Don't take a fake wife to a Real Estate closing!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Ambassador

fake wifeThere are oodles of "don't do this" and "be sure to do that" lists available on the net for real estate advice but I thought I would rack my brain of 23+ years of real estate experience for a few ‘non-traditional' pieces of advice. Everything you are about to read is true. SOME names, however, are changed to protect the... the... less than smart.

Don't take a fake wife to closing. I had sold an investment property to this particular buyer a few years back. When the title department was preparing the closing paperwork, they discovered the buyer was married. They called him and told him he would have to bring his wife to closing to sign all of the closing paperwork. He arrived at closing with his wife, getting ready to sign all the docs. The loan officer, Ted, then asked them for photo ID to verify their identities. She said she forgot her purse at home. Ted said "No problem, run home and get it and we'll get back together in an hour." What followed was several minutes of eerie silence until the buyer finally fessed up and said, "Um, this isn't my wife."

So away they went and an hour later he did indeed bring his ‘real' wife to closing, not his girlfriend. But here's the kicker, It was the wife's idea not to come. She told him she was too busy and wanted him to take ‘Amy' instead... True story...

Tell your loan officer the truth (part 1). I had sold a house I affectionately called the patriotic house because every room was red, white, and blue. The buyer had a prestigious job at a large local railroad company and his loan application went fine, or so we thought. This was before loan officers ran full credit checks and did just ‘preliminary qualifications' with income, debts, and job history.

One of the questions asked as "Mr Jones, do you pay child support?" to which "Mr Jones" answered "No." Fast forward a week when the full credit report came in and he was over $30,000 behind in back child support payments. The loan officer called him on the phone and was told the following; "Mr Larsen, you asked me if I PAYED child support, not if I was supposed to pay it. I don't pay it!" You just can't make this stuff up!

Tell your loan officer the truth (part II). Same question, a couple of years later with a young couple in the loan officer's office when the following question was posed: "Are you obligated to pay child support?" He nodded yes while she nodded no... Turns out there was a little ‘Mr. buyer' running around that he failed to disclose to Mrs Buyer... They stepped out into the hall to have a discussion and never came back in... Guess that one should have been titled ‘telling your wife the truth'.. Yikes!

You never know who's watching... This story took place before the internet when we actually had big thick MLS books that came out biweekly with all of the homes for sale in them. All the info was turned in by the real estate companies but the MLS office took exterior photos of all the homes. One of the agents in the office had taken a client out to lunch whose house he had just listed.

When they got back, the MLS books had just arrived. Don said "Hey Charlie, I think your house should be in this issue." So they thumbed through the book and lo and behold ‘Charlie's house' was in there. Upon further inspection Charlie said "Hey, what's my boss's car doing in MY driveway?" Well, you guessed it, turns out Charlie's wife and boss had a little something going on. Apparently, the boss would make sure "Charlie" was busy on projects in the office for several hours at a time. Busted!

Watch future blogs for more stories about this nutty business. One thing's for sure, good market or bad, there's never a dull day in Real Estate!

Bill Swanson is an agent with CBSHome Real Estate, an affiliate of HomeServices and Berkshire Hathaway.

For more information, email Bill at Bill.Swanson@cbshome.com.

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Re-Blogged 10 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John Cobb, REALTOR - Warner Robins Georgia Homes for Sale 02/14/2010 12:35 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 02/14/2010 12:41 AM
  3. Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team 02/14/2010 01:31 AM
  4. Joetta Fort 02/14/2010 02:23 AM
  5. Monica Hess 02/14/2010 03:08 AM
  6. Marcy Moyer 02/14/2010 08:00 AM
  7. Kathy Schowe 02/14/2010 12:17 PM
  8. Mark Rienzie 02/15/2010 02:31 AM
  9. DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones 02/16/2010 05:38 AM
  10. Laurel Stone 02/17/2010 01:57 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Nebraska
Tags:
closings
loans
humor

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Anonymous
CaroleWilliams

I now have really good reasons when I explain to my clients why they need to have their photo ID with them at closing. 

Your stories are hysterical!  And I know we all have similar stories from accidentally rolling an automatic car window on a Buyer's hand to finding strange cars parked in the driveway in the middle of the day when the other spouse is at work or out-of-town, and you have an appointment to show the house!!  Time does get away from you, doesn't it?!  What else can you say?

I think we can all write a book.

Feb 15, 2010 11:59 AM #156
Rainer
33,814
Susan Lehmkuhl
Buy and Sell Smart Realty, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Associate Broker

Great stories!

Personally I haven't had any such experiences but a friend in my office had one.....she took a young couple out to look at houses.  As was her habit, she let them wander through the house on their own to get a feel for the property.  After a few LONG minutes with the couple not returning to her in the main living area, she went to find them.  Find them she did.....trying out the master bedroom!  She told them to put their clothes back on and meet her downstairs.....

