I'm looking to buy my first home, and my "second choice" is a small 1905 cottage that has been listed and re-listed since 2009. My problem is that it's wildly misrepresented in its listing details, and I think it is priced unreasonably. The sellers seem like they may be in denial about certain things, but I haven't tried to negotiate yet - I don't want to go about it wrong! (My first choice of house was a craftsman pulled from the listings after 180 days and sold to the seller's family member, but that's another story). So the problems with the way my "second choice" house is listed and priced are:
-It's a 1056 sq ft cottage listed as a "3 bedroom." The alleged third bedroom is a small mud-room with exterior side entry door, that has been carpeted. Not sure how this makes it a bedroom, since It's too small to fit a twin-sized bed in it without blocking both the exterior and interior doors...
-Even the second "bedroom" is a cramped addition that resulted from enclosing the front porch to make a couple more feet of interior space, then putting a wall up to cut the existing single bedroom in half. There is no closet in this bedroom, but there is a wardrobe.
-The added walls that turned the porch into a front bedroom are just exposed exterior beams, painted over on the inside. They need to be drywalled, (which will cut into the already cramped space of the front bedroom - maybe that's why this was not done in the first place?)
-The listing says the house has a "detached garage," but there is nothing but a garden shed in the backyard, with no car access to it. In local real estate, sheds are listed as sheds or outbuildings, not as detached garages.
-The sellers pulled up the carpets to reveal thick layers of black paint on heavily dented fir barn-wood floors, and they raised the price of the already-overpriced house by $1,000, when all the other houses around here are going down $10,000 every couple months. Of course, the paint is likely to have lead in it, but they probably don't know that.
I'm having a GC look at the house with me on Monday, so I'll see if there are anymore issues... but from my standpoint, and from the standpoint of most other buyers I'm sure, this is at most a 2-bedroom house, and possibly even a 1-bedroom if the enclosed porch space addition in the front bedroom is not up to code. And none of the above seems to be reflected in the price, which is priced comparable to 3-bedroom houses in the neighborhood, in similar condition.
It's like they are trying to market the house to a family with dual-income, when it is clearly too small to support one. As a single woman who doesn't drive and needs a home office, this house suits me alright. Things that would turn other buyers off, like being 3 blocks from the highway where I catch the bus to work, are OK for me. So, what they have is a decent little "starter home" misrepresented and sitting unsold for a long time, because people who might actually be interested in it can't quite afford it...
But how do I negotiate if the sellers are so out of touch that they can't even list the correct number of bedrooms? :(