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Please give me your thoughts so I can gain some clarity.....

Rags's picture

We are closing on the sale of our extra home on Thurs.  

As part of the sale negotiation the buyers requested a number of minor repairs. In lieu of those repairs we offered them a $500 repair allowance that they will receive at closing and they can do whatever repairs they choose.  They accepted with the exception of wanting us to have a sprinkler head on irrigation zone 1.  We agreed to have that repaired.  

Our renters (since 2012) moved out on the 4th and in violation of the lease agreement they immediately had the utilities turned off.  We could not complete the repairs without power and water.  I requested an estimate from our repair contractor regarding replacing a sprinkler head.  $35 was his response.   We gave the buyers our repair contractor's name and contact information. They called him regarding the repair.  He confirmed the $35 plus a $100 service call fee.   He gave us a break on service calls due to the $1800 of repairs we had done when we first listed, plus the $600 in make ready that was completed yesterday and the $250 for his cleaning crew that will complete the cleaning on  Wed.  The make ready and cleaning will come out of our renter's deposit and is not specifically related to the sale of the home.

So, the buyers requested $200 for the irrigation system repair.  I agreed.

I called my bride after authorizing our agent to accept the request for an additional $200 in repair allowance.  She got extremely irritated and went on a rant about how the buyers are pissing her off and "nickling and diming" us on this.   Her response took me by surprise a bit though it probably shouldn't have.  She generally does not trust people while I generally do until they give me reason to believe otherwise.

In response to her irritated rant I reacted rather than listening and told her that the were doing no such thing, that I thought their response was reasonable and that if I were the buyer I would do the same thing.

She ended the call at that point. Obviously I said the wrong thing.

She will occasionally get very wrapped up in being the victim of manipulative people in situations that do not IMHO have anything to do with people taking advantage of her.  

She is amazing with numbers so her reaction to an additional $200 in repair allowance (a total of $700) on the sale of a $300K home is surprising to me.  My suspicion is that this has more to do with the uncertainty of my job situation as well as the home we are selling is the last home the three of us lived in prior to SS-26 launching.

She is currently the sole earner and is approaching a year with the firm she renewed her career with after a 7 year hiatus while we were overseas.  She also just finished a killer tax season of 12-15 hour days for 8 weeks straight with zero days off.  So I get that there are likely a number of things in play regarding her reaction to the $200.

I have been unemployed for 10 weeks though opportunities have been gaining traction over the past few weeks.  I have three options that are approaching the offer stage.  So that portion of her tensions should be approaching an end in the next month or so.

This past year has been traumatic beyond just re-engaging in her career and my job.  We lost her dad in June of 2018, closed on a new home on June 29 and I broke my leg on Sept 8.  The elimination of my role on March 1 was pretty much the capping event on a series of tough situations.

I would appreciate some lady perspective and advice on her reactions, her thought processes and also on how I can better discuss these types of things with her.

So, what is up with my bride? Besides the long list of the obvious.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.




MommyT's picture

Your bride is stressed and sad. Give the lady a hug. Don’t buy her presents or flowers since she is stressing about money. Instead give her a hug, thank her for her hard work, and remind her that you love her. Some of us handle stress differently. She just needs a hug. Good luck

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Stress does crazy things to people... I know when I get stressed I get WAY moodier and more likely to snap at little things. Especially when things seem to be happening that I feel are only going to make it even harder to destress. Finances are one of my sensitive points... When I'm stressing about finances I can get snappy and ANYONE spending money sets me on edge because I'd rather save as much as possible.

Subconciously it could also be that it's the sell of the home she last had SS in. I know she loves her son and probably cherishes all the memories. Even though she's willingly letting go of the home, I'm sure it's hard and is hitting some buttons and leaving her feeling vulnerable! Losing a place where you've made lots of memories is NEVER an easy thing!!!

I agree with MommyT. She definitely needs a hug, and maybe a nice night in. Make dinner for you both, and just relax and watch a movie or play some games. Let her know you care and cherish her. I'd also suggest to let her vent and talk to you about what's going on for her! Just tlaking about issues sometimes does the trick too!

ITB2012's picture

I hadn't thought about the "giving up my house of memories." That may have A LOT to do with it. DS and I had a hard time with the sale of my house when I married DH. The more things that happen to string it out, the more she has to think about it and can't just rip off the bandaid.

