I use to prospect by knocking on doors or distributing fliers. That gives me some phone calls and leads.
One of them was from a young couple with 2 kids. She called me to pass by and discuss what I can do in order to list and sell her home.
I stopped by and was in front of a nice and cozy wood frame house with a big basement that includes a 2 car garage.
At the dining room table, she explained that her husband and her were behind payment, that they needed to sell yesterday.
But the market was slow. I immediately understood that it will be a tricky listing. That couple was in trouble and needed to get the home sold as soon as possible. They knew that with the market, it will be difficult.
I took the listing. We signed the paper works and I said I’ll get in touch on a weekly basis.
They had their small electric company. Her husband was electrician and she took care of the paper work and customer care plus appointments and so on.
But the business was not good enough. And those financial distress made it even harder on their life as a couple.
After a couple of weeks, I had few showing, because we were agreed to list it at a below market value to make it faster.
But still, no offer on the table. So we were back on the dining room table again. I was bringing an idea for her.
It was what I sometimes offer to sellers as an investor: taking over the payments… and the house!
I explained how it works, what for her and what’s for me, how we can get this done smoothly and easily, how I could go around the bank, etc…
So, basically, the house worth $160K with an existing balance mortgage of about $140K.
I, of course, disclose everything I had too, the fact that I was an agent, that I could sell it with a profit later on, that she would walk away from the closing table with no money and no house. She agreed.
I paid the due payments and did a quit claim. I just had a house for the few thousands late payments.
She was relieved. She called me several times telling how glad she was, that now, she sleep much better even if she was going through her divorce, the situation had killed her marriage.
She was starting over. From her father’s garage converted in a room for her and her 2 young children, she was studying to become a nurse. It was a 2 years thing. 2 years that I enjoy the house for myself.
She didn’t call me after those 2 years, I did. She was working as a nurse, a high demand position. She was re-building her life, her credit and I was making her payment, keeping her credit score as intact as possible. She was very courageous.
I had an offer for her: to get her home back. For free. She got me the back payments I paid for her and we did a quit claim again.
She was back in her home with her 2 children. She had the little improvements I did in the house. Few walls in the basement, hardwood flooring and fresh painting.
It’s been a great feeling to be able to help someone in one of the most difficult time of her life. And very rewarding.
Of course I had a call from the bank, but we agree that a check from an unknown person is better than no check at all.
I passed by time to time, but without disturbing. A little kitten has been included to the family and the small cherry tree I planted in the yard has become stronger, battling hard weather. Life goes on. I think I was making her a favor but when I decided to quit claim it back to her, she really made my day thinking all she went through and all she became.
To be a Realtor is a true privilege. We got most of the times more than decent check for most of the times less hard work than some people. We need to realize that and never take it for granted. Look around and ask yourself: “how can I help someone today, for free?”
You may get the highest pay check ever: satisfaction of a job well done.
Feb 06 2011