Their Offer Was Accepted. The Only Problem—the House Wasn’t for Sale.
Kanebridge News
Share Button

Their Offer Was Accepted. The Only Problem—the House Wasn’t for Sale.

One real-estate agent almost got scammed, while another broker discovered his client murdered someone in the house he was trying to sell

By AMY GAMERMAN
Tue, Feb 28, 2023 8:49amGrey Clock 4 min
Q: Have you ever found yourself in a real-estate deal with a stone-cold criminal?

Katin Reinhardt, real-estate agent, The Oppenheim Group, Orange County, Calif.

My client was looking for a house in Floral Park. We struck out on a couple, and then one pops up on the market. He sends me the listing and says, “I absolutely love this house.” It’s big, it’s got a pool—everything he wanted. It needs some work, but for $2 million it was pretty darn good.

I contact the agent, from a reputable company, and he says there are no open houses for the weekend. My buyer wants to put in an offer on the house so no one takes it, contingent on inspection, and the agent is like, “Fine. You guys come here, we’ll do the inspection on Monday.”

We drew up an offer and they accepted in four hours. It was an all-cash offer, with a 10-day contingency. I kind of knew something was weird when I got a text from the listing agent saying, “Hey, would you mind wiring the money directly to my seller’s account?”

It was a $2 million house; the deposit on it was about $70,000. I say, “Absolutely not—let’s all get on the phone.”

The seller sounds absolutely normal, like, “Hey, I’ve been burned before when someone has backed out.” We said it had to be a verified escrow account, and the seller says, “OK, that’s fine, I don’t mind.”

On Monday, we get to the house for the 5 p.m. inspection, knock on the door, and some guy comes out in his underwear. No shoes on. I’m like, “Hello, sir, we’re here to do the inspection.”

And he says, “What are you talking about?”

I said, “Didn’t your agent inform you? We’re in escrow with you guys.”

I pull out the contract—it had his name and everything—and he was like, “What in the actual hell? You guys gotta leave. I’ve never listed the house. I just bought it two years ago, and I’m not planning on selling.”

We called the agent, like “What’s the deal, bro? Did you ever go inside the property and verify the seller?”

So what happened was, the scam guy called the broker’s assistant and said, “I’ve worked with you guys before. I’m out of town. I need to sell my house. Let’s put a listing together.”

The agent’s only contact with him had been via email and one or two phone calls. The guy sent pictures from the last time the house was listed, doctored to look brand-new. The agent calls the seller—this scam artist—and can’t get hold of him. No communication. My guy was ready to wire $70,000 to this escrow. Thank God he didn’t.

I had to do a full police report. I went over to the house and apologised. I said, “We had no clue, and my client absolutely loved your place, yada, yada. I know you’re not trying to sell your house but If you ever want to, we got somebody here that would pay cash for it.”

Scott McManaway, broker, The Agency, Denver

I got a call, this couple wanted to sell their house. I went over there and met with the husband; the wife was out of town. We toured the house, had some good conversations and he said, “OK, you’re the guy for the job, let’s do it.”

One of his caveats was, no sign in the yard. He was like, “My neighbors hate me and I hate my neighbors. I don’t want them to know my business.”

We get it on the market, get the ball rolling, get it under contract fairly quickly. The buyers are going through inspections, when the title company calls me and says, “Scott, we have a problem—there’s a bond lien on the property.”

I call my client, and he goes, “Oh [expletive], they put a bond on the house.” And then, as simple as you and I are talking now, he goes, “I’m out on bond for murder. I didn’t realize they put that on my house.”

It turns out he had killed a guy in the house. Later, I googled the address of the property, and it had been all over the news. I tried to keep my composure. I said, “All right, we can get through this. We’ve got to figure out what the bond is worth. Do we have court dates we have to worry about?”

Then, unbeknown to me, he takes a plea deal and gets locked up right away. It turns out his wife, who was somehow involved in this, had fled the state. She got arrested and was brought back to Colorado. So both of my clients—the husband and the wife—end up in jail at the same time during our transaction.

They got shifted around to different correctional facilities. There was delay after delay. I finally had to let the buyers know what was going on, like, “Crazy scenario! Both my clients are in jail, but I promise we are going to get this closed.”

Two different jails, two completely different processes. I called in some favours from attorneys. I’m able to get the wife’s side of the paperwork signed, but I had to wait till the husband got to his final spot, if you will. I brought a mobile notary with me to the prison. We did the whole walk-into-prison, empty-your-pockets, walk-through-the-X-ray-machine.

We go into the visitation room and two minutes later, this big metal door buzzes open and in comes my client, big smile on his face. He says, “Hey Scott! You got it done!” Comes over, gives me a big bear hug. We signed the closing docs and he stood up and hugged me
again and said, “When I get out of prison, I’m going to reach out to you. I want to do real estate.”

