Rick and I recently had a listing that was as strange as they get. A gentleman was acquiring an abandoned 4-plex for dirt cheap and wanted to make a quick buck and called us to sell it. We usually don’t deal with distressed properties of this nature, but I accepted the challenge.
Here comes the test – the property had no windows, had code violations in excess of $150,000, the tax deed was about to be sold on the steps of the courthouse and was full of squatters. We even tried for one of our maintenance guys to go board up the place and he was almost robbed at the site.
I have to relay one of the many phone calls we received inquiring about the property:
Caller: Hi, I’m calling about the abandoned building you have listed
Me: How can I help you with that?
Caller: I’d like to know the condition of the property
Me: The property is abandoned and is being sold for land value, buyers are encouraged to inspect the property at their own risk considering there are squatters inside, and please proceed with caution and we recommend police escort.
Caller: Does that mean it’s in a really bad part of town?
Me: Sir, unfortunately I cannot answer that question without violating Fair Housing Laws, but because the property is abandoned and full of squatters, we suggest you proceed with caution.
Caller: The building is full of crackheads, is that what you call squatters?
I could not help but laugh at how bizarre the questions got. Does this only happen in Miami? We can certainly look back and laugh at our real estate stories, but I think this one got the cake for me. The lesson is to keep our composure and be correct at all times without forgetting the legalities of our business.
May 2008 bring everyone lots of business! and may the entertainment factor of real estate keep us alive and full of energy! (feel free to share your bizarre takes).