Cheap Foreclosures in the Moonlight

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 Lic. #01871795

Cheap Foreclosures in the Moonlight

It happened again last week.  I bumped into a family at a restaurant and upon learning my occupation, the wife approached me with that dreamy look in her eyes and said “Real estate... you must have so much flexibility!”  I begrudgingly admitted “Yes, I do.”  I didn’t elaborate.  I didn’t want to encourage or discourage her, as she had "the look" in her eyes.  You definitely know when someone wants to get their real estate license  when they approach you and mention the “flexible hours" or tell you that they “love looking at houses.”  I suppose the desire has to originate somewhere.


However, that day I felt it best to say nothing more.  After all, it was Sunday afternoon, and she and her family were enjoying a nice brunch after church and probably about to retire to an afternoon and early evening of game watching activity.  My husband and I, on the other hand, were being “flexible.”  I decided to close my open house 15 minutes early so we could make the last seating for lunch.  After that, we had to figure out how to do our weekly grocery shopping, and complete BPO pictures before darkness hit as we did not have enough daylight to do both.  We were just discussing whether we thought our perishables might make it through the proposed trip when I bumped into this happy group.  In the end, we opted to complete the assignment and possibly eat canned and freezer burned food until our flexible schedule would allow shopping next Sunday.

As I went through the next week, I reflected on all my flexibility.  I called short sale lenders at 8am because that is when they are most likely to answer the phone.  I skipped lunch so that clients who could sneak away at lunch to view properties could still make it home in time to have dinner with their kids that evening.  Each day I ate dinner at 4pm or 8pm because many of my clients got off work at 5pm and I needed to be flexible and show them houses.  And after 8pm, I stayed up writing offers, so that my clients could e-sign them that evening before the next day’s demands.  That weekend, I held an open house and still managed to show homes with disgruntled tenants and day sleepers, as well as empty REOs that required bank pre approvals and signed mold waivers just to view.  


Indeed, flexibility is also required when trying to find "a deal" for your clients too.  That same week, I had a client who was willing to drive two hours to view a home that same night, a juicy foreclosure deal that popped up at the last minute.  So I had to be flexible and show this home in the evening.  We had to play Marco Polo to find each other in the dark on the street and then I suddenly realized that the home was actually already being shown -- it's just that there was no electricity.  The other real estate agent kindly offered me his flashlight for the viewing.  Fortunately (and sadly), I was prepared and went back to my car to retrieve my  own flashlight.  

I love what I do; however, I wonder if people understand that flexibility sometimes means looking at cheap foreclosures in the moonlight.

Tni LeBlanc is an independent Real Estate Broker, Attorney, and Short Sale Agent. She has successfully completed short sales with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, CHASE , GMAC, Seterus, IndyMac, CitiMortgage, Green Tree Servicing, Specialized Loan Servicing,  HomEq Servicing, Wachovia, Coast Hills Federal Credit Union, Select Portfolio Servicing, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac,  and others.  

* Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker. This article offers no legal or tax advice. Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement.  Tni LeBlanc and MInt properties are not affiliated or endorsed by any lender.

Copyright© 2013 Tni LeBlanc *Cheap Foreclosures in the Moonlight*

Posted by

Tni LeBlanc, Broker
(805) 878-9879 mobile/text
CalBRE #01871795

Comments (32)

Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Tni: Very good point! That is the side of real estate that no one wants to talk about--that look that she had in her eyes?? I'll bet you anything that look would appear even when you tell her that story about the real schedule you have!!! ....and she would think you were stretching the truth too. People really do not know what we go through--no one can until they end up here in this great profession! Thnaks for a terrific post...

Jan 22, 2013 06:54 AM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Dear Tni: To be flexible in our time management is part of being a Realtor. For me it requires a lot of patience & understanding in an age where people want it right now & will leave you if I cannot meet their time demands. You sound very intelligent & you must have a lot of patience. I try to follow your example,  sINCERELY, jIMMY fAULKNER

Jan 22, 2013 07:23 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Well, Tni, I gotta say.  You work a whole lot harder than I do!  Good for you.

Jan 22, 2013 07:29 AM
Chuck Mixon
The Keyes Company - Cutler Bay, FL
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR

The License is easy it is the work after the License that is work.

Jan 22, 2013 10:20 AM
Sherry Chastain
Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee - Hendersonville, TN
Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales

Yes you gotta love it! You didn't at all mention the flexible pay, that one will put stars in their eyes!

Jan 22, 2013 01:04 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Tni - I love the photo with the six arms.  It's just so appropriate.

Jan 22, 2013 02:34 PM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Paula - I suppose that it is nice to be in a profession that is idealized by many.  Still it is funny that people who work set schedules don't realize what flexibility entails!  I wasn't in the mood to bust any bubbles!

Hi Jimmy - So true.  I am in communication overload most of the time.  This message then that message then another.  You have to stay flexible and keep up with it all!   LOL.

Hi Pat - I doubt that!  But yes I do work hard,

Jan 22, 2013 02:42 PM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Chuck - Very true!

Sherry - Yes flexible pay on top of it all!  

Christine - Thanks I thought so too! 

