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Random Acts

I spoke to a client yesterday who spent the morning replacing his mailbox.  Seems some vandal, with nothing better to do (or alternately, some drunk with no clue) drove up on his lawn and knocked over his mailbox.  He was out over $200 with no recourse (his homeowner’s insurance deductible was $500) but knew that, just a few weeks before closing, he needed to restore the receptacle, as well as eradicate the large ruts in his lawn.

That reminded me of a story that makes me look so smart in the eyes of some clients.  I always tell buyers to inspect their intended purchase before closing in daylight hours, and if that means the day before closing, so be it.  But for a last bit of reassurance, I advise them to drive by the house again before heading to the closing, even if it is not convenient to the assigned location.  It never hurts to just make sure everything appears OK, I caution.

Once time, clients came to closing after taking my advice. They were agitated, and with good cause:  when they drove up to the house, there was a smoking mound where the mailbox previously was!  Turns out someone had placed an explosive device in the cavity of the wooden box, which had detonated before my clients made their last-minute visit.  No one was hurt (think if it had exploded when the mail carrier was about to place letters inside), but my clients were alarmed that they’d be repeatedly subjected to random vandalism.

After counseling my clients that they were placing their downpayment in jeopardy if they panicked and refused to close, then waiting almost 20 minutes while they spoke to an officer in the local precinct about the dearth of reported vandalism in the neighborhood, the buyers accepted a healthy credit from the sellers and closed the deal.

I haven’t heard about any other incidents, but they must have been plenty skittish about the one blown-up mailbox.  They sent me a “thank you” card after the closing, with a post office box for their return address!

 

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