Have you ever closed a real estate transaction with a client you've never met in person? It's challenging and frustrating, but can be oh so rewarding! My buyer client is in Afghanistan at Bagram and found me through ActiveRain. Back in July (!) he contacted me about finding a home in Addison TX for his ex and young son and where he will live when he returns to the States.
Communication with the buyer, RC, was done via email. During the 4-month process, he called only 4 or 5 times. He did not have a number that I could use to call him. The ex-spouse, CC, lives in an Addison apartment and was readily accessible. She became his eyes and ears in Texas.
Besides the limited communications, there was the challenge of the overseas notary issue. RC did not want to assign his Power of Attorney to anyone. One local title company with a very well known Dallas attorney at the helm told me that there was no way to make this work unless RC went to the US Embassy or the Consulate to have the closing documents notarized. Because he is not a member of the military (he is a subcontractor for the Department of Defense) he could not use a military notary, we were told. When I relayed this information, RC had a good chuckle and said you can't just walk off the base and go anywhere. Thus began the search for a title company that could make this happen. We found one in August, Stewart Title.
Initially, our search focused on properties in Addison, TX. I had a list of required features from RC. Unfortunately, they did not mesh with the desires of CC. Ultimately, what RC ended up with was a blend of the two. The first home we looked at was in a high rise condo, The Aventura. Then we looked at a high rise condo across the Tollway. CC decided a high rise condo is not the best place to raise a child. There was nothing in Addison that met the criteria, so we head north to Plano.
After a two-month search, we found THE HOUSE. Negotiations took a few weeks. We fortunately had a very understanding seller/agent. The closing date was set for mid-November, but we had to extend it to the end of the month because RC was off the base with a security detail and was without internet connectivity for two stints. Finally, all was in place and the closing documents were sent off to Afghanistan. RC signed them, a Staff Judge Advocate notarized them, and the paperwork was headed back to the states that same day. The final glitch was the DHL delivery. So close, yet so far! The closing packet made it to Coppell, then somehow was on a truck to Waco! A few calls by the title company and the package was returned to Farmers Branch where a courier picked it up and brought it to the Stewart Title office. That afternoon, the seller signed the papers, the loan was funded and CC received the keys to the house.
Thanks ActiveRain for this unique experience!