Previous Owner Wants My House Back

I got a short email from the previous owner of the FSBO purchase I made last year. It turns out he is now looking for a new place to live and wanted to see if I was interested in selling the house back to him. I had to smile a little bit and at the same time feel a little sad for the guy.

Whatever the reasons, its clear that the seller is strongly attached to the house I bought from him. Its older and in the city, so it definitely is not a cookie cutter house where he could just find another down the street. It has a bit of personality and will be hard to find another similar to it.

One the one hand, I no longer live there and quite frankly if the guy loves the house so much, I shouldn't prevent him from living there (Im thinking about the movie House of Sand and Fog). I also love the house, but see it as an invesment. I will likely never live there again because it is a very small house - too small for my fiancee and I to live in (at least till our living standard shrinks).

On the other hand, this house is a good investment for me - it will pay off in the years to come. I already have the house cash-flow positive with apparently very reliable renters. In order for this to work out for me I would have to ask for more money than what I purchased it at. I feel bad telling the seller I would sell it back to him for alot more money - it wouldn't be fair for me to toy him like that. Plus it would be a headache for me now being on the other side of the world.

I'm going to just email him and tell him how much I love the house and can't think of letting it go. It will at least reassure him the house is in good hands.

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Comments (11)

If he loves the house that badly and you're contemplating selling it you might as well sell it back to him. But don't cut him any deals because he lived there.

On the other hand if its an investment property maybe you can rent it to him.

You are letting your feelings get in the way of a business decision. Bad idea.

you mentioned the house is cashflow positive, so that is good. but what about the ROI? is it high enough to cover the risk factor (especially in light of the current housing situation?)

This is an interesting situation. Your refusal may make him offer more, depending on how much he wants the house back. But, I agree with Matt. I wouldn't cut him a deal. If he really wants it and continues to inquire about you selling it, you could explain the situation - you own it as a rental, and the only way you would consider selling it is if you got a premium price for it, because after all, it will end up being profitable for you as a rental. Who knows, he may want it so he can be a landlord!

Keep your options open... Let him know timing isn't the best for you right now; with your recent assignment & move to China, and that you're presently renting the house and it's cash-positive... Be as open and honest with him as you are to us, and everything will work-out as it should.

Don't get me wrong -- I would likely sell the house if he was willing to pay enough. Although I love the house - Ive gotten attached to it as well. I think its in the right location and has a good future.

I am not even sure what my options are with the renters -- I signed a 1yr lease with them in June and quite frankly it seems like the easiest thing to do is just leave things as they are. Everyone but the former seller would be happier.

Worst case the investment is not as profitable as it could have been had I sold it to him now with a nice profit.

I think Patrick is right on. I would describe the situation, and see if he's willing to make an offer. If he is and it's a price that's attractive then it might be the best for the both you. Given that you're only renting it out, you might be able to find another property that's as suitable for your needs. By selling at the right the price, i think you can maximize everyone's happiness... definitely don't be jerk an toy with the guy (not that you would)

I'd suggest to let him know you'll keep him in mind when the current renters lease expires and it's open. It's worth keeping in contact with him, who knows when your current tenants decide one day to live, either sell or better yet, rent to him.

A few months after I purchased my home the mother of the former owner saw me out mowing the yard and stopped to ask if she could buy the crape myrtle tree in the front yard. Apparently it was planted as a tribute to a family member and it meant a lot to them. I said it probably would not transport well, but if she would make an offer I would give it some thought. She said she would talk to her daughter, but I never heard anything more of it.

I wish I had that problem! We have a fantastic house for sale in Savannah GA that we can seem to give away! Know anyone who wants an investment property that is FANTASTIC?

It sounds like you really should have offered it to him, at a price that made sense to you. If it paid enough now, you could use the proceeds to go into your next venture ( be it real estate or something else entirely ).

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