A Deal on the Brink | my latest house flip in Hanover, Massachusetts
My acquisition manager Bill and I re-read our Facebook post to make sure it made sense. Neither of us are experts when it comes to social media but we're doing our best.
Both Bill and I have pretty expansive networks on Facebook, mostly friends, family and colleagues. I'm always cautious about promoting my house flipping business with friends and family, but in this case I am pretty happy we did, because it led to our latest house flip deal in Hanover, Massachusetts-a deal that would ultimately stretch my negotiation skills to the brink.
I didn't know it at the time but when we clicked "Post" another local real estate investor saw the status update in his news feed. He then messaged us, letting us know that he had a property he wanted to rehab, but was having trouble with financing. Two days later Bill and I had the contract wrapped up from the investor for a $10,000 wholesale fee.
I'm going to reserve the exact Facebook lingo I used to find this deal for HFS members (click here to learn about our posting strategy). Yet to be honest finding this deal through Facebook was just the tip of the iceberg as far as surprises were concerned. I don't think anyone on my house flipping team expected what was about to happen next.
Hoarding and House Flipping
"Eh boy" I said to myself upon stepping into the house. "This is going to be a project."
To my right stood a pile of odds and ends taller than myself. In front of me was a somewhat clear path that weaved through the house. If you were careful you could make your way from room to room without knocking something over. I felt a slight tingle in my nose and I soon found myself craving fresh air.
I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. Going into this deal I was not aware that this flip involved sellers with hoarding tendencies.
In these moments it is important to remain optimistic, and not allow the sheer magnitude of "stuff" to overwhelm oneself. Hoarding situations are more common than many folks believe, and in the house flipping business we encounter them routinely. Despite the physical appearance of such homes it is imperative to remember that this is someone's life, and that it is important to respect their belongings-as difficult as that may be at times.
Bearing all this in mind I began to wonder how and when the sellers of the house would have the home cleaned up. Fortunately certain rooms were not all that bad.
Yet there was still a lot of stuff buried into every draw and crevice. Removing all their belongings was going to be a lot of work, and I feared it could turn into an overwhelming task for the sellers.
A Deal on the Brink of Collapse
A few days went by without me hearing anything about how the cleanup was going. I feared my worries about the sellers not being able to remove all their belongings was coming to fruition. My gut instinct was telling me that this deal was going to fall apart if I did not take immediate action.
Sure enough the seller was becoming overwhelmed because they could not part with all their stuff. Unless I was able to swoop in with a quick solution I feared I may lose out on this deal. This would be heartbreaking because this deal had some serious profit potential-plus I was hoping to help the sellers get out of a difficult financial situation.
Yet I feared the seller's own emotional overwhelm was going to cause them to become discouraged and back out for good. The deal was on the brink of collapse, and I needed to come up with a plan of action fast if I wanted to save it.
A Simple Solution to Save a Complex Deal
Often times my most creative ideas occur as I lay there in bed, when I should be sleeping. This situation proved to be no different. Last week as I lay there in the darkness I swirled ideas around in my mind about how I could save this deal. Nothing was clicking when out of the blue a possible solution hit me like a ton of bricks.
The next morning I hopped out of bed and grabbed my cell phone. I decided to call back the original investor who had wholesaled me the deal. I wasn't sure if he was ready to negotiate, but I knew that I sure was.
The phone started to ring and I eagerly waited for my chance to pitch my plan for saving this particular deal.