Step-girlfriend's picture

I agree with this ^^^.  Sometimes you are just stressed, and it sounds like she (and you!) have reason to be. The home buying/selling process can be simply overwhelming for some people. My SO works long hours and sometimes it's too much for him, he starts to get easily irritated. She probably just didn't want to deal with one more back-and-forth about the stupid sprinkler, and felt they were being silly over something so small. She wanted to complain about that (but most likely it wasn't just the sprinkler that had her wound up, it was the weight of everything going on), and it seemed like you took the Buyer's side instead of just saying "yes, it's frustrating, but let's just do it and it will all be over soon". 

Her throught process may be a bit skewed because of the stress, her fuse is shorter than normal. Give the woman a hug. And simply listen when she's frustrated.

Rags's picture

"instead of just saying "yes, it's frustrating, but let's just do it and it will all be over soon". "

So simple yet... I completly missed the reasonable and supportive response you suggest.

There is a reason they say men and from Mars and women are from Venus.

Step-girlfriend's picture

Eh, it sounds like you do a pretty good job otherwise...we expect you to be idiots sometimes, or at the very least clueless. Smile No one says the right thing all the time!

thinkthrice's picture

which is for you to tell her to close her mouth and that you'll decide what's best.  (This is regardless of her being the breadwinner--that doesn't hold much in Chef's book obviously) 


yeah she's worried about the financial scenario.  At least you don't think money grows on trees like Chef does!  And that the "money will always be there."   


I would let her vent and then mirror her by saying that you understand it looks like the buyers are yanking the chain but that you've expressed to the agent that this is the final concession... and if they walk, they walk.


Rags's picture

Thanks for the advice. As for the Chef model... I don't have  a death wish so I will avoid that method.


ksmom14's picture

Agreed with the above commenter, she's stressed, and she may have been frustrated that you authorized your agent to accept the new terms without consulting her first (whether or not she would have agreed to it).

I'd suggest just apologizing for not consulting with her first and explain that you felt it was worth the extra money to avoid the headaches that would be caused by not accepting. It stops y'all from having to deal with the repairs, from forcing y'all to try to force the cost on your renters, or from more negotiating, or even a loss of the deal! Overall it seems like you made a good decision, but it may have bothered her that she was not involved.

ITB2012's picture

For shame, you went over to the other team (the buyer) and made their requests more valid than her feelings/opinion on the subject. Wink

My DH does this all the time. Even if it's my opinion, it's wrong and the other party is right. He always defends the other party, regardless of whether the facts show I'm right or I'm just stating an feeling/opinion and there is no right/wrong with an feeling/opinion.

If you want to salvage the situation, apologize that you didn't consider all the things being asked, and you can see how it feels like the buyers just keep asking for more. You aren't saying you agree, but you are saying you can see how it could feel that way. You can validate her feelings/opinion without agreeing with them.

Rags's picture

Lol.  Fortuneatly I don't make this mistake very often.  Usually I am firmly on team DW.  Thanks for the clarity.

ndc's picture

It may have nothing to do with any of the stressors in your lives at the moment.  I am the child of a real estate lawyer, and I've listened to half of countless phone conversations about home closings.  It seems that in almost every transaction one party complains that the other is nickel and diming them.  Sometimes it's the buyer, sometimes it's the seller.  Sometimes it's a male, sometimes it's a female.  It's the nature of the beast.  

Goodluck's picture

Bring home a bottle of wine? kidding...Rags.

Selling or buying a home is very stressful.

I understand she feels being hosed little by little the buyers.  I might feel the same especially with a 500 repair 'gift they agreed to'. Hopefully the mortgage company doesnt ditch that idea at the 12hour. It happened to use years ago. Ours was 2k allowance.

As noted above just tell her you understand blah blah blahhhh...make her feel validated..then give her a huge glass of wine Wink

IF the buyers do it again.welllll....they will nit pick for larger and larger sums of money.




notasm3's picture

Sounds like she may be perimenopause or menopausal.  Isn't she about that age?  I am older (closer to your parents' ages) but I saw many of my friends go thru this.  I was lucky and didn't have many symptoms.  But most of my friends said they sometimes thought they were going crazy.

