating to the area for her job and Elliott had found a position at an area hospital. They love old houses, and they wanted to buy the home where we met. I offered to meet Jules at my office to discuss the details and to write up the offer.

The day after we submitted our offer, another, higher offer came in to the listing agent. After discussing strategy, Jules and Elliott decided not to adjust their offer price and accept being a backup to the primary accepted offer and continue to look at houses. At this point, Elliott was still back East, and I had not yet met him, nor had he seen the first house.

Jules and I discussed their needs and desires, and I set them up on a search of homes that might work for them. Elliott was coming into town the following weekend, and they wanted to find a house. After reviewing the available homes, we set our short list, and I got to work arranging a tour for Saturday. On Wednesday, we had ten homes on our list, and by Saturday, only 4 were still available. We started our tour. Jules and Elliott like the first home, a great house in the Lower Burns Park neighborhood. Our next stop was a home on the North side. This was clearly a standout and jumped to the #1 position. Another house in Ann Arbor, and an 1880’s home in Saline did not make the cut.

After reviewing comparable area sales and available inventory, I advised Jules and Elliott on an offer price. We submitted the offer, received a counter offer, returned a counter of our own, and we had a deal.

Next came the contractors’ inspection of the home. The windows were original to the 1925 home, the furnace was 40 years old and had a cracked heat exchanger, the air conditioner was past its useful life and there were some electrical wiring and plumbing concerns. I arranged for additional contractors to come in and review the furnace and A/C, electrical and plumbing and provide quotes for the repairs. We submitted a request for a seller credit in the amount of $14,000 and negotiated a split with the sellers.

Jules and Elliott were thrilled with their purchase and the help I provided. They have since become great family friends.