"Always hire a Realtor(R)" you see it in advertisements and you hear it on television. We tell you this because as Realtors(R) our job is to Protect the Public. This is one horror story where the phrase "Always Hire a Realtor(R)" was ignored.
In March I was contacted by a sweet, funny gentleman who was looking to spend about $25,000 on a foreclosure home in Port Richey. (yes you can buy a home for that price) I met him and his friend and we went out to look at what was available. We looked at a good amount of homes and all of them needed much more work than he was willing to spend. Over the next month we spoke at least once a week and I started to feel he was not so motivated to buy. I spoke with him before leaving on vacation and told him to call or email me if anything came up and I would have my associate assist him. Coming home from vacation I called him and he told me "I bought a House" I congratulated him on his purchase and told him if he ever needed me to call.
Friday he Called. He called to have me list the house he just bought saying he was displeased with his neighbors. I met him that day for his listing consultation. It turns out his neighbors are not the only problem.
BUYER BEWARE! THIS IS WHERE IT GETS SCARY!
Mr. Seller bought his home owner financed. $45,000 sale price ($10,000) below market. He put $15,000 down and makes payments of $215.00 a month. I'm thinking.."wow what a deal". Then with bewilderment in his eyes he looks at me and says "I called you because I need your help...I'm in a big mess". Here's the Skinny. He produced his down payment and went to the sellers attorney and got a warranty deed. He recorded the deed with the county clerk. Notarized, stamped and everything. The paperwork looked perfect to me. Then he tells me that 2 months after he bought the house a lady knocked on the door and asked if he was the new owner. He said yes and the woman said "well whats going on...my mortgage was not paid" Mortgage?
The woman who owned the home prior gave a shady man power of attorney and a warranty deed drawn up by his attorney so he could sell her home for her. He did sell the home under the guise that it was clear of all liens and was supposed to take the downpayment and buy down the loan and make the monthly payments on the mortgage for the older lady who owned the home prior.
Stunned I asked Mr. Seller where the man was that he bought the home from. He stood up walked to his desk and came back with the guys Mug Shot. He is in jail for elder abuse and fraud. Mr. Seller was his 9th victim.
Mr. Seller sunk all of his cash into this home which still has an unsatisfied mortgage lien on it. Since he is not the account holder cannot get any information on the loan or payoff amount.
This gentleman not using a Realtor(R) or a Title Company is in a pretty sticky situation. We use title companies here in Florida which research the title and also check to see that the property is clear of all liens and if not, they pay off the mortgage balance for the seller at the time of the closing.
I am in contact with Mr. Sellers attorney to track down this lady so we can get a third party authorization to speak to her bank and see how we can resolve this mess. It is quite possible that Mr. Seller will have to Short Sale his home and loose all of his investment. ALWAYS HIRE A REALTOR(R)!!
If you have Any Questions regarding Real Estate in Pasco County Florida Contact Me
Michael J. Gallo