My next door neighbor who has sat at my kitchen table for many a dinner, whose children I've baby-sat for many a day, told me at the re-pass following my Husband's funeral, she's been having sex with my husband for the last 9 years. This was the reason a potential Client gave me as her desire to sell her home.
I've been known for years affectionately by my valued Associates as the "Clean-up Man!" I've always told them if they ever have a Client wanting to purchase or sell in Chicago area communities deemed unsafe, undervalued, or have a Client who just has too much "baggage," to send them my way before they just give up on them.
One of my Associates approached me on a Thursday sharing Dale, can you please contact this Lady for me? I promised her I would get back with her by this Friday, and my Client load has put me behind schedule. This Lady own's a couple of homes within a mile of each, wants to sell them, and purchase another home. Experience has taught me what he really meant was, I really don't want to take on this potential Client because I either don't like the drama she will bring or the location where she resides or wants to purchase. I said no problem with a smile.
I called her to get the addresses of the homes. I explained to her I like to do my own research first, and would call her with further questions shortly.
Our Multiple Listing Computer system (mls) provides us with access to the Realtist system, by which I can research the public tax record of homes. Once I have the tax identification number, I can also reference the Cook County Tax Assessors Office to find out more information on homes. Between these two sites I can look up any mortgage history on the homes, square-footage, age, any past real estate activity, any possible photos, and much more.
Some times I will even Google the property address just to see what is posted on the web about the homes.
Now, I felt I resourced myself enough to decide if it was worth the effort to re-visit the MLS to start searching for similar sold and deal pending comparables.
In the case of this potential Client, I discovered her deceased Spouse had shortly before his passing, procured second mortgages on both homes. Please keep in mind the initial mortgages were already high for this Chicago Southland marketplace.
A quick reference of the recent sales activity up and down the subject property's blocks help me to determine very fast, the mortgages on these homes were higher than the potential market value of the homes. I knew it was time to call her and inquire if I needed to even bother with a more detailed comparable search, or even to make the effort to present this research to her in person?
I called her and inquired if this was a good time to talk. She said sure. I began to share the initial research I found. This opened the door to her really opening up to me.
My Spouse who runs the Ultra-Sound department at the hospital where she is employed taught me numerous years ago, if she asked the right question, she could get her patients to open up and tell her their life story. The question? When was your last period?
Well, after I shared with this potential Client all I knew about her homes before ever asking a question, she was ready for the one significant question I could ask her, to get her to open up and tell me all I needed to know to decide if I could really help her with her goal. My question? So, really tell me why do you really want to sell your homes?
She told me her recently deseased Husband had procured second mortgages on both homes without her permission and/or cooperation. She struggled to understand why he did this, until the day her good next door Best Girlfriend of a Neighbor out of heavy guilt, confessed to her sleeping with this potential Client's Husband for the last 9 nine years. She told me Dale, I can no longer live next door to this lady (actually she used another word starting with the letter B) now, knowing what she has been doing with my Husband for the last 9 years!
Can you imagine my sincerely listening to her share her story, while all the thoughts were going through my mind about how this potential Client was at home preparing a romantic dinner for two, while her Husband might have been at the same time next door taking care of His secret romantic business? I pictured the dear Neighbor calling him over to re-light the water heater pilot light, or to change the fire extinguisher battery, or to repair the off-track bedroom closet door, as an excuse for him to come over to get busy lighting other passionate fires?
I shared this story, to give an example of how I've become a very seasoned Realtor who, as serving as "The Clean-Up Man," selling well over 500 homes in the last 27 years in the Chicago Southland, has learned to use multiple research tools, listened carefully, along with asking all the right questions, to discover my Client's genuine motivation and/or need for my devoted services, no matter their circumstances.
My Valued Clients have taught me to assess their goals, and if they are genuinely obtainable.
Please enjoy what the Artist Betty Wright has to say about this subject - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0ssMVL9I1Q.