I put up the “Apartment for Sale” sign on a Sunday. By Wednesday I received my first offer for it at my asking price. By Friday I had received a second counter offer for it.

This time the lady who called sounded young (probably my age when I bought the apartment) and eager. She told me “I’ve just been to the outside of your apartment and I really like it. Can you show it to me please? I’m thinking of buying it as a surprise for my parents. Its perfect for them. Its very near my brother’s office and its near facilities.”

I told her that I was about to receive a deposit for it the next day and that she’d have to view it that very evening and pay me an immediate deposit to confirm the deal if she really wanted to buy the place.

I then consulted my lawyer who told me that in order for me to break my verbal agreement with the first party, I would have to receive a substantially higher counter offer for the place. I would then have to inform and offer the apartment to the first potential buyer at the new counter offer price and if she declined then it would be safe for me to proceed to close the deal with the second party.

Phew! I was in a dilemma. I so wanted or preferred to sell the place to the second young lady. I was completely taken in by her story about buying the apartment for her parents. I saw myself in her back in those days when I first bought the apartment. I pictured how happy her parents would be at the surprise. (She had been paying rental for her parents to live in rented houses but now she felt it was time to buy). My dad had enjoyed living there and I imagined that her parents would too. Yes, I was in a dilemma.

To cut a long story short, she did make me a counter offer and I informed the first lady about that counter offer and offered it to her at that price. Understandably the first party was very upset by the turn of events. She told me that her aunty sobbed the whole night because she was all ready to buy the place and she had withdrawn money to pay the deposit etc.

They took up the counter offer so I had no choice but to sell it to them and turn the second lady down. I felt really bad about making an old lady upset (her aunty who seemed nice and the quiet sort who said yes to everything but not she who was also elderly but worldly wise, very money minded and shrewed) so I reduced the price by half the counter offer amount and they paid the deposit and that was that and now a few months later, the deal is done.

I suppose I was just lucky to have sold it so quickly. I had prepared myself to put up the “Apartment for Sale” sign for up to 6 months. Or perhaps that place had its own niche. I noticed that all the callers were either elderly folks or younger children enquiring for their parents. Lol! I lived in an old folks home!

I guess the fact that its the 1st floor of a walk up apartment helped plus the fact that it was near to ammenities ie walking distance to bus stops, bank, wet market, coffee shops etc. It was convenient for the old folks but the younger ones are not interested. With so many cheap apartments with facilities available (if you are willing to stay very far out of town that is) most younger folks want something newer and preferably with some facilities.

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