Stay with me on this…One of my short sale listings in, let say, Laguna Isles had sold a couple of months ago but when the sellers lender did the BPO (Broker Price Opinion) to “check” the contract sales price for accuracy…They didn’t like the $219000 figure and countered the buyer at $245,000. This home is NOT close to being worth that amount and the buyer/agent left…I begged for them to counter the bank as that’s what’s customary but they left…Leaving us with a home STILL needing to sell!
Enter a first time buyer, let’s call him…Tom with his agent…Let’s call him Jerry. Jerry has what seems to be little experience in actually managing a client, he’s more of an order taker and one who simply repeats what he’s told. I deal with this a lot as a listing agent so no real big deal. Tom, in making his offer…INSISTS on an answer (in writing) from my sellers lender on the short sale offer he’s making in 5 (FIVE) days!! What!!? He further insists through Jerry that his father bought a short under these same circumstances…5 day response! Folks, that don’t happen…
OK, we (I) successfully explain that we’ve had one offer die, we have a negotiator waiting for another offer and I expect it will be much LESS than the normal 2-4 months to wait for a formal response…Tom gives us 30 days! My title company that handles all my files is now under the gun to get it done and they do! We get an approval (Quite a nice one for my seller actually…No promissory note, full release of liability with a relatively small cash contribution!) and the world seems to be a wonderful place…
Now the contract starts to run with the buyers inspections being first to be completed. The buyer offers 2 times for the inspections and my sellers can accommodate one of them so in comes the inspector…Let’s call HIM Elmer. Now I have been present at…what…1000 inspections? I know what they do, what they say, what they look at and for…Elmer does little to none of it and got paid nearly $400 for 90 minutes of time…
While in the garage, Elmer calls Tom, Jerry myself and my seller out to show a piece of drywall in the garage m(maybe 18″ square) that appears to have (his words) mold on it…Sitting right next to the “mold” is a portable generator…What we use during storms and outages for power. As Elmer is showing this to us I step back 2 feet and look at the outside wall of the garage for a crack or something that would be allowing moisture intrusion because as we all (Elmer, Tom, Jerry…) know, it takes moisture to create mold. Elmer sees what I’m doing, and says…”No there is no crack, no moisture…This is dry…Maybe its from the generator?” but he indicates concern.
About 30 minutes later Elmer begins to present his total findings to Tom, Jerry my seller and me…Tom is visibly uncomfortable that the results of the inspection of my SELLERS home are being divulged to my SELLER and asks Elmer and Jerry outside to continue the overview…That;’s uncommon as we need to know what’s “wrong” based on the inspection to address the issues to the letter of the contract limits. In this case the contract has a $2000 limit. Meaning as long as the repairs are estimated at under $2000 we have a solid deal. All we are told about is broken caulk/grout in the master bath shower, the doorbell is INOP and exposed wires in the ceiling in the hallway (Hey Elmer…That’s a smoke detector)
10 minutes or so later, without warning Elmer, Tom and Jerry leave and the inspections are over. Now we wait for the report to see if we’ve gone over $2000. My seller, who is now off the rest of the day, and who has 2 very small kids…Grabs a rag, some water and bleach and cleans the garage wall…It comes perfectly clean! Cool!! Right!!?
Now it’s been nearly 2 hours since Elmer, Tom and Jerry left and Jerry calls stating the inspector wants to come and do an interior air sample mold test tomorrow…He gives me 2 times that Tom gave him and I call my seller to schedule. My seller agrees to either time and says “guess what! I wiped the wall and it’s perfectly clean!” Great I say and call Jerry to inform of the acceptable interior mold test and inform that the seller did clean the wall………Uh OH! That sets the trio into a real tail spin! “Why did he do that?” they scream!! “He’s compromised my test” explains Elmer…”You’re trying to hide something” says Tom…No, my seller simply cleaned a spot on the wall of HIS garage that was pointed out to him after Elmer moved his generator. It IS still my sellers house, right!? Why did you all go outside and discuss the findings and leave…Not hinting at another inspection? Had you done so, we would have done nothing. But you left us in the dark.
For nearly 90 MORE minutes I am bombarded by nasty emails and calls from Tom nad Jerry (of course, Tom’s telling him to call I suppose) and the mold test is cancelled while Tom “considers his options”. Did I mention we finally receive the inspection report and it’s coming in at $3800!! (enough to allow the buyer to back out if he chooses) and that’s before the mold test. The inspection is…I’m sorry…Silly and the estimates are…Unbelieveable. That said, we are now waiting to have the mold thing rescheduled which it finally is…That happened yesterday.
Elmer brings his air sample equipment…(basically a small compressor that sucks in air through a membrane to collect airborne samples) He does one in the garage, one it the master bath and a control sample outside. Jerry is there, I am, my seller but no Tom, anyway…As we finally are leaving Elmer says he will “push” the report and get the results for Tom by tomorrow at an extra cost (he said that 2 times, and his grin got bigger each time)
So we wait…For the results…Today…With a pissed off buyer, agent and inspector all because…IN GOOD FAITH, my seller…WIPED his wall! Is the deal going to die? I don’t know. But I do know this…Someday I’m going to write a book, not just a BLOG because you simply CAN’T make this stuff up!