Everyone Deserves A Second Chance | Not A Third Just A Second

Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired 104763


I have a variety of transactions that would easily fit the requirements for the December Contest. I think this one is worthy of sharing because no one else in my area was able to satisfy it. It was special.

The Chief of Police in my town called me and asked a favor. He had a man at the station (an old friend of his) who had just been released from “the big house” in another state. He had been charged with a serious felony, but he served his time.

He was originally from Franklin and wanted to settle here again. He was a licensed plumber and still had many contact in the area who were willing to give him work. I didn’t ask questions about licensing!!! All I was told was no other agent would work with him. They said he couldn’t buy a home and possibly could not find a rental to accept him.

I knew that whatever we found, it was a favor that was needed for financing. Convicted felons are not financeable days after their release.

I met with him and liked him. He was a tough one, but I was always proud of dealing with the good; the bad and the ugly.  This one was very ugly. He looked “the part.” Very tough and carried himself in that manner. We became friends!

I suggested that he contact all the area people who were in the trades when he was a plumber and ask if they would give him a price for building a modest ranch style home.  He did exactly as I suggested and was very excited about the thought of doing his own plumbing, on someone else’s license, of course.

I had a small lot available on a private way. It was perfect for him. It was a tough lot to sell to others who had better options. The next step was the most difficult. It was the financing of the lot and the construction of the home.

We collected the numbers, and we included paying the plumber!!! The ball was now in my court.

I called a local bank officer who I knew, and I asked a favor. I explained the entire situation, and I included details of who his friends were. The loan was granted. Of course, I promised that bank a steady flow of mortgages from my newly listed subdivision of 35 homes.

The bank officer met the buyer, and they eventually became “golfing friends.” That happens when you know the Chief. His loan was granted; the lot purchased; and the home built.

My ex-con buddy was a happy guy. I learned many things from this transaction. Anything is possible, if you approach it properly. There’s always a way to make things happen. Bartering is powerful!!

Did I mention that I received many referrals from my friend, and my greatest nightmare was that I would be saddled with newly released inmates?

That did not happen. This man walked the straight and narrow from that day forth. His friends had families and owned nice homes. The business he referred was “top shelf.” He learned his lesson and lived a normal life from that day forth.


This is an entry for the December Contest by Carol Williams. 

Sorry I was so long winded with it!!!!


Posted by



Barbara Todaro, Great Grandmother to Caleb, Santino, Aiden and Gianni       

Todaro Team - Retired



             Copyright © 2009 - 2021 Barbara Todaro

                               All Rights Reserved


Comments (65)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Barbara Todaro - this is a great example of second chances being important.  We have to look at ex offenders also as potential employees.

Dec 04, 2019 09:15 AM
Barbara Todaro

yes..... work is important....and often they are not hired....

Dec 04, 2019 12:47 PM
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
30 Years of Real Estate Experience!

That is a very nice story, Barbara, and perfectly heartwarming for this time of year.

Dec 04, 2019 12:34 PM
Barbara Todaro

it was a happy ending for all.... including the land owner!!!!!

Dec 04, 2019 12:48 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

BarbaraT- I love this and I agree...people do deserve second chances!  Your police chief was wise to call you. Years ago a placed a young lady in her 20s who had been in prison because her spouse had abused their child. Though she did not, she was sent away for a short time. I was able to place her at a major oil & gas company and the only one who knew of her background was the HR person. 

Dec 04, 2019 04:05 PM
Barbara Todaro

that's a job well done, Kathy Streib there are people who must know and other who do not need to know.... our land owner did not need to know....the bank did.... the buyer took care of his own subs and bartering to get his house built... 

and who would be crazy enough to say no to him???  LMAO....

Dec 05, 2019 02:50 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Fantastic story Barbara. He was a lucky man to be sent to you. His is a great story to show both the success of our criminal justice system,and the problems it presents to those that want to turn their lives around!

Dec 04, 2019 09:37 PM
Barbara Todaro

it's almost impossible for most to turn their lives around unless they know the right people.....and that's RARE.