—Edited from interviews



MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Property
Winning neighbourhoods where home values rose most in FY24
By Bronwyn Allen 18/07/2024
Property
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Officially List Their Massive Beverly Hills Mansion for $68 Million
By BECKIE STRUM 12/07/2024
Property
The faster pathway to building wealth is no longer how much you earn, investors believe
By Bronwyn Allen 11/07/2024
Winning neighbourhoods where home values rose most in FY24

We reveal the No. 1 areas for price growth in each capital city

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Jul 18, 2024 3 min

Home values across Australia rose by a median 8 percent in FY24, delivering the equivalent of $59,000 in new capital growth to the two-thirds of the population that owns a home, according to CoreLogic data. Investors received total returns of 12.2 percent over the year, including capital gains and gross rental income.

Very tight supply and demand in most capital cities except Melbourne and Hobart was a significant driver of the capital growth, with the smaller and more affordable capital cities of Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide experiencing the most price appreciation over the year. A lack of properties for sale trumped the usual dampening effect of higher interest rates.

As usual, some areas outperformed their city’s median growth benchmark. Here are the top SA3 areas for capital growth in each capital city of Australia in FY24. SA3 areas are large suburbs, or districts incorporating clusters of suburbs, with more than 20,000 residents.

 

Sydney

Home values across Sydney rose by a median 6.3 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Mount Druitt. Its median value rose by 13.96 percent to $859,939. Mount Druitt is located 33km west of the CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Mount Druitt, Ropes Crossing, Whalan and Minchinbury. The Mount Druitt community is very multicultural with almost one in two residents born overseas. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the NSW median of 39.

 

Melbourne

Home values across Melbourne rose by a median 1.3 percent in FY24. The top area for capital growth was Moreland-North with 4.71 percent growth. This took the district’s median home value to $746,488. Moreland-North includes the suburbs of Hadfield, Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. It’s a multicultural community with a particularly large contingent of residents with Italian ancestry. One or both parents of 66 percent of residents were born overseas, according to the 2021 Census.

 

Brisbane

Home values across Brisbane rose by a median 15.8 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Springwood-Kingston in Logan City. Its median value swelled by 25.55 percent to $710,569. Springwood-Kingston is approximately 22km south of Brisbane CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Springwood, Kingston, Rochedale South and Slacks Creek. It is a multicultural community with one or both parents of 55 percent of the residents born overseas, according to the 2021 Census. More than 15 percent of residents have Irish or Scottish ancestry.

 

Adelaide

Home values across Adelaide rose by a median 15.4 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Playford in Playford City. Its median value soared by 19.94 percent to $530,991. Playford is approximately 40km north of Adelaide. It incorporates the suburbs of Elizabeth Downs, Elizabeth Grove, Angle Vale and Virginia. It is home to many young people under the age of 40. The median age of residents is 33 compared to the state median of 41.

 

Perth 

Home values across Perth rose by a median 23.6 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Kwinana in Kwinana City. Its median value skyrocketed by 33.19 percent to $618,925. Kwinana is approximately 37km south of Perth CBD. It includes the suburbs of Leda, Medina, Casuarina and Mandogalup. Henderson Naval Base is located here and there is a significant community of servicemen and ex-servicemen living in the area. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the state median of 38.

 

Canberra

Home values across the nation’s capital rose by a median 2.2 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Weston Creek. Its median value rose by 5.24 percent to $937,740. Weston Creek is approximately 13km south-west of the CBD. It includes the suburbs of Weston Creek, Holder, Duffy, Fisher and Chapman. Approximately 43 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which is on par with the ACT median but much higher than the national median of 26 percent. Household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median. Almost one in five residents work in government administration jobs.

 

Hobart

Home values across Hobart fell 0.1 percent in FY24. The top performing area for capital gains was Sorell-Dodges Ferry with 2.78 percent growth. This took the area’s median home value to $615,973. Sorell-Dodges Ferry is approximately 25km north-west of Hobart. It incorporates the suburbs of Richmond, Sorell, Dodges Ferry, Carlton and Primrose Sands. The area has a large community of baby boomers and retirees, with the median age of residents being 43 compared to the Australian median of 38.

 

Darwin

Home values across Darwin rose by a median 2.4 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Litchfield. Its median value moved 3.21 higher to $672,003. Litchfield is about 37km south-east of Darwin and includes the suburbs of Humpty Doo, Acacia Hills and Southport.  It has a high proportion of middle-aged residents, with the median age being 39 compared to the territory median of 33. About 12 percent of residents are Indigenous Australians. The biggest industries are government administration and defence. Median household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median.

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Property
$30,000 a Month for 1,200 Square Feet? Why Monaco Is the World’s Most Expensive Place to Rent
By J.S. MARCUS 28/06/2024
Property
Glamorous Garages and Beautiful Barns: The New Must-Have Amenities
By SHIVANI VORA 08/07/2024
Lifestyle
A Rare, Historic Porsche Racer Leads RM Sotheby’s New German Sale
By JIM MOTAVALLI 11/07/2024
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop