Dealing in benefits, the story continues
Last week we talked about a seller I encountered who was in a precarious position. ( You can read that blog here) She was thousands of dollars behind on her mortgage and in active foreclosure. She was older and couldn’t afford to take care of the house physically or financially.
When we left off last week, we were sitting outside with the seller and had offered to purchase her house for the balance of her mortgage. We also agreed to rent the house back to the seller for only $325 a month for eight months while we worked with her to identify and help her apply for an income-based senior living facility in the area.
She teared up and expressed excitement about that offer.
For some reason I didn’t have my notebook with me. But I needed to get this offer in writing. So, I asked if she had anything I could write on. She said, “You can use this” and handed me one of the documents she had in her hand. I wrote out our offer and then turned the paper over to find I had written it on the back of the foreclosure summons, which I thought was either ironic or apropos.
The seller let me know that she needed to go over things with her children and she wanted me to come back and meet with them. I agreed and we set up a time for the following week. I let the seller know time was of the essence. You see, we had just a little over two weeks before the foreclosure auction. So there was going to be a tight timeline for accomplishing tasks like getting a payoff from the bank, getting a title search done and getting on an attorney’s schedule to close the house before the foreclosure auction. It was still very doable, but we would need to be proactive because closings were taking longer due to COVID-19 constraints.
Because of the seller’s enthusiasm, and because of those time constraints, I went ahead and got the ball rolling on my end by asking my attorney to order a title search on the property.
On the day of our appointment, I called the seller to make sure we were still good for the time we had set. She let me know the children were going to be late and we backed it up. Then, she rescheduled for the following day… and then she called and cancelled that appointment.
While we were on the phone, I asked her what was going on. She said she was having a hard time getting the kids to come. But as we talked further, I think I uncovered the real issue. The kids didn’t like the offer I had given their mom. The seller told me one child said she shouldn’t leave without getting compensated for the house.
In other words, they wanted mom to get some cash.
Now, remember in the previous column that I said we deal in benefits. What the seller needed was time to find a new place to live at an income-based housing facility. She also needed help applying for living space and an affordable place to live until she found it.
We were giving her all of those things in our offer, but the kids couldn’t see past her not coming away from the closing table with some cash.
So, what did focusing on only dollars do for their mom? She got foreclosed on this week.
The kids didn’t get the seller anything she needed. Actually, they put her in a bad situation. And now she will only have 60 days to move from the property. And I don’t think the eviction memorandums will buy here any more time after the auction because those are only in effect until Dec. 31st. Sixty days from the October auction puts you into January. So if she doesn’t move on her own once the new owner gave her the 60 day notice, the courts will intervene and she will be evicted.
Now, what did the kids miss when considering our offer?
First, we would have bought the house prior to auction, stopping the foreclosure and saving her credit in the process.
Remember, they said she shouldn’t leave without being compensated. If she had gone with us, we were going to rent the house to her for $325 a month. That’s $700 below market rent rates and we were going to do that for 8 months. That’s a savings of $5,600 for her. That’s a fair amount of compensation.
Finally, we were going to provide the service of locating an income-based living facility that fit her needs and help her apply for it at no charge to her. I don’t even know how to put a dollar amount on that.
But because the children got so caught up thinking of dollars they missed the value of the benefits we were offering. And now mom is going to suffer the consequences.
So, at the end of the day, make sure your seller understands thoroughly the benefits of your offer.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.