Dec 05, 2019 02:48 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Barbara Todaro, very impressive story on many levels.  Many take-aways you presented - your connections with the town leadership to make ownership happen for someone turned down so many times.  Trusting your instinct that this ex-con was serious about what it would take. And such creative thinking out of the box plus the coincidence of your own lot.  Just Wow!

Dec 04, 2019 10:45 PM
Barbara Todaro

It was like a juggling act...but I never dropped the ball and neither did anyone else....

Dec 05, 2019 02:47 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

What an inspiring story!  So glad you went out of your way to help the plumber.  He will be foreever grateful.  It's all about who you know, right?--and who's willing to help lend a hand!

Dec 05, 2019 07:37 AM
Barbara Todaro

we're in a business where it's who you know that's most important.....MOST IMPORTANT.

Dec 05, 2019 02:46 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I agree on second chances.  And your opinion of third.  And it's a good thing the chief knew who to call.

Dec 05, 2019 10:24 AM
Barbara Todaro

I had the land and he wanted to build.... it all came together but not quickly!!!

Dec 05, 2019 02:45 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Barbara that is an excellent success story.  I know you did not do it for the future business, but it is nice when there is an additional benefit in the end.

Dec 05, 2019 12:13 PM
Barbara Todaro

he sent me some nice business.... no questionable people....

Dec 05, 2019 02:44 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Dang, that's quite a story.  Did you ask about the felony before agreeing?  You took a big risk but it paid off.  I was waiting for the other shoe to drop at any minute in your story but it didn't happen!  Congrats.

Dec 05, 2019 02:33 PM
Barbara Todaro

the chief told it all....he was a knee breaker....a goon....  the buyer told me one  story I wished I hadn't heard....LOL.... can't unright the bell...

but I knew upfront he was felon....built like one....had a face like one.... John Henry, Florida Architect  and turned out to be  very nice to me....and very loyal after he owned and was established.... 

Dec 05, 2019 02:40 PM
Sharon Kowitz
CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling

Amazing story and fantastic ending for all. Great Job! I am not sure I could have done all the hard work you had to put in to this one but it was worth it in the end. I read the whole story thinking something was going to go wrong ~ but you did it!!!

Dec 06, 2019 05:38 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

There's always a way to get a job done Sharon Kowitz especially a task that's life altering for someone.....I never lost deals.... and some were tough to get financed...but families were counting on progressing with life....they had kids... and stress causes divorce... I asked many favors and repaid every one.

Dec 06, 2019 05:42 AM
Jennifer Bright
Stacked Stone Tile - Tucson, AZ
Home Decor | Improvement | DIY

What a beautiful post, Barbara! You just "re-born" the life of (and in) this guy! All the best! 

Dec 06, 2019 12:20 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

thanks, Jennifer.... all worked well....

Dec 06, 2019 12:26 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Barbara Todaro, You figured out the best way to give this person a second chance and you did it with integrity all the way around. You make us all proud.

Dec 06, 2019 06:37 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Some lessons are learned the hard way and yes, I do agree that people deserve second chances when they are earnest and determined to change. Well done Barbara!

Dec 16, 2019 03:06 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I love the story! Clearly, Barbara Todaro , you are will known and well regarded locally to the point where the Chief knew that, if anyone could help his friend, you could. You did not let him down. And your good faith and hard work was rewarded.

Dec 16, 2019 06:45 PM
Gloria Todor
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Newtown Square, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Barbara, You have a good heart and the resources to get this person set on a good path for life.  Way to go!

Dec 31, 2019 12:21 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That's a wild story.  There are a lot of 'eccentric' personalities in this business and we often have to make those personality judgments.

Dec 31, 2019 01:11 PM
Barbara Todaro

Happy New Year, Ed Silva 

Dec 31, 2019 02:32 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

thanks, everyone, for your nice comments..... Happy New Year....

Dec 31, 2019 02:33 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Hi Barbara Todaro 

Your new friend was a stigmatized person but, by giving him your time and support (accepting him) probably gave him a tremendous boost.

Jan 01, 2020 10:01 AM