Yesterday, I headed out with a buyer to look at houses for sale. I have been working with this client for a couple of weeks, now. We have narrowed down the neighborhoods that she would like to call home, and she has a pretty good idea of what’s she’s looking for.
There has been one house in particular that she has wanted to look at, with no luck. Each time I had called the listing company I got the same response, “It’s not a good time. They are in and out, so this won’t work.”
“What is a good time? Are the weekends not good at all? Is there a time that would accomodate their schedule during the week? Just let me know.” I asked. Then my concerns became, ‘is this a serious seller and would they even entertain an offer?’
Well, finally this weekend, after a bit of prodding, we got the okay. The buyer was tickled.
When we arrived at the house the people were nice and in the process of moving. There were boxes everywhere and the occupant apologized profusely for the clutter. “It’s not a problem. We can look around it. Where are you heading?” we asked. He told us that he was a tenant in the home (which was not indicated on the listing) and that he was moving right around the corner. Hmmm.
This gracious man with a wife and three small boys proceeded to tell us that he had moved into the house a year ago. A week after the owner and tenant swapped money for keys, signed the lease and moved in, the owner told them that he had forgotten to mention that he hadn’t made a mortgage payment on this lovely home in quite some time. And, the house would be for sale. The owner was going to try to short sale it. The new tenant was shocked.
The owner had ‘forgotten’ to tell him? My heart went out to this family. Now, it seemed to make more sense… not being able to get in to see the house. This tenant was probably tired of Realtors trudging through the house, for the past year. While paying his rent, and meeting his obligations, he was doing all he could to maintain some sense of stability to his family.
This story is a great reminder, that when considering a rental not only should the landlord interview the prospective tenant, but the applicant should be asking questions of his own. They should check the public records and research the property they are interested in renting.
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