I thought that I was only going to make $ 20,000 and by accident … opps, I made $ 55,000 more than I planned to. To top it all off, the seller was thrilled, and I'm still in shock. Honest, I rechecked it all three times and … yes, it's correct, and the money is all there. Holy cow … how did that happen?
I got a call from a property owner who had lost his job, his spouse left, and soon to be, his home. It all happened at once, and he was beside himself.
No money to pay the bills and they were threatening to foreclose on his home. He had been trying to sell it, but it needed some repairs and he actually owed much more than it could be sold for. He just wanted out and wanted to save his good credit. He tried selling himself and for a period of time with an agent, but no interested buyers. Daily calls, increased frustration and rising blood pressure. By the time we talked, he was really motivated, and wanted to sell fast.
I had done some preliminary homework prior to our meeting and had a rough idea of what I thought that his home was worth subject to its condition. I met and talked to the seller and previewed the property, and discovered why that it was not selling, being being overpriced.
It needed lots of repairs and had not been updated in over twenty years. I knew that I had a challenge here. He told me what he owed, and I almost fell on the floor in disbelief. He had refinanced several times to payoff credit cards and to put his kids through school. The plain truth … he was upside down, big time. We agreed that he would not be able to get what he owed and asked me what alternatives that he may have. Other than losing it to foreclosure, I would talk to his bank about doing a short sale. I fully explained it all to him and presented him with a very, very low price offer subject to getting approval from his bank.
We signed the agreement and I gave him $ 10 as a deposit with my offer. I could see some kind of relief in his eyes already. He looked 10 years younger. I gathered all his financial data, along with some other required paperwork. I made a detailed list of all the repairs and improvements that the home needed along with measurements and photos showing the run down condition. I got back to my office and put together a complete package and forwarded it all to his bank. In the interim, I called a few investors, put a sign in the yard and placed an ad in the newspaper and also on line.
You are not going to believe this … it was not even three days later that the phone started ringing … and I mean ringing. I set up a time and invited all the callers over to look at the home. What a feeding frenzy … almost like a minnie auction. I'm just interested in getting my price and selling it quickly.
I got several pages of names. Several looked really good and many others as backups. I explained that I was waiting from the bank and would let them know as soon as I did.
About a month or so later, the bank accepted my really low offer, which really surprised me. Hey, if you do not ask, you will never know. Long story short, one of the first buyers was very handy with his hands and welcomed the idea of fixing up this home. It was exactly what he was looking for and was in the tight area that he most wanted to be in.
Indeed a happy ending for all parties involved. The seller was so relieved to have this major debt finally paid-off so he could move on in his life. The buyer was able to realize the dream for his family, and me … $ 75,000 made me smile … big time. Oh … and there's more. All those buyers that had called on this home … well most were upset that someone else got the home. But … I saved the names and found several other motivated sellers, and … made a bunch more people happy.
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