In the afternoon of September 3rd, we received a property inquiry on a listing that had been rather difficult to show. There were a number of buildings on the property that had tenants who weren’t really accommodating to real estate agents, and I figured this was probably not going to amount to anything.
The inquiry was from Sandra, and knowing that the property she initially inquired about probably couldn’t be shown, I sent Sandra over some other listings to take a look at. There were a few that interested her and we set up an appointment to look on September 9th!
We met, along with her boyfriend and their boss at a home in Glen Gardner. It needed a lot of work, but this couple wasn’t afraid of that! They were excited for a challenge. Over the next couple of months, we looked at a number of different homes. Along the way, Sandra and Romeo started to become more than just clients, they became friends.
One afternoon I got a call from Sandra about a home that had just come on the market. She told me that she thought that this was the one (before even seeing it). She had been doing a walk with her church every year and they would walk on the road that this house was on. Sandra had always admired it and had said that someday she would love to live there. Now was her chance!
Finding “The One”
When we got to the home, they both fell in love with it! It was everything that they had been looking for. We immediately put in an offer and after a little back and forth, we had a deal. They were ecstatic! During attorney review, it was discovered that there was an underground oil tank that the seller was refusing to remove. Sandra asked my opinion and that of her lawyer. We both advised her that it wasn’t in her best interest to purchase a home that could potentially have an environmental hazard lurking underground. She was extremely disappointed, but we decided to continue our search for their dream home (even though she knew they had already found it).
A couple of days later, we spent a rainy afternoon looking at a number of other homes. None could compare to the home that they had just walked away from. While driving home from that appointment, feeling frustrated for them, I received a call from the listing agent of their dream home. He told me that his seller had agreed to remove the tank for my buyers! I couldn’t wait to tell them the great news!!!
On October 28th, we went Under Contract. Little did any of us know how difficult this process was going to be. Unfortunately, I was dealing with an agent who either was not staying on top of what was going on with his client or simply wasn’t communicating with me. Every time we asked for the status of the tank removal, we got the standard line that they were working on it. My clients’ mortgage commitment was about to expire, and rates had just gone up. They didn’t know what to do. Should they pay for an extension? We had no idea how much longer we would need to wait! Finally I called the township and inquired about the status of the permit. We were informed that they had only received it the week before, on November 15th! You could imagine how frustrated we were. We had done all of our inspections and had the appraisal and the township had just received the permit request.
I made it my mission to get this tank out so that my clients could close before their mortgage commitment extension expired. I became the squeaky wheel! Finally we had the permit in hand. The tank was to be removed on December 19th. My clients had until December 21st to close. It looked like we were going to make it. That afternoon I called the listing agent to see how it had gone and he didn’t know (which was par for the course). I called the town directly and see if the tank passed. I got ahold of someone who checked their files and told me that the inspector went out to sign off on the removal and no one was there! At this point, I didn’t know how I was going to tell Sandra this news. Luckily, her attorney had just heard too and had already broken the news to her. It turned out that the removal company’s backhoe was broken. Of course it was!
Success At Last!
It was finally decided that Sandra and Romeo would close on the home and all of the proceeds from the sale would be held in escrow until the tank was removed and signed off by the town. After a long and stressful transaction, Sandra and Romeo closed on their dream home on December 21st! The tank was finally removed on January 5th and they received the all clear from the township. We have been in touch a number of times since they closed and are trying to plan a dinner to get together. Thanks to Riley, not only was I able to help find Sandra and Romeo the home of their dreams, I have also met 2 wonderful people that I am honored to be able to call my friends.
A Note From Sandra
“I can't say enough good things about Michelle. She is an awesome person with a kind heart. She was so easy to communicate with, very efficient, knowledgeable and she was very helpful with recommendations and ideas which made our home buying process a little less stressful. We could always depend on her for a good laugh when things got rough and she went the extra mile all the time. She went above and beyond to help us find our perfect home. She worked extra hard on this one and considering all the difficulties we faced (with the seller's side), and she went out of her way to get answers, even while on vacation! Michelle is truly an amazing realtor and I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home. We were overwhelmed with gratitude for her hard work.” - Sandra
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