Why I Did Not File the Deed!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Community Partners

After six years I still learn something new everyday!

I have a client who is buying a home from a seller who purchased the home on the courthouse steps. The seller, with his investment group, paid cash for the property.

As we finalized the agreement with the seller we did negotiate with one disadvantage. We did not know what the seller paid for the home. Why? Because the seller had not filed the deed with the county!

After we finalized the agreement I brought up this point with the seller. The seller waited to file the deed because he did not want any potential buyers to know how much he paid for the home.

This seller has purchased numerous foreclosure homes in the North Atlanta area. After he purchases a home he does what he feels is needed to ready the home for sale. Obviously repairs and upgrades cost money and are taken in account when he prices the home.

The problem in the past is that potential buyers look up the home on the tax records, see what the seller paid for the home, and offer a slightly higher amount. There is no regard for repairs or upgrades made to the home. In many cases he has been offered $5000 to $10,000 more than what he paid for a property!

So this seller holds the deed as long as he can.

Of course once our deal is finalized the deed needs to be filed. If it is not filed the lender will not approve the deal and the lawyer cannot do a credible title search.

An interesting strategy in this crazy market!


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Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Randy, this is a new one on me as well.  I have never heard of this, but I can certainly see how advantageous it would be for the seller.

Nov 19, 2011 10:30 AM #1
Virginia Kail
Investments, starter houses, luxury homes,farms, acreage - Cookeville, TN
American Way Real Estate, Homes and Land for Sale


I have an investor in the family, and she almost never files her deeds either. The one problem I can see with this strategy is that it could create complete chaos if the seller passes away, especially if they own lots of properties.  The family members could be left to sort through a real mess.

Nov 19, 2011 10:41 AM #2
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Randy - Your investor is right.  Buyers do search the public records and if they see a recent sale, they don't want that investor to profit.  It's sad, but they don't understand all of the work and cost that goes into fixing a home up.  It's an interesting strategy that your investor has come up with to delay the information process.

Nov 19, 2011 10:59 AM #3
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Roswell, GA
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

This is how the banks are handling foreclosure deeds these days because the HOA will not charge them with the HOA until the foreclosrue deed is filed, they wait until they have an offer to file the sheriff deed.  These are unusual times here in Georgia and across our nation.

Nov 19, 2011 12:19 PM #4
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Randy and Sue Wells

Nobody Knows Your Home Like a Neighbor!
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