It could have been a disaster.
With an out-of-state seller and tenants who were refusing to cooperate, Realtor Lee Barr had no idea what state the home would in be once he was finally able to get inside.
All he could do was wait.
Out of State
The owner had already moved out of state and was renting the house to tenants. Once they decided to sell the home, Lee got on a Skype call with the seller, who signed the listing contract through email.
“The owner needed to sell ASAP,” Lee stated. “The renter wasn’t paying all of a sudden.”
Knowing that a timely sale was crucial for the seller, Lee quickly got all of the paperwork together, contacted a photographer to be ready to take photos, and put a For Sale sign in front of the house.
Unfortunately, that is all he would be able to do for months.
A Waiting Game
As Lee prepared to get listing photos and show the home, it became evident that he would not be able to get in the house. “We thought we were going to be able to show with tenants in it, but then they were not cooperative,” Lee explained.
As the eviction process got underway, the process to sell was stalled. With no rental income coming in, the seller was becoming even more anxious to get the house on the market.
The Calls Begin
As the months went by, there was little to do. Lee remained in contact with the seller to understand where they were at with the process, but not being able to get into the house halted the listing. Things were quiet.
And then, a call came in. Another realtor had passed the house, saw the For Sale sign and wanted to show it to interested buyers.
Then another call. And another. Most of them kept calling back, checking in on the progress every week.
Lee could only tell them what he knew: we have to wait until the tenants leave, and we are not sure about the condition of the interior.
Even so, Lee had a list of agents to call once the home did make it to the market.
The First Visit
After three months of waiting, the tenants were out of the house and Lee was able to look inside.
“I was scared that the renter would have been smashing holes in the wall because it was an eviction,” Lee explained. “Surprisingly, the house was nice and well-maintained.”
Once he had a look inside, Lee gave his short list of recommendations to the seller: refinish the hardwood floors, fix up the landscaping, and put in new carpet upstairs. The seller hired a company to do the floors, and his father-in-law handled the handyman issues.
Not wanting to wait any longer than necessary, Lee and the seller agreed to put the house on the market without getting any photos taken. Because the interest was already so high, Lee knew that it would sell quickly.
He let the Realtors who had called know that the house was ready and listed it for sale on the MLS.
That same day…
“The house stayed up (on the MLS) for about two hours before a written offer came in and was accepted,” Lee said.
How did the home sell so quickly?
All summer, houses in Griswold went under contract quickly. The town has numerous homes under $350,000, a good school system, strong community, interested buyers, and low inventory. Lee knew the home would sell.
As buyers, and their agents, searched the town for new houses going on the market, they kept passing the For Sale sign Lee posted. Because he had stayed in communication with the agents who had interested buyers, he had a pool of people who were waiting to see the home. Along with Lee’s constant contact with the seller and interested agents, the house was priced right for the current market.
So, after months of waiting, Lee’s seller was able to take a sigh of relief and accept a written offer in two hours.
Because we believe it’s important for you to see the other side, this series is for you to learn the ins and outs of the real estate industry. We’ll dissect why some homes sell when others don’t, what agents do behind the scenes, and what homeowners do that benefit – or sometimes destroy – the transaction.
These are the Stories Behind the Sale.
William Raveis Real Estate