There’s rarely a time when you don’t see something new as a Malibu real estate agent.
Last year, I did a couple of large Malibu real estate deals that were fairly complex. One deal was a divorce sale and on board were a lawyer, an architect, a geologist, and assorted other experts that during the escrow could have killed the deal. The contingency period was a 4 week long emotional roller coaster ride. One day, I though it was dead, then the next, it’s all smooth sailing.
I recently completed my least expensive Malibu sale of the year with a mobile home in Paradise Cove….and I gotta say…it was almost as tough as some of the high end transactions from previous years.
The negotiations on the price went back and forth a fair bit, but it was after the price was agreed to when things became a bit difficult. The home inspections turned up a long check list of items needing attention and the owner wasn’t pleased since he had just spent $200k in remodeling costs. Back to negotiating that and it nearly killed the deal until the lender said they couldn’t close until the items were repaired.
So far not too bad, but still a lot of work and counter offers and addendums were being created.
So here is what almost killed the deal….the fake grass in the back yard, about a 12×12 section. It was not the Astroturf type our grandparents had, this was the high end stuff that looks real. When the owner came to pack up his place he said he was taking the fake grass along with him! He argued that it was the same as a rug and he had the right to roll it up and take it to his new home. We argued that it was attached (via pins) and should stay because it was never excluded in any counter offers. This went on for about 4 days until we reminded the owner that he based his asking price on an invoice showing all the work he had done. He said he had paid $12,000 for the “grass” and we communicated that to the buyer when in negotiations.
There are two lessons to learn, here. No matter what the price point of a Malibu real estate deal, there are always things that are important to both the buyer and the seller that can make even a small transaction a tough one. My job as an agent is to keep a level head and keep moving the ball towards the goal.
The other lesson is to always make sure items that are not included in the sale get written in to the counter offers. I’ve seen too many deals where parties walk away needlessly over stoves, chandeliers, or in the case, almost over fake grass.
You can reach Michael Gardner, Malibu real estate agent, at 310 699 8428