Sunday, June 16, 2013

How can we miss you when you won't go away? Or the story of the Studio City condo

This is the story of the Studio City condo that my buyer closed on last month.  The names have been changed to protect the guilty.  Yes, this was one of the bad ones.

My buyer had made several offers already when this condo came on the market in early February.  Our offer on it was immediately accepted. Yay!  It was a short sale, but the short sale was approved in record time – also “yay” and “it’s a miracle” -- and we prepared to close 30 days later in mid-April.

A week before closing, the seller’s dad announced that they had no idea the condo was closing and they not only would not be leaving, they also would not sign the necessary paperwork to close it.  We were incredulous. How could that be? Well, turns out that they just hadn’t found a suitable place to move to yet.  At that point, not only had my buyer made moving plans that were difficult to alter, but his loan documents were ready, and the condo itself was about to go to foreclosure if it didn’t close shortly.

Through the coming days/weeks, the seller’s dad refused to give us a closing date or a move-out date.  Contract? Ha! It meant nothing to the sellers.  Nobody could budge them.  The communications were extensive – I have over 400 emails about this in my file and that’s just me (so much for you guys that think we Realtors just open doors and say, “Here’s the kitchen.”)  The sellers stopped communicating with those of us who they believed to be “against” them.  I pretty much assumed that this was a lost cause.

Where was the listing agent? Missing in action. Why didn’t my buyer client cancel the sale? Because the condo was perfect for him and, sadly, by late April he was already priced out of the Studio City housing market.

Although it is typically discouraged, my buyer reached out to the seller dad.  And seller dad began to communicate directly with the buyer.  They actually got somewhere (by this time the seller dad had pretty much alienated everybody else on the team, and my buyer has the magic touch.) Of course, my buyer had to do the accommodating. The foreclosure was postponed again. Whew!  And a month after it was supposed to close, the seller dad gave my buyer a date for both closing and for possession.  My buyer was able to move his plans around to accommodate the new date.

And the closing finally, finally occurred. The sellers moved out.  As much agony as we went through, my buyer client’s efforts made this happen.  We were thrilled to celebrate on his new patio last week, and toast the buyer’s persistence.

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