Foundation Issues - The Little House That Could Be Sold!

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty TREC# 0544069

Is Your Real Estate Agent a Problem Solver?  House

Foundation Issues before Closing?  No Problem!

The Little House That could Be Sold!

This is the story of optimism, hard work, communication and exemplary problem-solving!  It is also the story of a Buyer's walk through the property of her dreams ten days prior to closing and discovering that the foundation was heaving up in the center of the house and causing damage to the floor, wall and the kitchen. Like the Little Blue Engine's belief that it could push a toy filled train over a mountain, in The Little Engine that Could,  two Realtors made the decision that they could navigate a transaction over a foundation issue that looked and felt like a mountain!  After all perception is the reality!

The Story of the House That Could

The Sellers purchased a foreclosure to rehab for income property.  Renovations began with an engineering study, slab leak test, extensive foundation repair, and a second slab leak test.  The roof was replaced, Bathrooms and kitchen taken back to the studs and remodeled.  Flooring was replaced with tile,  wood laminate and carpet. The Sellers leased the property for several years to satisfied tenants.

Flash Forward.  The Sellers asked me to list their income property. I questioned a slight incline at one end of the house and a hairline crack on an interior wall. The foundation company and plumbing company returned to check the integrity of the foundation and the plumbing system.  There were no leaks in the plumbing system and once again the foundation company stated that the foundation was stable and performing.  They further stated that  extensive foundation repair does not always render a perfectly level foundation. Both companies put their findings in writing.

The Sellers quickly received three below market investor offers before offer number four that resulted in an executed contract. The buyers were engaged to be married. The day before closing, the lender called to notify the Seller that the couple had separated and they would not be purchased the property. The Sellers requested and received the earnest money.

THE BUYER appeared the second week of August toting two red flags. The Buyer had applied for two government grants that would not be available until October, so she was seeking an eight week close.  Yikes!  As Realtors we know that the longer the escrow, the greater the opportunity for a transaction to go south: as far as the South Pole!  Although the time frame and the grants were not appealing, the Sellers were ready to sell and the contract was executed. Communication between the Realtors, Loan Officer, Buyer and Seller appeared to be open and honest.  The Seller was keenly aware that the Buyer wanted this property and the Loan Officer  confirmed that the Buyer could quality for another loan, if the grants were not fulfilled.

Repair requests were made and agreed to during the Option Period.  All work was completed to the satisfaction of the buyer.  Ten days prior to closing I received a call from the Buyer's Agent asking me if I was aware that the foundation had raised in the center of the house. To the credit of the Buyer's Agent, this was an understatement!  She also added that there were a few significant cracks in two walls. Yep!  They were cracks, alright!  The Sellers and I felt like we were looking at Mt. Everest and damage from an earthquake.  Everything is relative. Right?

The Buyer's Agent  shared that the Buyer wanted everything repaired and assured us that the Buyer was willing to "hang in" as long as necessary. The Sellers assured the Buyer that they were willing to complete the necessary repairs.  This was easier said than done.  another slab leak test was done and once again indicated no leak. Three engineers looked at the house and said the piers were functioning properly.  Another slab leak test was performed and once again indicated no slab leak.  The original engineer and two other engineers looked at the property and confirmed that the piers were functioning properly.

A breakthrough in the resolution of the mystery came when the Seller called the original foundation company and told the story to an assistant.  The assistant recalled a similar scenario years ago.  Bingo!  The mystery was solved.  The builder had run the condensate line from the evaporator coil down the wall and through the foundation, but had neglected to connect the pipe to a drain pipe. Hello!  This should be Plumbing 101!  Walls were removed and replaced, the plumbing line was properly rerouted, floors and tile were repaired and everyone was relieved and happy! One question will always remain.  Why didn't any of the engineers or plumbers think of this before! If you are a Realtor or homeowner reading this, file this information away in a safe place!

This is why I lovingly refer to this house as The Little House That could...Be Sold!

The Realtors in this transaction were like the Little Blue Engine, in the book The Little Engine That Could.  The Little Blue Engine repeated  "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can," as it struggled to push the toy filled train over a mountain to waiting  children.  Two problem-solving Realtors, through eight weeks of escrow and a heaving foundation repeated, "We know we can, We know we can, we know we can," with the full support of the Seller and the Buyer. This transaction was a true win-win, brought about through problem-solving and hard work by all involved.

