As the market heats up, fussy demands are on the rise

November 23, 2013 03:00PM

 As the housing market heats back up, newly advantaged sellers are again able to negotiate, and that sometimes means highly specific and unusual demands. Whether it’s telling home hunters to buy an original painting by the seller, or to keep the house dog if they want the property, contingencies are on the rise according to experts.

Steven Sladkus, a New York real estate attorney, estimates that general fussiness is up about 25 percent over the last five years. “Sometimes I can’t help but laugh as an observer,” Sladkus told the Wall Street Journal.

In one extreme instance earlier this year, Robyn Jackson, a real-estate agent in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was stuck in the middle of a dispute over a “spitting turtle” — a stone sculpture of a turtle that spits water into the swimming pool. The buyer refused to close on the $500,000 home after the turtle went missing. The seller refused to return the turtle and the deal went sour. Ultimately, Jackson was forced to purchase a similar turtle to appease her client. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron