Some transactions are a piece of cake...Ha! This one was not. Everything about this transaction really happened, except one thing. What did not happen?
One of my closest friends, Mark, was raised in this home and I spent a lot of time visiting him back in 1970 something. It is a very cute home in Stockton, CA with a large yard. It was built in 1947 and it looked almost exactly the same in 2017 as it did when we were in high school. In other words, it needed some love. Mark reached out to me in late 2017. His step father had passed away and he needed to sell this house. Here were some of the challenges.
- There was no will and there was 16 heirs. The sale would need court approval and approval of each of the heirs. Did I mention almost every heir lived outside of CA.? Only one of the heirs lived in the Bay Area.
- The house had over forty years worth of possessions in it. The garage was full, floor to ceiling. I think there were 3 pianos, all kinds of power tools, furniture, appliances, books, cloths, etc. Family members removed took their keepsakes. We had 3 or 4 estate sales, then we hired a contractor to throw away the rest. We needed 3 large dumpsters. It was pretty sad to see so many memories go away.
- I had to hire a contractor to break into a safe, then figure out how to sell the contents, mostly old silver coins. There was also a large, very old record collection to sell. It turns out the silver had value, the records did not. I should have kept the Burl Ives record.
- There was an old, homemade, cinder block pool and spa in severe disrepair along the side of the house.
- The very cool roof was not certifiable. The paper under the tile had gone bad.
- There was no AC unit and the heater was only in the hallway.
- There was a dead tree that decided to fall over one day and we had to hire the contractor to get another dumpster.
- Once the dumpster went out front, everybody knew the house was vacant and we had almost nightly break ins. It became so bad that we hired a security company to walk through the house every night. Of course, they never found anyone in the house. One day, I showed up to rap music being blasted from the back bedroom about 10 am. I called the police and they showed up about 4 hours later, but about 3 hours after the call, the "house guests" decided to leave. I just had to say something and I do have to admit, it may not of been polite. Big mistake, one of the "guests" spun around and the pepper spray was half way too me before I knew what was happening. I was actually kind of pretty, but YIKES! It just missed. The police were not interested in the pictures I took of our "house guests." It was only considered trespassing so c'est la vie.
- During the listing period, doors and windows were broken, junk was left in the house and we found numerous crack pipes. At least, I think they were crack pipes.
I just do not remember learning about this stuff in Real Estate 101. The house did sell relatively quickly. I was glad that I was able to manage it all for Mark. He had enough to work through on his own and it was a tough time for him and his family. This all started in 2017 and the court room work wrapped up for Mark in late 2019. It is a good reminder that we all need to get our affairs in order. It makes life so much easier for our heirs.
If you need help getting your home ready to sell, give me a call. I would be glad to help. 916-698-8414
Owner/Brewmaster Kaktus Brewing