Take Away:  Make certain that you Realtor is an optimistic problem solver, with good communication skills!  -And remember the story about the condensate line!

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Hi Charles, everyone involved in this transaction did a great job of communicating which was the heart of the successful closing.  Thanks for reading the post.

May 29, 2012 09:53 PM #9
Rainmaker
322,619
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Dallas, TX
Texas Mortgage Dallas Mortgage FHA

My experience with foundation companies I would rather forget.....

They just want to sell piers and run cheap crews out to lots of properties daily.

 

May 30, 2012 04:46 PM #10
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Tom, there are many honest and knowledgeable foundation companies with their own crews out there.  Unfortunately, there are also those who  prefer to take advantage of customers. It is like any other business.  I think I need to get your do not call list!

May 30, 2012 09:21 PM #11
Rainer
263,980
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - - Sharon, MA
Your Hometown Realtor in Sharon MA

Wow! You and the other agent certainly showed how professionalism pays off. That assistant at the foundation company is pretty amazing, too! Congratulations, Sharon!

May 30, 2012 09:36 PM #12
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Nina, thanks for stopping by and always remember to check the condensate line!  I need to visit Sharon, MA!

May 30, 2012 10:15 PM #13
Anonymous
Anonymous
Lana Douglas

Sharon,

Once again, you went the extra mile for your clients. Great post.

Lana or Rosebud #3

 

May 31, 2012 11:13 AM #14
Anonymous
Anonymous
Gerena Osterberg

GREAT JOB, Sharon!  Do you sell homes in IL?  I hope that I can find a talented realtor like you when it comes time to sell my house!

May 31, 2012 11:29 AM #15
Ambassador
832,448
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
AlbuquerqueHomes.com

Good job on staying the course and making the transaction happen!

May 31, 2012 03:15 PM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jane A. Stephenson

The little house may not have been sold without the persistance & great communication skills that were exhibited throughout the entire transaction.  And I applaud the helpful assistant at the foundation company.  Thanks for the tip on the condensate line.  Great story on a job well done!  I'll be calling you, Sharon, when it comes time to sell my home.

 

      

May 31, 2012 07:20 PM #17
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Lana, customer service plays an important role in real estate transactions. Thanks for your comment!

John, thanks for being a loyal reader!

Jane, I look forward to listing your house!

May 31, 2012 08:04 PM #18
Rainmaker
660,136
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Wow Sharon, what a story with its twists and turns!  How amazing that everyone worked together to keep this deal intact and get the little house SOLD!!  Congratulations on having the professionalism and determination to work out all the kinks ... happy endings are the best kind!

May 31, 2012 10:03 PM #19
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Maureen, thanks for your kind words.  The transaction was challenging and rewarding for all!

June 01, 2012 12:26 AM #20
Rainer
24,457
Janeil Lester
Old Republic Title - Plano, TX

Sharon,

If anyone could have made this happen-it is you! You are one of the best in the business.

June 01, 2012 07:48 PM #21
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Janeil, this one was closed at Hexter-Fair, the best title company in the Metroplex!

June 01, 2012 08:31 PM #22
Rainmaker
598,755
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Homes for Sale and Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR - Fairfield County CT Real Estate

Sharon -- You thought you could.....and you DID!  Outstanding story about how important a great agent with problem solving skills is along with the desire and resources to find solutions. Well done!

June 02, 2012 01:31 PM #23
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Barbara, thanks for your lovely comments. Problem-solving is part of the challenge and excitement of being a Realtor.

June 02, 2012 10:00 PM #24
Rainmaker
290,585
John Mayer
Oikos Realty, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach Florida - Cocoa Beach, FL
Your Beach Area Expert

Sharon - And they wonder how we earn our money. I hope you cracked open the champagne after that one!

June 03, 2012 05:46 AM #25
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

John, closing on this property definitely put a smile on the face of all involved in the transaction!

June 03, 2012 10:18 AM #26
Rainmaker
278,755
Diana Zaccaro - Your Coastal Connection
Realty 2000 One - Cocoa Beach, FL
for Cocoa Beach and the Brevard County Beaches

Sharon, what a great story of two agents working together to make escrow close! Congratulations on seeing a difficult transaction through!

Suggested!

 

June 08, 2012 12:15 PM #27
Rainmaker
699,527
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Diana, thanks for reading this post and commenting. Our job as agents is to get the job done!

June 08, 2012 12:27 PM #28
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Rainmaker
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Sharon Parisi

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