Lynn B. Friedman - Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty: Seller duplicity - It ain't over til it's over

Seller duplicity - It ain't over til it's over

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.

ArrestThe 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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If you would like to search for Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs,

or for any of your other real estate needs,

please contact your Colorado Springs Realtor

 Colorado Springs Realtor Mimi Foster

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Selling homes throughout Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City,
Manitou Springs and surrounding areas with a
Specialty in Victorian and Vintage Homes in
Downtown Colorado Springs

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Comment balloon 6 commentsLynn B. Friedman • April 12 2016 06:14AM


Wow, That WAS a nightmare! How naive that seller was to think he could get away with it.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Interesting scenario. I have never, to my knowledge, been involved. But I have "spent" commission in my mind that never materialized (a hard lesson  but necessary).

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 3 years ago

I read that story on Mimi's blog yesterday, and finished reading with my jaw dropped.  In my 35 years as a Realtor, I had never heard such a story.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 3 years ago

It's never really over until it's over like Yogi Berra said. Keep at it and keep your head up! Happy sales to everyone!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 3 years ago

It's a great story, Myrl! It should get a lot of traffic. I'll be interested to see the response it gets!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 3 years ago

Loved the story and Mimi Foster  is my favorite crime fighter kudos to the effort and perseverance, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 3 years ago