It's a bit disconcerting when you get a call, out of the blue, from the FBI.
Your initial response is that this is just one more of those spam calls. Clearly it's not really the FBI. "Can you prove that you're really FBI?"
"Yes", the disembodied voice on the other end of the phone sounding a little like Sgt. Joe Friday, says "Go to the following FBI website"... (still a little suspect, if you ask me), "and then google my name... and FBI Chicago"... he goes on calmly, and clearly to ease my mind and build his credentials.
Once he's convinced me about his identity, (and he did convince me, in spades) he goes on to further blow my mind, explaining the purpose of his call, and asks me about one of my clients..
"Are you working with a buyer named "Sam Criminal"? [yes] .... Has he begun a transaction, yet? [yes] Has he turned over any money, yet? [yes, initial earnest money]...
Okay, he goes on to tell me that my client is now in jail, and has been arrested for a recent armed bank robbery. He tells me to google a recent bank robbery in a local suburb... which I do, and poof.... up comes the FBI bank-robbery website... showing the bank surveillance video snapshot of ... who else... a very clear image of my client entering the bank, just two days before we wrote up our offer. Clearly, he will not be completing this transaction with his ill-gotten-gains.
I need to call the listing agent and disappoint him, and his sellers. There will be no inspection... there will be no sale. I'm so sorry. All I can tell him is that my client will no longer be able to perform.
I'd done everything right... asked for a preapproval... when he said he'd be paying cash, I had him provide "proof of funds".... little did I realize that he wanted to pay in small unmarked non-sequential bills... although I shoulda known, since his last name is "Criminal"... (just kiddin'... I made that up to protect the guilty) that would have been fun to see him show up at closing with a suitcase full of folding money.
The FBI told me that we would need to turn over the earnest money (which we were holding)... I told him that we'll need a subpoena, and they'll have to handle that through our corporate blue-suits.
Meanwhile, I'm just mourning a nice sale to start off the year.
I love this business. Never boring. Never boring.