Industry News

A wreck of a house over holiday

Diary of a real estate flipper

--Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? (from "Winter Wonderland" by Smith and Bernard) So I may have found a house by eavesdropping. I'm not terribly proud of it, but an agent in my office was telling an investor about a too-new-to-be-listed rehab. And so I raised my hand: "If he doesn't want it, I want it." Now I'm sure the most logical of you are thinking: Why didn't an agent in her office already know she was looking for rehabs? The answer, of course, is politics. Rather than make a big announcement about the rehab initiative (and therefore wound the feelings of whichever agents might have felt like they wanted to lead it) my firm has left me to explain it to fellow agents one by one – eavesdropping, if I have to. This agent, luckily, was a strong producer who was pretty secure, and didn't care who the buyer was as long as he got the best price for his client. The client was in a hurry, he said, so we went to see the house the next day. It was a three-story, three-family i...