That's the last time she allowed clients to wander a house on their own!

Feb 16, 2010 02:31 AM #157
Rainer
62,444
Virginia (Ginger) Schott
Century 21 Geba Realty Assoc. - Port Jervis, NY
Assoc. Broker, CBR, CHMS

Wow LMAO.  You just can't make this stuff up.

Feb 16, 2010 02:36 AM #158
Rainer
62,444
Virginia (Ginger) Schott
Century 21 Geba Realty Assoc. - Port Jervis, NY
Assoc. Broker, CBR, CHMS

Wow LMAO.  You just can't make this stuff up.

Feb 16, 2010 02:37 AM #159
Rainmaker
180,551
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

You should ask every agent you know to write a paragraph about their experience and you would probably have one of the greatest real estate guides ever.

Feb 16, 2010 05:35 AM #160
Anonymous
Joel

This is really a mortgage story- (I am also a mortgage broker).  One Sunday, a lawyer friend of mine, in a small firm (I was the "official" real estate broker for the entire firm- which was two lawyers and one full tiime and one part time secretary) and I met to discuss  an  upcoming closing of an estate condo.

 

The attorney was wearing a pair of shorts, tee shirt and sandals.  (The office was a block from the beach)  I was wearing slacks and a sport shirt.  The door was open, and an older man (looked to be about 70 or so) walked in- asking" is there a lawyer present?".  The laawwyer said, "yes"; the man then turned to me, and asked if I do foreclosures.  (He was carrying a large file).  The attorney said, "yes:, and the man continued to address me--he had a 2ND,3RD, 4Th, and about 10 or 15 (no exaggeration) other mortgages on a waterfront property, (I have never- beofre or since- seen or heard of a property with about 20 or so mortgages).  Most were small- several hundred dollars to a thousand or two. The attorney reviewed the paperwork - all were signed by the owners (husband and wife), and recorded.  The attorney then asked, " why all of these small amounts?"  "To me, " he continued, " it looks like you are a small time drug dealer, and these were small time dope deals".  (This was Miami).  The man looked hurt and upset.  He took his papers and screamed, "how dare you, how dare you call me a drug dealer.  I am a pimp.  These bills were unpaid when I provided- depending upon what they wanted, a guy or a girl for a threesome".

 

He stormed out of the office.  Never to return.

 

But, the story had a happy ending- I knew the owners name and address, and stopped by- omitting the man- and offered to refinance their home- which I did.  (I said I was looking through tax records- the Internet was not yet what it is now  and came across all  of the encumberances).

Feb 16, 2010 07:00 AM #161
Rainmaker
135,495
Jennifer Kirby
Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
The Luxury Agent

LOL! We all have so many stories to tell...some are not always good, so it is nice to read some funny ones.

Feb 16, 2010 07:09 AM #162
Rainer
76,539
Sabrina Kelley
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Woodland Park, CO
Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land

You never know when suddenly at the closing table your clever buyer /seller will become an instant fool.

I would ask what are they thinking but I know that they really are not even close to thinking.

Feb 16, 2010 12:03 PM #163
Rainer
15,485
Jinx Cole
Crye-Leike - Brentwood, TN

Quite enjoyable.  Humor is always a great antecdote for those "never-a-dull-moment days!

Feb 17, 2010 12:18 AM #164
Rainmaker
481,097
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Thanks to all for sharing! Very enjoyable and certainly makes the abnormal happenings (at least for me) a lot more bearable.

Bruce

 

Feb 17, 2010 01:27 AM #165
Rainmaker
92,179
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

WOW!  LOL, thanks for the humorous in the trenches stories! Keep them coming!

Feb 18, 2010 03:56 AM #166
Rainer
135,632
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
www.professionalinvestorsguild.com

Hilarious.  We should think about collecting stories like this from around the country for a comical book about our profession.  Thanks for the post.  It helps to add a little humor to my business reading for the day!

Feb 20, 2010 05:21 AM #167
Rainmaker
230,847
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

I'm a little late reading this, but the title grabbed me so I saved it for when I had time. Hilarious! You just can't make this stuff up.  We should have a group titled "You Can't Make this Stuff up!"

Feb 20, 2010 08:22 AM #168
Rainer
8,990
Bob Sweazy
Prudential A. S. de Movellan Real Estate - Lexington, KY

Great stories, great laughs.

Feb 21, 2010 05:56 AM #169
Rainer
22,296
Norma Crouse
HER Realtors - Pataskala, OH
Norma Crouse

Ok, your blog is hilarious!!  It doesn't surprise me a bit, people lie all the time - I don't know why though, they must think realtors and loan people are stupid.  I can laugh at other people's funny situations, but if it was me at a closing I would be pretty embarrassed. 