Jan 22, 2013 02:42 PM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

I'm sure the kids, if there are some, would like "prime time" with mom.  Nonetheless, they're learning a valuable lesson by watching hard-working mom.  Don't get a RE license.  Just kidding.  Kids learn by modeling their parents and you're teaching yours that sometimes hard work, long hours, inflexible schedules are necessary to provide a good life for loved ones.  They'll appreciate those lessons for a lifetime.  My guess: your mom had a schedule like yours when she was your age.  That's modeling.  

Jan 22, 2013 03:58 PM
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

I know the feeling, answering emails from my phone at 11pm while lying in bed and checking them again as soon as I wake up at 5am on my way to the gym.  I've been so "flexible" I haven't taken a day off in 2013!  I think flexible usually just means "pulled in a lot of different directions!"

Jan 22, 2013 08:50 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I absolutely love your style of writing.  

I am so flexible, that I can work all the time!  In fact, I was working yesterday (on my day off HA!) until about 10:00 pm.  

Real estate is what you make it.  I see guys working 20 hours a week and having a ton of flexibility.  Then I see the rest of us.  Good post.  :)

Jan 22, 2013 09:24 PM
Steve Warrene
Your Town Realty - Lower Burrell, PA
Pittsburgh Realtor North and East Pgh.

Most of the activities we have is from 5-9p.  The sad part is alot of agents don't wonk after 5 or 6p.  I have shown houses up to midnight before.  Out lockboxes shut down at 8 or 9p (however they are set up) and I had to run around town and drop all the lockboxes before 8p and waite for our client to get into town at 9p ( He flew in from out of state) and we saw houses till midnight. 

Jan 22, 2013 09:51 PM
MeLisa Minter, Realtor
Minter Real Estate Services - Taylor Lake Village, TX
Bay Area Houston Real Estate Agent

I totally understand.  Just this past Holiday Season, I was working with a tenant that was relocating from California and wanted to be in her new rental on December 29th?? Now imgaine all of the leg work that I had to do in order to make this happen? including trying to get her wiring instructions on Christmas Eve, being at the intended property the day after Christmas in 20 degree weather, not to mention the property had no heat.  And after all of that, she decided that she didn't want the property after all. 

SURE I have a flexible schedule!!

Jan 23, 2013 12:51 AM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hi Tni,

You shed a very funny light about the reality of the life of a real estate agent.  And you give us a good laugh in the process.  Thank you for sharing!

Jan 24, 2013 12:52 PM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Lloyd -  LOL if only I had some kids!  I'm too busy selling real estate!

Marc - I definitely get what you are saying.  My phone rang at 7am the other day and I just thought, days, nights, weekends AND mornings?!  Let me get some Starbucks first!  LOL.

The Chistiansen Team - Thank you!  Yes, I just finished writing my last offer of the day about 10 minutes ago.  Now I'm trying to get a jump on tomorrow!

Steve - you are a champ!  And so FLEXIBLE!

MeLisa - Wow!  Christmas Eve -- did you get over time for that?  Nope!  

Jordon -  Glad you like it.  It;s not what people often think!


Jan 24, 2013 01:05 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Tni~Ahh, yes! I was flexible all day yesterday (Saturday) showing houses to one client and negotiating counter offers for another. As I wished my sellers a happy weekend, the husband said, "You, too, but it looks like you are working." I admitted that I sometimes feel a bit jealous when I wish someone a happy weekend. When I showed up again last night, at the club where the sellers were relaxing, with yet another counter offer, he gleefully said, "Have a great weekend!" and winked.

I told him that I thought I'd take Sunday off, a needed break since I fell and hurt myself while enjoying Saturday's showings. My "flexible schedule," though, found me at the sellers' doorstep once again (today on Sunday in the rain, no less) with the final counter offer. We are under contract NOW and my sellers seem to GET IT about my schedule.

Mar 10, 2013 08:43 AM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Hi Liz -

So nice when clients have that realization moment about "flexibility."  I attended a home inspection on Sunday that started at 9am (and the time just went forward an hour) and got an emergency call to write an offer that afternoon while I was preparing to go to Home Depot for plants.  

My plants sat in the truck outside my office while I went in to write this offer.  We got an accept this morning and that helps dealing with the fact that my Sunday was lost!  Just another day in real estate!


Mar 11, 2013 02:31 AM
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


I was looking at of all things the number of Suggested Posts of those ahead me in California on the list of points for all agents in CA on AR. Saw you had the most, thus I am here and the reason for this comment. Reality at its best is all I can say, and I wish you more peaceful times, cheers cvc

Mar 26, 2013 09:55 AM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Hi Curtis,

That's news to me that I have the most of anything at AR!  There are dozens of agents who are from CA that have more points than me.  Didn't know you could check suggested posts -- I must be out of the loop.  Nonetheless -- glad you stopped by.



Mar 26, 2013 10:06 AM
Erika Rogers
Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage - Saint George, UT
St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist

Hi Tni, it is true that in our profession having flexibility is one attribute that we should have. Learning and having to multi task requires time and concentration to balance everything. Thank you for the insight.

Apr 02, 2013 06:42 PM