For Professionals of the Probate and Trust Industry

Category: Remodel Pre-Sale

Real Estate 911!  Wow, what a hustle!

It was exactly 4 weeks ago when I received a call from a probate attorney… “I need you to find me an investor. There’s a probate property in Garden Grove, and it’s also in foreclosure… the trustee sale is scheduled for 4/15. Let’s get moving and get this one sold quickly.”

I dropped everything and got in the car. I arrived in Garden Grove. It was a cute little house, but lots of construction material in the driveway and overgrown vegetation.  I opened the front door and there were boxes everywhere, personal items, construction materials, and tools lying around.

The owners unfortunately passed away, both husband and wife. The husband was in the middle of renovating the home, but never got to finish it. The kitchen countertops were missing, as well as the backsplash. The pool was emptied many months ago and now there was green algae floating in dark waters. The yard was overgrown with weeds. And more…

I picked up the phone and called my Orange County general contractor. He was in the middle of working on a project and was stationed only 20 minutes away. He dropped everything and came over. I explained the urgency of this project. 

Within 24 hours I had a bid, and it was approved by my client, the estate’s administrator, who was surprised and mumbled, “wow…I really appreciate the hustle”.  The contractor agreed to have his multiple crews work on this project to expedite. 

We took a phased approach. We placed the property on the market with a front view of the home only, immediately. Within three days yard work was completed and additional yard photos were uploaded. Our contractor had 40+ people working on the home that week to finish things quickly.  We scheduled 3 Open Houses for that first Sunday, when work was not totally completed as of yet.  The contractor’s team couldn’t finish their work that Sunday and had to leave early, since the house was packed with at least 50 people during each of the Open Houses. 

Within seven days construction was completed and the pool was a beautiful turquoise blue!  By now we had complete professional photos including aerial views, a 3D tour, and the marketing video. And, 82 offers!

How did we stop the trustee sale? We learned that a payment would reinstate the loan and stop the trustee sale. So I advanced the necessary funds to reinstate the loan and confirmed that the trustee sale was cancelled.  We were all relieved.

I issued the buyer with the top offer a counter that provided her with 24 hours to inspect the property, and then have buyer remove all contingencies, if buyer was still interested in proceeding. The buyer’s agent complained that she needs 3 days… 4 days to inspect.  I told her to stop wasting time and complaining and instead, get on the phone with her inspector to schedule inspections.  She pushed on her end and got an inspection scheduled for the next morning.   Within 24 hours inspections were completed and all buyer contingencies were removed, and we opened escrow. 

Escrow is scheduled to close in 2 weeks.  We went under contract with a price at the top of the comps – the price escalated to market value as it always does.  The property was priced low, as we were not sure how much time we had to market the property and go under contract and whether we would be able to stop the trustee sale. Stay tuned for the sales price… to be disclosed once escrow closes.  Check out the “before and after” video, as well as the marketing video for this beautiful property, with the quickest renovation turnaround time in the history of my 18 year real estate career of being a Broker:

Before and After:

Completed Renovation in just 7 days:

Should you hire a real estate broker, even if the neighbor wants to buy your house?

Should you hire a real estate broker, even if the neighbor wants to buy your house? Is it really worth it to pay a real estate commission? Many times homes are sold off-market, to the neighbor, or a friend of a friend… sellers feel it makes good sense – save money on the commission!

Last week I sold a property in West Covina – a Trust sale. I made my recommendations and my team got to work, making minor repairs, replacing doorknobs and light fixtures, a thorough cleaning, yard cleanup and manicuring, and then staged it. My recommendation to my client was not to waste money on renovating the kitchen and bathrooms – staging would create a huge appeal that would draw attention away from the outdated tiled kitchen and bathrooms.

I got the property ready for market in one week, and waited my usual 10 day period to expose the property to the market. We got 19 offers, over asking price. One of the offers was from the neighbor across the street. We made a request for highest and best from all buyers, and the neighbor was in the top two, increasing the purchase price by $90K. I then picked up the phone and negotiated with the top two offers, and was able to bring up the neighbor by another $20K, and, the buyer agreed to remove all their contingencies. Property was listed at $849,900 and sold for $990,000! That’s $408/sf, while the highest sold comp is at $387/sf and is completely renovated with new bathrooms and kitchen. My client is thrilled. Presentation is critical. So is negotiations and that extra push and effort by your agent.  Our services are available throughout California.  Check out the property below: