Water Equipment Stolen......What Would You Do!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Sellstate Advantage Realty

I wrestled with this one all day yesterday and I would like to know what some of you would have done! I just got back in Cape Coral from my son's wedding in NY late on Sunday! I had been gone for just short of two weeks so you know what I had waiting for me when I got back! Thankfully I had a closing scheduled for Monday, a short sale and as of Friday everything was a go. The bank had ordered a water inspection and that was completed on Friday and we were notified we were clear to close!

Monday morning 7:30 AM my phone rings and it is the buyers who had just arrived after driving 25 hours from the Bronx, NY and they went directly to their new home to show it to their children! They were tired and did not realize it was so early, but they were calling to tell me that all of the water softener equipment was gone! That's right stolen ....GONE!! The aerator tank, pressure tank, salt container, all gone! I waited till 9am and called the listing agent and informed him and he said he would call me back after verifying my story!

Closing was scheduled for 1PM and at 10:35AM the listing agent called me back and said, "We have a problem!" He verified that the equipment was indeed gone, he had called the bank and the seller! The bank said that all of their executives were out until next week and if we wanted we could wait and MAYBE they would pay for new equipment,"But probably not." The seller who was losing his house said,"I have no money!" He also had no insurance to file a claim! The listing agent informed me that he "Get the equipment replaced today for $2,000!!! His suggestion he pays $500, his seller will pay $500 (but the water company would take payments), the buyers pay $500 and I pay $500!!

Being skeptical I decided to call a very reputable company, Water Medic and I asked them for an estimate on the job! I was told that it could be done for $1200!! I went to the listing agents office and we had a heart to heart discussion and I explained that I was born at night, but it wasn't last night!!! The new offer was he pay $500 to in a check to Water Medic, I will pay the balance and I took a promissory note from the seller for 5 payments of $100 because Water Medic needed to be paid! Will I ever get paid? Who knows! (I will even take a short sale!!! LOL!!)

I am always looking to the future and the referrals that come after the sale!!

Here is my question-Was I better off closing and making $1400 now and making the buyers happy or should I have waited until next week for an answer from the bank? Keep in mind my buyers had driven 25 hours from NY and were planning on staying until July 6! The buyers bank approval was only valid through July1! Where would we be next week when the bank said NO!

I have been second guessing myself all day! I would love to hear what you think! I have always tried to do everything to complete the deal and have a satisfied customer, but in today's market I guess it is necessary to go above and beyond! Please be honest and let me know what you would have done! Don't worry I don't bruise easy!!

Mike Kelly, Sellstate Advantage Realty, Cape Coral, Florida 239-549-9200

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Rainer
33,506
Gretchen Faber
The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek - Denver, CO
LifeStyleDenver

Mike - you did the right thing.  Your focus should always be on your client, and this was an unusual situation which you creatively dealt with.  You went above and beyond and should feel proud of yourself.

Jul 01, 2008 03:23 PM #1
Rainer
9,363
Joseph C. Foster
Keller Williams Realty - Kennewick, WA
Lead Buyers Specialist, and Listing Broker

that was a tough one I think you did the right thing!

Jul 01, 2008 03:28 PM #2
Rainer
407,421
Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions

Mike,

You made the right decision to go ahead a close. In this business anything can happen and you could never see a closing if you had waited. A little money now is better than 100% of nothing later.

Sean Allen

Jul 01, 2008 03:42 PM #3
Rainer
39,613
Kevin Bungert
ReMax Professional Group - East Northport, NY

Mike- I was the broker/owner of 2 offices here in NY for 10 years, I've made the same decision you did every time.  You took control of the situation and your buyer will never forget that you got it done.  You will make many times the amount you paid today from their referrals.  Keep up the good work!  All the best!

Kevin

Jul 01, 2008 03:42 PM #4
Rainmaker
160,685
Jay LaGace
RE/MAX Realty Team - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral / Lee County Real Estate - 239-443-8795

You did it right Mike, Thats for sure! And Cudo's to Water Medic, Rich is a stand up guy for sure and he is also one of those guys that does it right each time.

Jul 01, 2008 11:15 PM #5
Rainer
50,733
Greg Knowles Santa Barbara Ca.
Fidelity National Title Group-Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, CA

Mike, in the end you probably did the right thing. One thing I thought you could have done is ask the buyer which they would prefer you do, wait for the bank or get the equipment now. They may have been fine waiting and you may have done what you did anyway. Bummer about the equipment being stolen.

Jul 02, 2008 04:24 AM #6
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