November 21st, 2008

Real estate problems in a neighborhood under scrutiny

So my thirteen-year-old character has become an overnight media sensation. Her neighborhood is crowded with news trucks, all the residents are very stressed, and her next-door neighbors have a problem: they want to sell their house. Because of the media scrutiny the neighborhood is getting, the only people willing to buy it are obsessed with the thirteen-year-old and want to live near her. Setting is present day, Massachusetts.

Two things:

1. I need them to find this out (that all the would-be buyers are nuts), but I’ve never sold a house and don’t know how it works. Would their realtor alert them to any crazy behavior by potential buyers? (Clear admissions that they’re buying the house to be near this girl, etc.) What if they were offering insane amounts of money for the house – would she prolong the sale to try to drive the price even higher?

2. They’d already bought a new house by the time the media storm hit. They are uncomfortable with the idea that they might sell to someone who is obsessed with (and possibly dangerous to) their neighbor, and they’re rethinking moving at all. How quickly could they get the new house back on the market? What problems might they have? (I don't necessarily need them to do it, just to discuss the pros and cons.)

I have no experience as a homeowner and I welcome basically any information about what sellers of a house might experience in this weird situation. I’ve googled “realtor,” “realtor procedure,” “bidding war,” and some stuff like that, but most of it is advertising and I don’t know if any of it is applicable to the situation.
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