Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Picture Postcard" Property

(7th and final in series ~ “Real Life” ... in Real Estate:

A Common Verse ... from Olden Days

                                     They wandered down the country lane.
                                     No love was on their brow;
                                     for he was the farmer's hired hand...
                                     and she was the Jersey cow.

                                  I take the privilege to re-verse the above to:

                                    They wandered thro' the countryside
                                    desiring acres of rolling land ...
                                    a pretty house and double garage...
                                    numerous trees and a babbling brook.

Carlo and Sylvia have been looking for over two years for this “postcard-type-property”, yet affordable to them based on their incomes. This is their “dream”, but probably not realistic! Yes, the acreage was of foremost importance...even compromising for a lesser home needing TLC!

I relate this true experience because it exemplifies
the “Spirit of Service” for anyone in Business dealing with the public.
Try to identify “Maxims” (or stratagems) employed
that come into play through the progress of this experience.

Carlo and Sylvia, both 31, have been together for 5 or 6 years, renting an 
old house off the Service Road in Winona. Both have jobs and enjoy their 
2 dogs and 3 cats.

In my office, I maintain a list of clients looking for specific properties. 
Daily, when computer searching MLS for new listings, I keep them in mind. 
For Carlo and Sylvia, it has been, it seems, a “forever search” through Flamborough, Ancaster, Glanbrook, Lincoln, West Lincoln,  Smithville, 
Grimsby and Stoney Creek rural areas. They were patient and would 
wait for the "right property to become available."

A couple years ago, we found a 16 acre property, cornering two country 
roads; it had an old house (that had seen better days)! We entered into negotiations to purchase the property; however, during “signbacks” Carlo's younger brother was tragically killed in a car accident in Stoney Creek. Devastated with this loss, Carlo was unable to focus on further search
for a property. Unfortunately, this one sold to another buyer.

Later, we started looking again. Often it was Sylvia who viewed potential properties with me; one was worthy of Carlo also viewing it, but had an 
offer prior to his available time. During the winter months of 2001,
his hours  of shift-work were limited due to plant cut-backs; so for the 
time-being, plans were put on hold.

In November, we arranged appointments on a Sunday to view 6 or 7 
possible locations. On Friday, I discovered a new listing that sounded 
“perfect”, but higher priced. Located in West Lincoln, it had 23 acres 
of gently rolling farmland along a paved country road, an attractive brick 
ranch home and an oversized 2-car garage. The rear of the property was
heavily treed bordering Chippewa Creek (called the Welland River 
on the old survey).

It was “Love at First Sight”!!! They contacted me that evening to prepare
an Offer to Purchase. Presentation of Offer was scheduled for Monday 
evening at 7 pm when the owners would be home. At 6 pm Monday,
a call from the Listing Sales Representative notified me of other offers to be presented at same time. I consulted with Carlo and Sylvia providing them 
their options. We retained only 2 conditions and giving the Sellers a flexible
closing date and upped the purchase by $1,000 above the list price. 
Five offers were on hand and all turned aside for a re-presentation on 
Tuesday evening at 7 pm.  We now increased the offer to now $4000 over 
list price! We LOST to a buyer with ...No Conditions and offering $5000 
over the asking price! My couple was DEVASTATED beyond Description!!!

Saddened by this experience, we waited until January, 2003. From this date, 
I telephoned, faxed or e-mailed them any properties that might be of interest. They would drive by them and report back to me...but to “no avail”.

Then on April 1, researching New Listings prior to leaving my office that 
Tuesday evening, was another property on Chippewa Road with “acreage, a ranch home and garage”. No picture was yet shown (due to being a new 
listing). The price seemed reasonable. Immediately, I called my clients leaving messages to call ASAP. Carlo was working a 16-hour shift and unable to view 
this property until Thursday at 4 pm (April 4).

In checking their file, discovered this was the SAME PROPERTY they had 
loved So Much! The listing Sales Reps advised me that “circumstances” 
prevented the former buyer from closing on the transaction the end of 
March. The owners had already moved to Grimsby and the country home

As you recall, Thursday and Friday were the ICE STORM DAYS!!! 
Remember those bad weather days? But, “Come Hell or High Water,
Blizzard  or Ice” I was definitely meeting them at the property at 4 pm! 
Someone else had viewed the listing Wednesday evening and another
Realtor in ahead of me that blustery, snow-driven day. I was prepared with Purchase papers for Carlo and Sylvia to sign. EXCITED with this Second Opportunity, they did not want to LOSE it again! From the house, I called 
the Listing Sales Rep who also lived in West Lincoln requesting an 
Appointment to have this signed offer presented TODAY!
It's Horrible Weather!”, they stated and suggested we delay a day.
I INSISTED upon presenting this Offer tonight, regardless of the blizzardy 
conditions. I waited at the house...and one hour later, came their call 
on my Cell Telephone that the owners were out grocery shopping and
having a Birthday Party for their 5-year-old son in early evening. 
Then stated that I would “get off these icy roads” while still a bit of 
daylight and drive down the escarpment into Grimsby for dinner.
I would wait there for their call...8:30, 9:30, 10:30 or whenever!

The owners agreed to meet with us at 8:30 in their Grimsby home,
especially knowing that the Offer was from the Burlington Realtor's clients
who had competed in the November auction...and Lost!

Being “burned” by their previously accepted offer, the Sellers did not want 
to sign anything without their lawyer's review and approval of the Offer. 
I was Most Hesitant to hold over the Offer to Friday, fearing a competition-situation again...suggesting they include a clause based on THEIR Lawyer's approval. We stressed this was a good offer at “Full Asking Price” ... early closing...with conditions only on financing and water testing.
It was agreed that they would not consider or entertain another offer 
until resolved with their lawyer and us.

Friday's weather was Worse than Thursday! It was mid-afternoon when the Listing Sales Rep communicated with me. I consulted with my Buyers and 
they with their Sellers agreeing VERBALLY with all terms and conditions. 
I gladly drove to Grimsby Friday evening ...also had my clients there, so all paperwork with any changes could be initialled and signed copies distributed. WHEW! What a Great Sigh of Relief!

Would it surprise you to know that 2 other Realtors called the Listing Office 
on Friday with Offers to present?

This truly was a “Picture-Postcard-Property” to Carlo and Sylvia.
They waived their conditions within the designated days.
They closed on the transaction end of April, 2003

The additional Good News is that within the year, they plan to marry in a 
country church near Lake Erie...and Guess Who is Invited to their Wedding?

Actually, with several friends, they met in Jamaica the following April,
to honour the event of their wedding. Under a flowered arbour
on the island's tropical white sand beach, they were married...
complete with wedding gown and bouquets of tropical flowers.

(Note: names have been changed to protect their identities)


I could write about several other Real Estate Experiences.
One of Unimaginable Interest
was a private island in the St. Lawrence River
with a “turn-of-the-century” castle.
(at that time it was Jorstadt Castle)
You may see the current Singer Castle, as now known, on Internet.
Have a'll be Fascinated!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . rewritten December 19, 2011
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  1. Love at First Sight is a one of a kind love !
    We all shall be happy experiencing this at least once in a lifetime...whether it be a true love or a home or a place or a pet... Love is universal !

    1. Your comment is appreciated. When readers discover "a message" which carries into their lifestyle, it is encouraging to me
      to continue the writings of various veins that have developed from personal experiences...victories, defeat, or humour.