The Scenario: Several years ago, one of my short-sale clients was ready to purchase a home again. Client loyalty is priceless.
After getting them preapproved for a loan to purchase, we discussed their needs and wants, an MLS search was set up, and we began the process of showing homes.
California is not an attorney state. In my county, we work with a title company and an escrow officer at the title company. In other words, title and escrow are the same company. In Santa Clara County, the area I serve, the seller chooses the title company. Typically, not always the case, a buyer's loan funds on one day and the deed will record the following morning. This is relevant regarding what happened.
Parties Involved: My clients (husband and wife), occasionally their daughter, their real estate agent (that would be me), and an endless list of sellers and their listing agents. Many of the agents were masquerading as professionals in the real estate business.
What Happened: We spent nearly every weekend for several months looking at homes. A lot of homes. Before writing offers, I reviewed the seller disclosures, if they were available. Offers were written and not accepted. We continued the journey of looking at homes as they were newly listed. More seller disclosures were reviewed. More offers were written.
I knew before we walked into one particular home they would love it. Why? Because it was so much like the home they sold short. I was not sure they would like the area. As with most buyers, the price was a factor. The location may not have been that great but the home was, and it did fit their budget.
Sure enough, as we entered the home I could see they loved it. They wrote an offer, and it was accepted. YES!
The escrow process went smoothly. The buyers and I completed a final walk-through to ensure the property was in the same condition as it was when the offer was made. It was.
The buyers' loan was funded, and we waited for confirmation from the title company that the deed was recorded and the buyers can take possession.
After we received notification that the buyers are now the legal title holders, I met my clients at the home to give them the keys.
THE SELLER REMOVED ALL OF THE WINDOW COVERINGS AFTER WE COMPLETED THE FINAL WALK-THROUGH THE EVENING BEFORE.
My clients were crushed. They were moving the following day. Not only was it not in their budget to buy new window coverings, but they also did not have time to resource them and would have zero privacy without them.
At this point, my job, my role, and my fiduciary duties were filled. However, my moral obligation to my clients was not. There was no way on God’s green earth I was not going to do everything in my power to get the window coverings back.
How the Issue was Resolved: There is a lot I cannot share here for reasons pertaining to privacy and client confidentiality.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney nor do I pretend to be one at any time in any real estate transaction.
That said, I have 15 years of paralegal experience. Escrow was closed. My role as their agent was complete. This was confirmed with my risk management attorney.
Did I mention that some of the agents were masquerading as real estate professionals? During the escrow process, the seller was openly copied on some of the emails. I had the seller’s email.
I wrote the seller an email demanding that the window coverings be returned by 5:00 pm that day. The instructions were clear. The window coverings were to be in the same condition as they were when they were removed, placed in a plastic bag to protect them, and placed in the storage container on the front porch.
The seller was advised of the steps that would be taken if the window coverings were not returned by 5:00 pm.
The new owners got THEIR window coverings back.
Before 5:00 pm. Exactly as Instructed.
This is my second entry in the March to a Solution Challenge.
That is a good outcome and the right thing to do. Many people were trying to get more than a house at a great price during the short sale market Lise Howe
In this case, it was not a short-sale purchase. The window coverings were included with the sale. What the seller did was so underhanded I just could not let him get away with it.
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