I’ve always been a play by the rules kind of gal. For example, if I reach out to someone about using their property as a photo shoot location and they tell me no, then I just move on. I don’t beg, I don’t plead, I just go onto the next thing. Well, my amazing husband, Ben, is quite the opposite. If someone tells him no, he questions it. He asks why. He tries to understand the reason behind the no and how he can possibly get past it. And here’s a recent story (that we are still in the thick of) in which Ben taught me to not always play by the rules.
Ben has always been interested (and when I say interested, I really mean, in the nicest way, obsessed) with real estate. For years we have been saving up to eventually buy our own investment property – for which we have finally reached our goal. For the past year Ben has diligently been searching for the right property, which has proven more than difficult to come by. This past December he flew out to Memphis to look at properties. (PAUSE, you are probably asking “why Memphis?” Well, Memphis has a really good rental price to property value ratios and we have friends who have successfully invested there in the past few years.) So Ben was in Memphis and out of the 50+ properties him and his agent looked at, only three were in halfway decent neighborhoods and had financial numbers that were what we were looking for. There was one property in particular that was an incredible deal and in an up-and-coming neighborhood near a new commercial development. Ben left Memphis with nothing but this particular property on his mind.
When we finally decided to put in a fair offer on this property, the seller returned to us with the demand to remove any and all clauses in the contract that related to an inspection of the property. Holy moly! I understand taking a property in an as-is condition, but to not even be allowed to do an inspection for our own knowledge, that is unheard of! We went back and forth with the seller in trying to reason with them and help them understand that no one is going to ever buy the property if they are not allowed to have any inspection of any kind (hence how long this property had been on the market). But the sellers were sticking to their guns.
So we went back to them and asked us to at least give us a counter-offer. But again, the sellers countered back with a firm stance on the inspection and even started adding in other ridiculous clauses about the appraisal value and items they didn’t have concerns about previously. Ugg – a dead end again!
But, Ben kept on thinking about this property and as the holidays rolled by and 2017 came, Ben knew that there still had to be a way to reason with the sellers. So, Ben got really creative in his approach. With the knowledge of real estate and contracts way beyond what I can even explain, we submitted another offer that creatively morphed what the seller wanted and put it in a way that still protected us as buyer and allowed us to have an inspection. The most important thing is that Ben didn’t give up when the seller initially said no. He didn’t give up when they came back with a bogus counter-offer. And he finally got creative in how to present an offer that still protected him as the buyer but gave the seller what they wanted.
Now the big question: Did the seller accept our offer? Yes! We are officially under contract on the property and in the middle of going through the inspection report (it took the guy 15 hours to complete the inspection! Gah!). We still have a lot of hurdles to jump over and make it safely to closing day. But, through this experiences and other, Ben has continuously taught me throughout our 12 years together that:
Now, how to implement this into my own life…that’s for a whole different blog post!