Monday, November 3, 2014

Is It This House?

Last month the blog was the first of many on “Family Matters.” It was about the Addams Family and the dysfunction within it regarding a house we had purchased and flipped. Speaking of family, one of my favorite stories from the late Zig Ziglar is one he told at a conference. He said he was on an airplane and visiting with the man next to him. This man had a wedding band on his middle finger. Zig looked at him and said, “Your wedding ring is on the wrong finger!”, in his southern twang with a tinge of a drawl. The man looked up and said, “I married the wrong woman.” Zig emphatically exclaimed HE hadn’t married the wrong woman and took the opportunity to mention his wife. It was trademark Zig. That brings us to today's blog. What if you bought the wrong house? What if you sold the wrong house? What if you tore down the wrong house? Well, tearing down the wrong house isn’t funny. But, it did happen to a friend of mine. They DID tear down the wrong house. But, these are MY real estate experiences, not his. So, I won’t tell that story. Although, it is quite funny…

Let me bring you back a few years. We were flipping houses by simply tying them up and flipping the contracts. In a previous blog I mentioned how this is done. So, if you don’t know you will have to read the others to find the answer. I won’t even tell you which one. Don’t worry, they aren’t long. Well, except that one blog, it was long. But, the rest are reasonably shorter. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you again, it’s simply that I want more people to read more of my blogs. So, go ahead, read the other ones and then come back. I’ll just wait here.

While the few people that haven’t read the other blogs are gone I will plow forward without them. I hope they don’t mind.

We had a fellow working for us. His name was “Aaron” and he was getting started in real estate. He found a lead from a seller and drove to the property. The addresses weren’t too clear. But, he happened to see it. The house was boarded up just like she said. However, the code wouldn’t open the lockbox. He called the seller. No answer. So, he snooped around and got some basics from the property without getting inside and then he called Jack. Jack agreed it was a deal and we would get inside once we confirmed the code.

We went into contract, opened escrow, and marketed the property. Well... “marketed the property” is a relative phrase. In those days we simply made some phone calls and sent a few emails. We didn’t have photos. We didn’t have video. We just had the simple details on the bed, bath and beyond. Wait, I can’t say that! "Bed, bath and beyond" is trademarked. Oops.

Jack found a buyer and told him to meet at the property. Jack and Aaron went to the property early to meet the buyer. When they got there the lock box still didn’t work. They called the seller. No answer. They walked around the property and VOILĂ€! The back door was unlocked! They walked in to see inside for the first time. They checked out the property. They unlocked the front door. Aaron’s phone rang and it was the buyer. He asked where they were. Aaron said at the property. The buyer said, “So am I. I don’t see a car. Did you walk here?” Aaron said, “No. We drove and parked out front.” They confirmed the address. Weird. They were at the same address but not at the same house. Confusion. The buyer told Aaron he was in a red pickup.

Aaron and Jack went outside and walked out to the street. Down the road a few houses and across the street was a red pickup. They looked at the curb and saw their mistake. They had transposed the numbers! They were at the wrong house. Jack quickly went back and secured it. Aaron told the buyer they were down the road at another vacant house. The buyer asked, “Do you own the WHOLE block?”

They walked up to the house and tried the lockbox code. It worked just fine! Imagine that! Their first walkthrough of the house was with the buyer. He liked the house. And, he bought it. He asked Aaron if he had any others. Aaron said he was working on another one just down the street and would let him know when it became available. It didn’t. That seller did not want to sell.

And that is Real Estate in my corner of the Globe.