Don't mess with the Everyday Investor (actually, don't mess with Mrs. Everyday Investor)
So, in the continual saga of me selling my house at a nice 20% loss from where I purchased it 3.8 years ago, I have been under contract, and the buyer had their inspection. And every single "action item" highlighted by the inspector that cost money to fix, they demanded that we fix. The most annoying part was that they demanded that we fix the garbage disposal, which is a top of the line model that did not work only because the safety cover had not been in place when the inspector tested it. I was not inclined to give in to their demands. My agent (who actually knows what he is doing and who earns his money) was annoyed by their demands as well. I was, however, leaning towards agreeing to fix one thing (besides the garbage disposal) in order to just close the deal.
But then Mrs. Everyday Investor came home from work and she put the kibosh on that. She said, "No. We are already giving them a good deal. We should say that we'll show them how to work the garbage disposal and that is it." We eventually comprimised and we offered them a very small credit. And you know what? Even in this tough market, we had the advantage, and Mrs. Everyday Investor was right (as she often is, such as when she decided to marry me, Mr. Everyday Investor).
The buyers had several disadvantages at this stage of the negotiation:
1. They had demanded too much.
2. Their agent was a neophyte and needed her commission. She likely pressured them to complete the deal.
3. They had killed a previous deal in the inspection stage. They were likely getting tired of looking at houses and wanted to close (this hurt me when I bought the house).
4. The seller, while wanting the money, has no need to sell the house, and could have let it sit there for awhile longer or rent it out.
So, barring unlikely problems, we will have sold our house in only 6 weeks from listing to closing in a tough market.
By the way, for those thinking that a bottom is nearing in housing, consider that both potential buyers that offered to buy the house from us were really stretching themselves and relied upon creative financing. Housing is not yet to where it should be in terms of affordability, even in St. Louis.