Dear Readers -
In this post, Mimi Foster from Colorado Springs, CO, relates a scam story that we have heard before but perhaps not directly from one of the participants people involved. Her post title says it all - you'll enjoy this tale of a Closing that ended abruptly.
Mimi is a woman of many talents. She has written books - well received, I might add, and worked her way up to being in one of the top three positions for five years in a row of Best Realtor in Colorado Springs. I enjoy her posts and continue to learn by following her Blog.
Have a successful day - Lynn
PS -- If I haven't thanked you personally for following my writings, please accept my gratitude now. Your views and comments mean a lot to me. L.
If you've been in real estate for any length of time, you recognize that every deal is different and there is no way to anticipate some of the crazy twists and turns ahead for a transaction, or how some people can find ways to try to beat the system. Over the two decades since this happened, the specifics are fuzzy, the Title Company is no longer in business, I've simplified details to make it understandable, but 'the punchline' is indeliby seared into my psyche.
You may know I started my career as sole support of five daughters. I mention this so you might understand the excitement of a $650,000 closing, and the difference the infusion that commission was going to mean in our lives.
The buyers were excited about their move to town. They were anxious to get to their new house and prepare it for the moving truck that was due to arrive that afternoon.
Everyone was signing paperwork when the closing room door opened. I remember the confusion of seeing policemen standing in the doorway, the momentary eerie stillness that enveloped the entire building, and then the cacophony of confusion that followed as Mr. Seller was handcuffed and removed from the proceedings.
We sat in stunned silence as they explained that Mr. Seller, who owned his house free and clear, had already sold it twice that morning, and this was his third closing. He had represented himself on the first two closings, but had an agent for this one. He set back-to-back closings at different Title Companies believing he wouldn't get caught, and after this sale he planned to board a plane to South American with his almost two million dollars in proceeds.
Unbeknownst to him, two of the Title Companies shared a plant for checking title and were alerted to the duplicity. Needing to catch him in the act, they allowed it to get to closing. I was never clear on the details of how that worked, but the first one was a legitimate closing, the second one they needed for conviction, and the third one never actually closed. What I was clear about was that we were all in the middle of a nightmare.
What happened from there became a blur. The Buyers moved into a rental as we all recovered from the shock. Over time I absolved myself of guilt with the knowledge that there was absolutely nothing I nor anyone else could have done to anticipate, prepare for, or prevent the outcome. One of the valuable lessons learned from this one: Never spend your commission before the check clears your account.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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