People playing the system... - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by SusanL.–FL on August 18, 1999 at 14:47:33:


People playing the system… - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Matthew Chan on August 16, 1999 at 02:15:52:

I was reading one of David Alexander’s replies to a posting on Newsgroup II and it triggered a reaction within me.

I don’t want to sound judgemental as I present the scenario but it is hard not to be.

Last Thursday, I signed a contract for a “subject to” deal on a 4BR/2BA house. It sounded good and the seller motivated. Then I get there and inspect the property. It isn’t terrible but it clearly needs work before it can be resold.

We get down to negotiations and she tells me of her arrears (around $7500) plus she wants some cash to move ($6,000). She is also concerned about someone taking over her loan and wants to guarantee it while in the same breath she does NOT even want me to go through a conventional purchase since she is short on time (which I would consider if the price was right).

To make matters worse, she filed Chapter 13 a few days earlier so the deed can’t be transferred cleanly. Anyhow, I am quickly losing interest in this deal but I figured I would go ahead and negotiate the best deal I could get and have it signed. I figured since I didn’t have breakfast or lunch (it was 2:30pm), having ants crawl on my arm from the dining table, and the airconditioning turned off, it was probably responsible for me not being as enthusiastic as I could be with this deal until after I leave. Heck, I left only $20 as earnest money and option money to lock it down.

To make this long story shorter, I had a bankruptcy attorney check into her Chapter 13 and she has filed for the 2nd time. The seller, herself, told me she did her own filings and knows her way through the procedures.

After speaking with my appraiser, rechecking my comps plus recalculating my holding costs, I concluded that the deal was “too close” (as Ed Garcia would tell me :slight_smile: ) Thus, I am going to abort this baby.

But it just amazed me how kocky (darn censor program) and demanding she was given her situation and the condition of the property. I guess she has had lots of practice with this Chapter 13 stuff that it irritated me. She could have sold the house much earlier but I guess she wanted to fight to keep it and play these games. To make it clear, I let the deal go because what looked like a good deal was really not too good, not because of my personal feelings of her and her abuse of the system.

Anyone else irritated that some people play the system too well? I know David is! :slight_smile:

Re: Personalities are important - Posted by Eduardo (OR)

Posted by Eduardo (OR) on August 16, 1999 at 20:11:00:

Hi Matthew–
Whenever I run across people who are trying to beat the system by being “self-taught lawyers,” I run the other direction. They’re the worst. Anybody who exhibits personality traits that include such things as, general belligerant attitude, anti-govt. feelings, “how I beat the IRS,” angry personality, anti-authority, or thinks lawyers–title companies–realtors–mortgage brokers are crooks, etc., I am very leery. Especially when it comes to prospective tenants for my rentals exhibiting these traits. I won’t rent to people who show any kind of animosity to landlords or related occupations specifically, or anti-authority in general. They are going to be trouble. This definitely includes people who either are “lawyer wannabes” or are “lawsuit happy.” I would put deadbeat bankrupcy addicts in the group.
I do want to deal with or rent to people who show a certain amount of compliance, submission to authority, common sense, friendly or happy personality, etc. You get the picture? I myself try to maintain composure, appear friendly, ask questions, let them talk, smile, nod head, appear dumber than I am, and above all, don’t appear to be a “know-it all.” Just keep asking for more and be pleasant, but firm, when they try to get more from me.
The above is distilled from common negotiating principles and psychological methods used in persuasion as well as my experience. Use your weasel clause and say goodbye to this seller. --Eduardo