Rags's picture

Oh Lord I hope not.  She is 43 so I am hopeful that we are a decade+ from that.  But.. my MIL went through it in her mid 40s and my FIL used to recount those years as his period of living hell.

I had not thought of that possibility.  

Fortuneatly I think that it is just several layers of stress and life tensions.

At least I hope.

Cover1W's picture

LOL - my husband was the one "nickel and diming" the seller of our house. I was a little PO'd at him because he just went ahead and did it - I didn't want to risk losing the house and the sellers were pushed to the limit on our last ask (a legit fix).  So it was my concern, not the situation, that made me anxious.

We talked about it, and our realtor let us know that the sellers had done all they could (they went broke essentially and were trying to get rid of the house fast) so the realtor agreed to hire their own repair people to do some things for us that needed to be done to seal the sale.

So keep communication going, sounds like it's almost done!

Clipper's picture

Simply put money does strange things to people.

sunshinex's picture

Rags... Has anyone ever told you you're a fantastic husband? :-) 

The way you speak of your wife never ceases to awe me. You speak so highly and kindly of her. You took on her child as your own. You do something so many men DON'T do... which is trying to figure out what's wrong so you can take the right course of action to fix it. Good on you for taking her feelings seriously and caring so much. 

Stress, in relation to finances in particular, can really weigh on a woman. Be there to help her relax. Make dinner, handle a lot of the cleaning, run her a bath now and then, and everything will be fine. 

shamds's picture

and what appears to be nagging buyers it just set her off... the buyers had legitimate concerns regarding minir repairs but your wife may just think well for a 300K home, $700 in repairs being done plus the $200 cash to them is nitpicking... 

if you buy a home you know there are repairs that need to happen and a budget is set aside to address this. Can’t remember the percentage amount. Instead of demanding cash money etc they could have just asked to lower the asking price slightly....

when your wife has calmed down a little just ask her “i know you’ve been busy and stressed lately and you aren’t happy with the buyers what may appear as nitpicking or nagging, but you genuinely felt they were reasonable things to do and this is the last thing they demanded and then you close- done deal” just let her know you don’t want her feeling like you don’t care about her but you also want this house sold asap so at least you both have that financial security

marblefawn's picture

Buying/selling property is always stressful. And it's costly. If you're "thrifty" like me, it's impossible for it to be anything other than a miserable experience -- all you see is money flying out the window for "services" and "transfers" and such, and about halfway through the process, you begin to feel it all add up and suddenly you're sure you've been taken's just stressful. Add to that your job situation and I think she's probably right where she should be mood wise!

The way your phone call followed by her rant went down is exactly how it would have gone down between my husband and me. It's not that the $200 was a dumb idea or anything other than a smart, practical way to progress the deal, but by this point in a sale, I am always totally irritated because I've already handed out so much money, and now I have to negotiate away more just to make sure the deal goes's the worst timing for we anxious types to have to negotiate! And the whole time you're still waiting for the whole deal to fall through for some unrelated reason.

Just chalk this up to the cost of doing business. I bet she'll be fine as soon as this mess is through.

ESMOD's picture

I think it's the "long line of obvious"... All of those things are incredibly stressful.  Sometimes we lash out about the small stuff when it's really other bigger stuff that shortened our fuse.  Home sales are stressful.

I understand just accepting the $200 but in her eyes.. they got extra because you know it would only cost 135.  AND.. in reality.. they could probably fix the issue themselves for a fraction of that.. the same with their "list of repairs".  Sometimes these transactions feel like a death of a thousand cuts.

I might agree with her that they are being a bit petty.. but sigh.. and say.. in the long run.. $200.. to just get the deal done is a small price to pay.. shrug.

Rags's picture

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and feedback.  You have many observations and thoughts that completely escaped my man brain.

We had a great evening when she got home from work.  I had dinner in the oven and we talked about our respective days.  I had two calls from companies approaching me on roles they are interested in me for.  That is good news.

The topic of the additional $200 in repairs did not come up.  I won't resurrect it unless absolutely necessary at this point. We do our part of closing on Thursday AM and the buyers do theirs on Friday AM.

Since my last day of work on March 1 I have been very dillegent on making dinner most evenings, keeping the house picked up, the kitchen clean and keeping up with my laundry and our dry cleaning.

And hugs of course.  I like those too.  

Thanks again to all for your thoughts and advice.

I very much appreciate it.