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Utah Property Staged and Wrapped!

I’m happy to announce the Highland Utah property closed yesterday. It would not have been possible without the help of my awesome agents Harvey and Robyn and Christoffersen.

First, they took a chance on me and partially fixed up the property at their own expense. Then they helped bring a buyer at $399,900 subject to existing financing. This means the buyer took over my payments via a Wrap Around Mortgage. On top of that, the realtors also sold the metal shed separately for $1,200. I’m very pleased with the transaction!

I made an amazing $318.19 on the sale. That’s my net after catching up the $6,133.15 back payments, paying 7% sales commission and closing costs. I did get 17,000 cash back at purchase from the seller back in March. So the total profit is 17,318.19. I forgot to include $6400 for June and May holding costs (mortgages, late fees and utilities) plus newspaper marketing and travel expenses (driving, one week hotel and food). Also the cash back I got was actually 18k. So the total profit for this deal is about 12K with the shed.

Harvey first approached me after my listing with Gary Ford expired. Gary was a good agent too but nothing really happened during the 90 days of his listing. Harvey’s sold me on the idea that if I partially fix-up and stage the property I will get a faster / higher sale. Harvey and Robyn specialize in staging properties as part of their listing service. I liked the idea and signed the listing agreement.

Harvey promptly evaluated the property and made a detail list of suggested repairs along with prices and time estimate. He told me he has workers that can jump on it right away. The cost was 5-10K. The repairs/staging would address the eye sores and trouble spots.

The property would still be marketed as a fixer-upper to an investor or handyman. That’s because to retail it to an owner-occupant you need to invest 50-100K for major remodeling inside and out. The suggested partial rehab would simply allow the investor/handyman buyer to realize the potential without being distracted by the ugliness. Apparently the emotional appeal of staging works on the investor crowd as well.

Problem is I had no money. I explained my situation to Harvey. That wasn’t a problem for him. He offered to invest his own time and money in exchange for a higher commission of 7% plus 2,000. I was surprised by his generous offer and desire to take a risk on me. So I signed him up and he went to work right away.

The staging took about two weeks. Within days after starting there was increased activity. People in the area were coming by to see what’s going on. In Harvey’s words “the whole neighborhood came alive”. He said even the contractors from new construction next door started cleaning up their yards.

Here is a progress report that Harvey and Robyn sent me. This shows you some of the things they did:

  1. The front door is still needing to be replaced
  2. The Cleaning Crew is coming in tomorrow, for the interior and windows
  3. Grass is DEAD (DOA), but as soon as possible, we will turn on the water slowly and see if we can get is to come back…??
  4. We’ve decided to just give the shutters a quick coat of exterior white paint. They look pretty good cleaned up!
  5. We still need to repair the railing, and remove the flower box (which is Bolted to the house)
  6. We still need to use the power washer, but not until the yard work is finished
  7. We need to Fill in the hole in the basement concrete floor
  8. Inside, we are about ready to remove wallpapers, and paint the walls neutral… in fact: I got a small piece of sheetrock with the color from the big family room, and home depot is going to match the color, so the rooms we paint will match that one!
  9. Repair / Replace broken and missing pieces of gutter, and downspouts
  10. And Last but, not least, (or being left until last) is getting the big metal shed sold, and removed from the property.

You can see the pictures of the progress here.

Wholesale buyers took notice. While staging the property Harvey was getting inquiries. Several people wanted to see the inside and place offers. Keep in mind the property was off the market at this point. Harvey was going to list it as soon as staging was complete. A couple of potential buyers were allowed to see it early. One of those ended up placing an offer a couple of days after property was listed. Amazing!

The buyer put down cash and closed in about 15 days. Yes, I only got about $300 of that cash but at least I know they are serious. If they are putting up almost 40K they will probably continue making payments to prevent foreclosure and loosing their investment. Their 40K down is 10% of the purchase price. I feel they have ample “skin in the game“.

The owner financing that I gave them was set up to where their payments equal my underlining mortgage payments. I am not making any spread on the payments. They were surprised at my high interest rate but still agreed to the terms. Their down payment paid the agent costs, closing costs and caught up my loan. They are making the first payment on October 1st and will continue for up to a year (1 year baloon). Within the year they will have to refinance or sell the house. At that point my underlining loan will be paid off and the mortgage will be off my name.

Again, I’m very pleased with the owner financing experience of my agents Harvey and his wife Robyn. They have done many wraps before and coached the buyers’ agent on the process. This made the whole transaction go very smooth. Also thanks to Lisa Lott at First American Title of American Fork UT for handling the escrow so nicely.

Bonus 1,200+ for shed(s). Lastly, Harvey and Robyn went beyond the call of duty by selling the big ugly metal shed separately for 1200. Also they found another shed. This is a nicer wooden shed and it was half-way on the neighbouring property. Originally we though it belongs to the builder next door but later found it’s mine also. Harvey spent money and lots of effort to got the shed on blocks to make it easy to put on the trailer and go. It is now for sale also.

This has been a great experience. Its rare to find such good agents. I’m very glad Harvey called me after my listing expired. The whole time we worked over the phone and I have never even met these people. If anybody needs to buy or sell any property around Salt Lake City I would gladly recommend the Christoffersens.

Related Link: Your point of sale and inventory control are key to your success as a small retailer. MerchantOS point of sale software saves you time by organizing your sales and inventory.

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