Tales from the Real Estate Trenches

David Losh

Submitted by David Losh of Skyline Properties, 206-523-2733

An agent in my office asked me to help with a pre foreclosure. When we got
to the property the owner turned out to be the youngest brother of a good
friend from high school. The house was a mess with several remodel projects
that were ill conceived. All in all the house wasn’t bad. The remodeling was
workable. The owner’s other brother is a house painter who I also knew.
The agent in my office had been working with the home owner for about a
month with no results. This agent is experienced and uses his computer
skills a lot in his business. I on the other hand am an older agent not very
well versed in today’s fast paced real estate market place. To me the house
was not a problem. The foreclosure notice is a problem because for some
reason the lender was already on title.
I called my lender who Zillowed the property for value. The agent in my
office had already put photos of the property on line. Between the value
from Zillow and the pictures my lender had a hard money investor ready to
correct the arrears to the property. We did all of this standing in front of
the property talking on a cell phone.
Because the photos online did not show the property in its best light our
feeling were that we could improve the equity position of the property
quickly by simply cleaning the place up. The roof was about five years old
and the basement has high ceilings with a place for a kitchen.
With me writing a scope of work for the property with a budget of less than
ten thousand dollars we felt the property could sell for $299,950. The owner
owed $189K including paying the arrears on the mortgage payments.
I wish this story had a happy ending, but the agent in my office is intent
on listing the property at a fire sale price. The fact is though that Zillow
gave this property owner an opportunity he may not have had with a Real
Estate agent involved.

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One comment

  1. david losh

    What I did not mention in my story is that Zillow.com valued the property mentioned at $315K. Based on that the hard money lender felt comfortable in the agreeing to a loan at appoximately 65%.
    The value of the improved property simply made the lender more comfortable that the property would be salable.

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