I received a call from an ad I had placed in the Chinese version of Home and Land. The lady sounded older and had broken english and said she was interviewing agents to sell her 3 unit building and purchase a high end condo in the $1M range.
When I followed up from our first call, I had the comps for her building and a list of nice condos in San Francisco. She said we would meet at 10:30 AM on Sunday, which happened to be Valentines Day and also Chinese New Year to talk about business, and then we could go have brunch.
When I pulled up in front of her building, I called to let her know I was down stairs and the first thing she did when she got in the car was to show me she had $1.7M in her bank account. When I told her it wasn't neccessary to show me, she said I just don't want you to ask if I am pre-approved for a loan. Note: ( I have sold hundreds of properties and dealt with many Asian investors and no one has every showed me proof of funds, at least not at first.)
When we got to brunch, I got a very funny feeling that this potential seller really wanted a lunch date. or a free meal. I got an odd look from the young gal who seated us.
Right then and there I wanted to ask her, are you looking to do business or are you looking for a free lunch? I thought to myself to just play it cool. During lunch, she showed me pictures of a Jack in the Box she owns along with it's lease and asked if I do commercial real estate as well. Yes I told her.
To make a long story short, I met with her again and once again all we did was have lunch. I even told my wife the first time that I had a funny feeling about this lady, but this time she showed me her owners unit and also a vacant unit in her triplex. She also told me she no longer wanted a condo, and that she would move into a rental she owned when her tenant moved out at the end of March.
Well, I must be a glutten for punishment because I met her a 3rd time, but explained to her that when we met, we needed to go over the comps and sign the listing for the 3 units. We met, but she wouldn't sign the listing agreement until she took it home and read it first.
I'm waiting to meet with her again so we can move forward with the listing, but my instincts tell me this is a scam. If we do meet, it will not be for lunch. Trust me!
Last week my client and I spoke and she informed me that she no longer wanted to sell her triplex, but wanted me to meet her the following day and write an offer for an Applebee's she was interested in.
When I informed her that I would change my schedule and come over and write the offer, but I wouldn't have time for lunch, she hung up.
Next time I will follow my instincts.
Has anything like this ever happened to you?