Owner has no idea if house is occupied, what to do?

10 Replies

Hope everyone is having a great Monday/Tuesday AM. I have a very nice elderly lady who wants to sell me her house. Pretty well motivated. Unfortunately, she does not know much about the state of the house (she lives 1000++ miles away). She later remembered that maybe her sister collects rent checks, but she isn't sure. In fact, she forgets things even stated 5 minutes ago! Is going to the property and knocking on the door even a sensible option? (she suggested that) Let her call her sister and hope for the best? She didn't take my offer of calling her sister myself. Thanks guys.

Originally posted by @Mark Gallagher :

Unless you live 1000 miles away, head on over to the house. See what's going on there. Knock on the door, ask for directions if necessary. 

@Andrey Y.

 I can swing by no problem. Are you serious about asking for directions? I didn't know people still did that. I guess the chance of being shot is rather low. The other option is to offer less and get it under contract (without checking out the inside), assuming work will be needed inside and potentially evict tenants.

Originally posted by @Andrey Y. :
Originally posted by @Mark Gallagher:

Unless you live 1000 miles away, head on over to the house. See what's going on there. Knock on the door, ask for directions if necessary. 

@Andrey Y.

 I can swing by no problem. Are you serious about asking for directions? I didn't know people still did that. I guess the chance of being shot is rather low. The other option is to offer less and get it under contract (without checking out the inside), assuming work will be needed inside and potentially evict tenants.

 In the commercial real estate business when we need to go into a building the excuses tend to range from "may I use your restroom" to "the property owner (named by name) asked me to take a look at this place so my boss can give them an insurance quote" "I just need to make sure there's no water damage".

Honestly, you can just make the offer subject to a relatively short inspection period after the date of agreement (say three days) to ensure the home isn't destroyed in its interior. 

I would say honesty is the best policy. 

I would make sure you run this deal by a lucid family member or her lawyer first to avoid any complications down the line. Get as much as possible in writing if you do not go through a lawyer.

Are you planning to keep the tenants? That may be another discussion, but I doubt that the current owner did a thorough job screening a tenant given her situation. Go over and say, assuming there is someone there that you wish were not, that the house is being sold and give a 30-day (or whatever Hawaii's policy is) no-fault notice. If they ask, you could say that you are helping out your friend. You should probably be prepared to give them some contact info of the owner.

@Andrey Y.

Put on a construction vest and tell them the owner sent you by to give them an estimate on repairs (stolen from a recent podcast). They'll show you the things that need repair, and you'll see the inside.

Perhaps it's vacant and you won't even have to do anything silly. 

This post has been removed.

Originally posted by @Christopher Telles :
Originally posted by @Andrey Y.:
Originally posted by @Mark Gallagher:

Unless you live 1000 miles away, head on over to the house. See what's going on there. Knock on the door, ask for directions if necessary. 

@Andrey Y.

 I can swing by no problem. Are you serious about asking for directions? I didn't know people still did that. I guess the chance of being shot is rather low. The other option is to offer less and get it under contract (without checking out the inside), assuming work will be needed inside and potentially evict tenants.

 In the commercial real estate business when we need to go into a building the excuses tend to range from "may I use your restroom" to "the property owner (named by name) asked me to take a look at this place so my boss can give them an insurance quote" "I just need to make sure there's no water damage".

Honestly, you can just make the offer subject to a relatively short inspection period after the date of agreement (say three days) to ensure the home isn't destroyed in its interior. 

 Thanks. I like these ideas. If I say that thing about the insurance, wouldn't they then ask what insurance company I work for? Just an idea.

Originally posted by @Andrey Y. :
Originally posted by @Christopher Telles:
Originally posted by @Andrey Y.:
Originally posted by @Mark Gallagher:

Unless you live 1000 miles away, head on over to the house. See what's going on there. Knock on the door, ask for directions if necessary. 

@Andrey Y.

 I can swing by no problem. Are you serious about asking for directions? I didn't know people still did that. I guess the chance of being shot is rather low. The other option is to offer less and get it under contract (without checking out the inside), assuming work will be needed inside and potentially evict tenants.

 In the commercial real estate business when we need to go into a building the excuses tend to range from "may I use your restroom" to "the property owner (named by name) asked me to take a look at this place so my boss can give them an insurance quote" "I just need to make sure there's no water damage".

Honestly, you can just make the offer subject to a relatively short inspection period after the date of agreement (say three days) to ensure the home isn't destroyed in its interior. 

 Thanks. I like these ideas. If I say that thing about the insurance, wouldn't they then ask what insurance company I work for? Just an idea.

 You'll figure it out before you walk to the door. Drive by the place and see what it looks like, if its in pretty decent shape odds are its in decent shape in the interior.

I make unsolicited blind offers all the time on commercial buildings. You can't always get inside, heck sometimes I want to know my deal is viable before committing to a site visit. Just protect yourself through that one line contingency "subject to interior inspection within three days from the date of agreement".

Andrey

This thread has taken a deceptive and unprofessional turn. No wonder there's a big push to regulate wholesaling. 

Just call very nice lady back and get the name of her sister. Then work with the sister. Very Nice Lady seems to have diminished capacity. Don't take advantage of her. If you can find another family member to run your questions through do so. Otherwise be patient, check public records find who's paying the taxes. Contact them. 

There's nothing wrong with looking at the property from the outside. Even asking the tenants, if there any where the rent goes. Be open, be honest. You'll do better overall ! If you can't find someone else in Very Nice Lady's family to deal with, I'd say the deal needs more research. 

Go Raise the Bar....                     Don't stoop to get under it....