Selling a Home in Rio Linda When the Surprises Keep Coming

Sacramento-home-for-sale.300x225What does a Sacramento real estate agent do when her seller is traveling in Saudi Arabia without cellphone coverage? She doesn’t panic, for one thing. My motto is we can always find a way to take care of a potential problem, but I really had no idea how many challenges were about to present themselves when I accepted a listing in Rio Linda. It looked like a home in the midst of a rehab job. Nobody told me it had been vandalized.

I wrote last July about how I yelled at the poor contractor whose life mantra is Dude, I flaked. He had promised to finish the home by the time it went on the market for sale, but the only good thing I recall about that was I stopped him in the nick of time from tiling the entire home. At least 2 of the 3 bedrooms now have carpeting. I made several trips to Rio Linda to shoot photos, do my inspection, attach contractor’s lock boxes and what have you just to get into escrow. It never occurred to me that I needed to check to see if the faucets worked or the electrical functioned, because the contractor had lived there while he worked on the house.

In fact, I thought the utilities were turned on. Not only were the utilities not turned on, but they were locked by the utility companies, both gas and electricity. The water was shut off, too. Made it fairly difficult for the poor buyers to try to do a home inspection. Of course, this was a VA deal, so we had to order a pest report, and some of the work was not completed by the contractor like it should have been, such as the horrible condition in the master bath shower that looked like somebody had died and plastered their decaying body to the wall.

Once my trusty handymen were able to fill the water heater and ignite the pilot, turning on the water caused a pipe to burst in the attic. Or maybe it was perforated all along, hard to say. The magnificent part of all this was when a licensed electrician went out to the property to fix a few outlets and discovered all of the Romex has been cut and yanked out of the attic. The fun surprises never stopped. Every day, new fresh hell.

This was on top of the title being messed up because it turned out the person we thought was on title was not. Further, the seller who had signed my listing agreement was not really the seller, but those are minor and insignificant points in the overall scheme of things. The fact that I couldn’t talk to the seller or contact the seller because of spotty coverage in the Middle East wasn’t even a factor. Besides, I discovered Viber from a client who travels a lot in China. Great app, check it out if you need to call overseas. It uses WiFi so there’s no roaming or enormous fees.

The miraculous part is this home in Rio Linda closed escrow yesterday. These VA buyers got a home in terrific shape, all new wiring, a new shower, brand new appliances, a roof certification after repairs and they were able to buy the home without putting down any money. The buyer’s agent was also invaluable throughout this long process of repairs. I hope I never do another escrow like this, though.

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