Why I Love Selling Homes – Part 3
BY Lisa Friedman
One of my first sales after starting my new company is one that will always stick out in my mind as being such a rewarding and happy experience.
We received an ad call on one of our listings. The home was located in what were former officer’s quarters at a fort. These gracious homes from the 1890’s were converted into condos and townhomes. They are rich in architectural detail with features such as wide moldings, built-in cupboards, ornately detailed staircases, custom fireplaces, large windows and rocking chair front porches. The basement ceilings are very high because they used to house the horses.
We had recently acquired the listing after it had expired with another agency and the owner had tried selling it by owner. The wife of the young couple we sold the home to told us how she had always wanted to live in that neighborhood since she was a little girl. She grew up nearby and every time she passed these homes, she always wished to live there. She fell in love with someone in college and moved to another state. Her husband then got a job offer to teach at a local college. When they went on line to look at homes and saw our listing, they were so excited. They loved the pictures of the home in their ‘dream neighborhood’.
When they called, they had asked about renting because they had recently done a short sale on their home in Pennsylvania and were told that they would not qualify for a mortgage. It turns out that we could get them qualified, at a decent rate, and they could purchase the home. They were so excited!
Then, an unexpected challenge came up when the mortgage company asked the homeowner’s association to complete the condo questionnaire. It turned out that there was greater than 15% delinquency on association dues. This made the mortgage company deny the mortgage. We searched high and low for other mortgage companies who would approve the sale with the recent short sale and the above average delinquency rate on the association dues.
I called the association and asked how much money it would take to reduce the delinquency rate below 15%. They told me $1,800. I was all set to pay the $1,800 out of my own funds to bring the association delinquency rate below 15% so the buyer’s mortgage could get approved. I would still be making a good commission and I really wanted these buyers to have their dream home! Plus, in my fiduciary responsibility to the seller, I wanted to make the sale happen. The seller had moved out of the property several months before and could not afford to continue carrying the payments. As luck would have it, a mortgage company came through and I did not have to contribute the $1,800 so that was nice.
While the seller moved out of the area, the buyers invited me to their housewarming, Christmas and other parties. They have two beautiful little girls now and are so happy. The husband is walking distance to work and there is a child care facility walking distance as well. Talk about really feeling that you have made a difference in someone’s lives. This wonderful couple is so happy and living the great American dream and I helped make it happen! There is no greater joy for me than selling real estate in my dream career!
Here is a copy of the very nice testimonial letter that the buyers wrote:
My husband and I first contacted Lisa on 2/1/10 to enquire about the home we ultimately bought. We had seen it listed on Realtor.com and we were very eager to see it, as it was our dream home in our dream neighborhood. We were renters at the time and did not think we had the resources available to buy, but we knew that this particular kind of home in this neighborhood came up rarely. Lisa spoke of how she was so happy with the realization of a long-held dream to own her own agency. I think for Lisa, us buying our dream home with the help of her dream agency was exactly why she went into business in the first place. This was not the easiest sale. Because of our aforementioned financial situation, we were unsure if we would be able to find a lender. Lisa found us one. We lost that lender due to a technicality having to do with nonpayment of HOA fees by owners within the association. Lisa took the lead on this one. She was clearly tremendously invested in seeing us get what she knew to be our dream home. She went on, quite in earnest, to discuss the possibility of paying off other people’s late HOA fees out of her own pocket to make sure we could obtain a mortgage and close the sale. We subsequently found another lender and the HOA fee issue resolved itself, and we closed on our home 3/26/10. I think after my husband and I, the person who was happiest about the sale was Lisa. Our experience working with Lisa was extraordinary. Lisa was the listing agent but we never considered getting our own agent. She was absolutely our advocate, midwife, and cheerleader throughout the process. Lisa was able to negotiate tricky situations with grace and professionalism. This was the work of an experienced Realtor deeply invested in her business.
I love happy stories!