Friday, December 16, 2016

Talking Their Way In

2015: 2701 Broadway (7 BR,16,000 sq. ft) sold for $31 million.
The needle on my moral compass becomes bent when I talk to real estate people. For example, when we checked out new Foster City apartments earlier this year, we told the nice saleslady that we were looking for a place for my mother-in-law.

We weren't lying; it's just that there was no way 1) she would move from Hawaii, and 2) she would pay for an apartment costing more than a thousand dollars per month ($4,600 was a little out of her--and our--price range).

As spinners of tales, though, we are pikers compared to the people who pretend to be buyers of luxury homes. San Francisco real estate broker Nina Hatvany tells the Wall Street Journal:
Another buyer—who was later convicted of fraud on unrelated charges—said he was interested in a $5 million listing.....He gets there and says, “I want to check the acoustics of the piano…it’s very important—I won’t buy a house without the right acoustics.” He spent two hours playing the piano and ruined my plans.

The worst case, about 10 years ago, was a woman who spent just 20 minutes in a 5,400-square-foot, $7.2 million property with water views. She said she loved it but needed to make an offer to the seller directly...the seller was just blown away—a full-price offer in the first week of listing....But then days went on and the funds never came through. She said her money was overseas and it was tied up getting it back to the U.S. Every week it was supposed to come from a different bank. This went on for about 10 weeks....Ultimately, [the seller] put the home back on the market and it finally sold for $6.4 million a few months later.
These are entertaining stories, but high-end real estate brokers like Ms. Hatvany know enough to qualify buyers by getting evidence of financial resources. Once that it is in hand, the prospective buyer can tour away, interested or not, eccentric or not.

Thus it was and ever shall be....proof of money opens doors.

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