Home Size3,179 sqft
Days on Market1
When Home Buyers are Liars or Merely Delusional
There’s an old saying in real estate that buyers are liars. What it actually means is when buyers say they want a 4 bedroom, 2 story home with a 3 car garage, they may end up with a 3 bedroom split level with a 1 car garage. Buyers aren’t really liars, they just don’t always know what they want.
Here’s a completely different version of the buyers are liars story that knocked it out of the park. In 30+ years of selling real estate, I had never heard a story like this one. These buyers were not only liars, they were delusional. You’ve heard the stupid criminal stories. Here’s a real estate related one.
Last Wednesday I received a call from a real estate agent in Wisconsin. Yay, I thought – he has a referral for me. He asked if I knew this couple that was trying to buy his listing up in Wisconsin. He said they told him that we had done several transactions with me and knew me real well. I told him I didn’t know the name but maybe I knew her with a different last name. Bingo! That was it. Come to find out, I had met her when she and her ex husband bought their first home from me in 2003. They sold that and bought a bigger home in 2007. I remember it well. It was the first official home staging I did after started my home staging company. I thought those two were a bit bizarre but it gets even better!
When home buyers are liars – their story
This couple was in Wisconsin because his mother lives there and is terminally ill. There was a house for sale two doors down from mom. They called the agent on the sign to see the house and made a CASH offer on it.
The agent called me to ask some details about the real estate market here. After all, he was representing the seller and he wanted to cover all of his bases to look out for his sellers’ best interest. He asked me how the market was here and my opinion of how quickly I could get their home sold. His plan was to write up the offer to purchase and advise his seller based on the information I gave him.
He told me she said their house here was worth about $300,000 and it was paid off. They would be using the funds from the home sale here to buy the new home in Wisconsin. Their next step was to call me and get the house on the market as soon as they returned from Wisconsin.
The red flags
Wait a minute. $300,000? In Gardner Kansas? Let me do some research on that one! I had several questions:
- I doubted a $300,000 value on the house – I knew the neighborhood and didn’t think home values were that high
- If she was divorced, were any of the proceeds of the house sale going to her ex husband when it sold?
- Was there an open mortgage on the residence? Was the house really paid off?
Without even seeing the house, I researched and discovered that in tip top condition, the house would sell for about $215,000. My investigation also turned up that there was a current mortgage on it of about $165,000.
I relayed what I found out to the agent there. The next morning he asked if I could do a preliminary title search on their house. I reached out to my title company, told her the story and asked if she could get me more information.
What the title company dug up was jaw dropping. The title search uncovered 2 liens that had been placed against the property for failure to pay the Homes Association dues for almost $5,000, a judgment against her for not maintaining the house and grounds as well as her divorce decree.
Here are a few of the charges from the judgment against her on the property:
- The lot is full of weeds over 6” tall
- The home exterior is in severe need of wood rot repair and painting
- There are inoperable vehicles on the lot and should be removed
- All broken windows, screens and shades need to be fixed
- The driveway has grease and oil stains and needs to be cleaned
- Trash cans are left at the curb days after trash pick up
- Objects are scattered around the yard and not kept in neat order
- Trees and shrubs need to be trimmed
- Trees that are growing through the privacy fence need to be trimmed or removed
- The exterior siding and trim needs to be repaired
- Exterior of home needs to be caulked and painted
- The lot should be treated for weeds
- Grass needs to be established with seeding or sod and maintained
The list went on and on. This judgment was dated January 2017. All repairs and improvements needed to be corrected by the end of September 2017.
The divorce decree also stated the house needed to be sold in 2013. Not sure what happened with that. But it also said that she couldn’t remove the minor child from the state without permission from the ex husband. Would he let his daughter move out of state?
Some buyers are liars
At this point, I knew this transaction wasn’t going to happen. I asked the other agent if they had given him an earnest deposit check. They said they would mail one when they got back home.
Yesterday, the contract was cancelled and determined to be null and void after the agent made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the buyers. Thankfully, the agent had written in several things to cancel the contract if he found that the home buyers are liars. Unfortunately, he wasted his precious time with this delusional couple. He profusely apologized to me for having wasted my time. I told him it was just another blog post!
In our home buyer workshops, the first thing we talk about is to be honest with your agent and your lender when applying for a mortgage. The dirt will come up if there is any.
You see, we don’t ever get paid for a real estate deal until the transaction closes. After 30+ years in the business, I can smell a rat from a mile away. I smelled this rat immediately when I figured out who it was! Some buyers are liars!
Contact me here or download my GPS based app by texting KW2D5C6L to 87778
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