27 Feb Can you sell my condo in 14 days?
The new client
“Jack, we need to sell our property within 8 months. Is this time frame ok? What is the most challenging time frame that you have handled?“
The question above was posed to me by a new client who wanted to hear my experience dealing with a challenging time frame. I assured him that 8 months was very comfortable as long as the crucial factors that determine the successful outcome of a property sale are present. As for my most challenging time frame, it was a case that required me to sell the property in 14 days. I then proceeded to share this particular case.
The serious buyer turned serious seller
A couple came to see a landed property that I was marketing one Sunday afternoon. During the viewing, they shared that they were staying in a condo and that any purchase would be subjected to them selling their condo first. They also took the chance to ask me about the whole property transaction process. What they asked during the viewing and the situation (need to sell before they can buy) they were in was nothing uncommon. Given the situation they were in, I knew the chances of them buying was extremely low.
The couple called the next day and told me they wanted to view the property again. When the viewing was done, the husband told me that they really really liked the place. He then asked me, given the situation he was in, how he could secure the house asap. I told him the only way to do it was to make an offer that was acceptable to the owner and request for a longer option exercise period. During the option exercise period, he would have to secure a buyer for his own condo and make sure the buyer exercised the option to buy his condo before he could exercise the option to buy this landed house. The minimal option exercise period required to try and pull this off would be 4 weeks. But I reminded him that the owner may not agree to the long option exercise period because he would lose other interested buyers in the meantime. We then discussed the worst case scenario – he would lose the option money if he could not get a buyer to buy his condo and exercise the option in time. He then asked me, “Can you sell my condo for me in 14 days? My place is very nice. Can easily fetch $2m“.
The buyer reiterated to me again that he really liked the house I was marketing and was prepared to take the risk. He was very serious. So without even seeing his condo, I told him I would do it for him. The landed owner accepted this buyer’s offer and I managed to get him a 4-week option exercise period.
The sale of the condo
I was fully focused on his condo over the next 2 weeks. The place was indeed very nice with beautiful interior design and good attributes. However, there was one big challenge. The property originally had three bedrooms. After this buyer bought the place, he combined two of the bedrooms. Prospective buyers with the budget to pay what he asked for needed three bedrooms while the price was a little bit out of reach for those two-bedroom buyers.
With the clock ticking down fast and having been entrusted to do the job, I worked extremely hard on this case. This couple remained extremely calm and steady throughout and left me alone to do what I needed to do. They trusted me and gave me full access to their place and always excused themselves when there was viewing so as to provide prospective buyers with the best possible viewing experience.
To cut the long story short, I sold their condo on the night of day 12 and delivered the good news to them while they were playing badminton. The pure joy written on their face when we met outside the badminton hall was priceless. It felt great and satisfying to have played a major part in this new and important milestone of their lives.
1) Trying to sell a property within a short time frame is highly stressful for all stakeholders involved. All the pros and cons of doing it should be carefully weighed before a decision is made.
2) The successful sale of a property is determined by a few key factors. I will not take on cases where I feel there is no chance of a successful sale.
3) Reconfiguring a place to meet your exact needs could reduce the pool of potential buyers when the time comes to sell.
This remains the only case that I have handled where I was given an extremely short time frame to sell the property. Would I do it again? If the situation warrants it and all the parties know what they are getting into, why not? I get immense satisfaction and joy from helping clients achieve positive results from very challenging situations. This is not to say I do not enjoy the “normal cases”. I enjoy them too because in either case, I know that I have helped someone.
Photo credit: Flickr/Dafne Cholet