My meeting with the seller of the $600,000 house that sold for $26,478!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

Photo courtesy of ginkgo2Was it really possible? Was this person tricked in to this? What happened? Why did he do it? There were so many questions that popped into my head and others when I called on this house that was in default. But, what I heard on the phone couldn't be the real thing, could it? Selling a house that is worth $600,000 for $26,478 had to be fraud or had to be a scam! For the beginning of this story I suggest your read my featured post - Avoiding foreclosure shouldn't have cost you $575,000

Now for the rest of the story:

I met with this seller and it was true, he did sell the property for $26,478! How anyone could possibly fall for such a scam that they would sell their property only for what was owed was beyond me. Turns out he approached the neighbor and asked him how much they had in savings, and when they said $30,000, he said then I have a deal for you!

He said, "I owe about $24,000 on my property and as you know I haven't been in the house in about a year." (He was traveling around the country in his RV.) "I know the bank is about to take my property back and I just don't want them to get it, but at the same time I don't want to take the time to sell it either. We have been friends for the past 27 years and I would like you to buy it from me and you can sell it to one of your daughters, so they can live near you as I know you have talked about in the past." They both met with lawyers, everything was drawn up and everything was signed, including the documents saying that he wasn't doing this under pressure and that he knew what he was doing.

I was amazed at what I was hearing and even asked him if he realized what he was giving away? He said, "I know and I don't need it any more, I don't have any family of my own and these are my friends and I thought, what a better gift to them and their family, than to give their family a chance at home ownership at a great price." I then asked "Why they let the property go in to default in the first place then?" He said "To be honest, I was on the road, the money was paid on a debit card every month and the card expired. I just didn't realize it until we picked up our mail" Basically it was just an oversight on his part, but he didn't care, he was rarely there.

So, I left and thought I met one of the nicest people I had ever met. I realized this person didn't give away anything, but in fact, instead of his wallet growing fat, his heart had, because he knew what he had done will help someone that may not get a chance to own a home otherwise.

Lesson learned! I won't jump to any conclusions in the future about why someone would be willing to sell a $600,000 home for only $26,478 as I may find out they have bigger heart than they have for the need for the money.



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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Todd, do not blame yourself. Everyone  (or most everyone) would have thought the same and get angry.

It is also very nice to be wrong the way you (and us) are. I wish this happen more often.

Good luck to you, you have a good heart, and you are right posting this. Thank you

Jun 18, 2008 04:31 PM #2
Brady Pevehouse
RE/MAX Downtown - Orlando, FL
Your Orlando Real Estate Professional

Theres a story behind every foreclosure......... this has to be the best one!

Did the neighbor pay his own closing cost, or did the seller have to give a concession?


Thanks for sharing a good story!

Jun 18, 2008 04:31 PM #3
Pam Winterbauer
Pam Winterbauer Real Estate - San Ramon, CA
"Providing Blue Ribbon Service"

Unbelievable, totally unbelievable!  There is a lesson behind every story.

Jun 18, 2008 04:40 PM #4
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Todd, this is a GREAT post!  We are so quick to judge in cases such as this that it never occurs to us that people may know exactly what they are doing and we may not know or understand why because we are not open to the possibilities in the same way!

Jun 18, 2008 04:46 PM #5
Joe Virnig
RE/MAX Gold Coast REALTORS, Ventura County, California - Ventura, CA
No Ordinary Joe

It goes to show that things aren't always what they seem.  I glad we got to hear the other side of the story.

Jun 18, 2008 04:54 PM #6
Linda Lipscomb
Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN - Lexington, TN
731-695-1118, Lexington TN Homes

What lucky neighbors!!!!

A great story.   A truly generous person.

Unbelievable......not many things are what they appear.  Lesson learned.

Jun 18, 2008 05:09 PM #7
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Todd, thanks for publishing "the rest of the story" as Howard Kossell would have put it. This truly does sound like a lucid individual that wanted to do a great deed for a family he had known many years. I hope the recipient is worthy. Let's hope they do allow one of the children to buy it affordably instead of sell it at a huge profit.

Jun 18, 2008 05:09 PM #8
Matt Thomson
Fathom Realty Colorado - Littleton, CO
Helping you find success through real estate

Pretty amazing.  Sure doesn't do much for the comps in the area though, does it!?

Jun 18, 2008 05:10 PM #9
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

Wow, what a story.  The best part is that the seller is the one that really wins.  He doesn't look at it as losing 575k, he looks at as going something kind for someone that will really appreciate that. I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Jun 18, 2008 05:48 PM #10
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®-

Wow Todd, that is an amazing story.  I am glad you shared with us all.  That seller will reap his rewards from the generous gift he gave!

Jun 19, 2008 01:30 AM #11
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Anthony - I don't think I could have done the same thing either! $575,000 is a lot to leave on the table, no matter what your situation in life is!

Jon - I was shocked, but happy at the same time that there are still people like this in the world that could give away so much to someone they called a friend.

Jun 19, 2008 02:52 AM #12
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

I ditto the thanks on the update, There is always more then one side to a slice of bread.  good story.  cw

Jun 19, 2008 04:06 AM #13
Judy Tuscano
Prudential Verani Realty - Nottingham, NH
NH Real Estate Professional

Todd - This man has obviously decided that there are things in life more important than money. He found a way to give a blessing to someone with no ulteria motive.

Jun 19, 2008 05:30 AM #14
Elaine Hanson
Compass - Topanga, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

What a wonderful story!  This guy really knows that you can't take it with you.  He has made a family of good friends very happy.  Now, they have an opportunity to pay it forward and find some way to make another person happy.  I hope his giving was contagious!

Jun 19, 2008 06:08 AM #15
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


I have really nice neighbors, but I assure you they're not prepared to be that generous!!! Thanks,   Fran

Jun 19, 2008 08:09 AM #16
Penny Florence
Midvale, UT

That just proves that money isn't everything, and there are wonderful people out there.  Generosity is hard to come by these days, its nice to hear of stories like this.  Thanks for sharing.

Jun 19, 2008 06:00 PM #17
L. Wayne Denton
Denton Properties, Inc. - Loganville, GA
I have a handle on your market!!!

What an absolute wonderful story.  I have met a couple people with the same attituse and it is a blessing to say I know them.  The art of giving has no limits and can show up in some great ways.  Thanks for the post.

Jun 20, 2008 05:49 AM #18
Olga Vasquez
Park Regency - Granada Hills, CA

This is a wondeful story, is hard to find right now that kind of people, but still exist.

Jun 20, 2008 06:43 AM #19
Thomas Hargreaves
TriStar Financial Services - Eugene, OR

Todd, that is a really excellent Story

Aug 27, 2008 02:35 PM #20
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

That is a beautiful story.  The guy must not be hurting for cash, although if he wasn't, why didn't he just pay it off himself?  Interesting

Aug 28, 2008 10:51 AM #21
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