Mar 20, 2010 09:13 AM #170
Anonymous
Joel

This is not funny- but a feel good story.

 

I was asked by a PMI firm to do a bpo, and also see the interior- thre was a tenant.  The PMI firm gave me a phone number, and I called one evening.  The tenant was a pleasant lady, and invited me to come over the following evening.

 

Now, a few weeks before there was a major college football game, and the hero was a small, substitute ( who rarely played) and (as I recall) he intercepted a pass and returned it for the winning tochdown-.

 

He became a local hero, and the fact that he was small (well under 6') added to the glory.

 

Anyhow, I go to the condo, and there is the lady I spoke to, and her mother, who was in her 70's or so.  And about a dozen photos of the hero in the game mentioned above.  I inquired, why all of the pictures.  The woman said that he is ehr nephew-her mother's eeldest grandson.  I suggested that she might want to buy the unit- and she was for it.

 

I called the PMI firm, and then we had a 3 way with the lender (portfolio lender- anyone besides me rememebr them?).  I told the lender the situationm, and my values. In passing, I mentioned that the woman and her mother were the aunt and grandmother of X, the hero of the game.  The lender then said--"OK, here is the deal- if the PMI firm approves- price $Y ( my bpo price-which was accurate); the lender will finance 90-95%; will eat closing costs; only pre-paids and down payment,  IF THE WOMAN WOULD GET AT LEAST 1 AUTOGRAPHED PICTURE OF THE HERO (of the football game)  with something to show it was to his young son.  This was the strangest thing (condition) I ever heard of, and asked why- before the pmi firm could.  The resposne- his son was a runt- small, very small, for his age; other kids always made fun of him.  When this guy became the hero-of the game, he bacame this bank official son's hero and idol- and role model- if this small guy can do this to win a football game, he ( the bank official's kid) can do anything.

 

Deal closed; I got a full (double/both sides) commission; all were happy.  (The football player gave about 6 or 10 pictures, all in different poses, all signed in BLUE ink, so all could see that they were real and not photocopies.  I think the player also met the kid, to give him a pep talk.

Mar 20, 2010 01:30 PM #171
Anonymous
Joel

This is not funny- but a feel good story.

 

I was asked by a PMI firm to do a bpo, and also see the interior- thre was a tenant.  The PMI firm gave me a phone number, and I called one evening.  The tenant was a pleasant lady, and invited me to come over the following evening.

 

Now, a few weeks before there was a major college football game, and the hero was a small, substitute ( who rarely played) and (as I recall) he intercepted a pass and returned it for the winning tochdown-.

 

He became a local hero, and the fact that he was small (well under 6') added to the glory.

 

Anyhow, I go to the condo, and there is the lady I spoke to, and her mother, who was in her 70's or so.  And about a dozen photos of the hero in the game mentioned above.  I inquired, why all of the pictures.  The woman said that he is ehr nephew-her mother's eeldest grandson.  I suggested that she might want to buy the unit- and she was for it.

 

I called the PMI firm, and then we had a 3 way with the lender (portfolio lender- anyone besides me rememebr them?).  I told the lender the situationm, and my values. In passing, I mentioned that the woman and her mother were the aunt and grandmother of X, the hero of the game.  The lender then said--"OK, here is the deal- if the PMI firm approves- price $Y ( my bpo price-which was accurate); the lender will finance 90-95%; will eat closing costs; only pre-paids and down payment,  IF THE WOMAN WOULD GET AT LEAST 1 AUTOGRAPHED PICTURE OF THE HERO (of the football game)  with something to show it was to his young son.  This was the strangest thing (condition) I ever heard of, and asked why- before the pmi firm could.  The resposne- his son was a runt- small, very small, for his age; other kids always made fun of him.  When this guy became the hero-of the game, he bacame this bank official son's hero and idol- and role model- if this small guy can do this to win a football game, he ( the bank official's kid) can do anything.

 

Deal closed; I got a full (double/both sides) commission; all were happy.  (The football player gave about 6 or 10 pictures, all in different poses, all signed in BLUE ink, so all could see that they were real and not photocopies.  I think the player also met the kid, to give him a pep talk.

Mar 20, 2010 01:30 PM #172
Rainer
84,056
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

Just too funny. While I can't believe that people really do this, I CAN believe that people do these, and other, crazy things.

Apr 08, 2010 05:06 AM #173
Anonymous
Tim Peach

Now read in your best Paul Harvey voice. LOL. I cant wait to tell at the next NTR outing....

Jun 15, 2010 05:48 PM #174
Anonymous
Tim Peach

Now read in your best Paul Harvey voice. LOL. I cant wait to tell at the next NTR outing....

Jun 15, 2010 05:48 PM #175
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