If you are a real estate agent, this little story is a reminder that you should never overlook the “smaller” details when working with a couple to buy or sell. Here’s the story:
A title insurance company was handling a closing for an elderly man and his wife, who were selling their property and moving to a South American country. The title company agent had never met the couple in person prior to the day of the closing, but the real estate agent had been working with the couple for awhile on this sale. The title agent had also communicated frequently with both Mr. and Mrs. Seller throughout the long and intense closing process via phone and email.
On the day of closing, Mr. and Mrs. Seller appeared on time for the closing. They warmly greeted the title agent and the real estate agent, and thanked them both for all of their hard work in bringing the transaction to fruition, gushing over their diligence and telling them that they were glad to have friends in the business. They very politely signed all required documents as husband and wife, including the deed to transfer the property.
After the closing was complete, the Sellers asked the closing agent to wire the sales proceeds into Mr. Seller’s account using wiring instructions provided by him. The closing agent complied, and the closing was finalized and the net Sellers sales proceeds, to the tune of $650,000, were wired into Mr. Seller’s account as requested.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the woman who appeared at the closing with Mr. Seller was not his wife; she was, in fact, his girlfriend. The man’s real wife discovered what had happened, but it was too late. Her husband and his girlfriend had already fled the country without a trace.
The real estate agent and the closing agent had been lulled into a false sense of familiarity by the pair, and had neglected to verify the identity of the parties! This is a simple step that should be done every time to keep the integrity of the sale intact.
Lesson learned: Be vigilant and don’t skip the tiniest of details.
Looking to work with a title agent and title lawyer who pay close attention to the details? Call American Real Title/Borgia Law at 239-768-0144