A couple of weeks ago, in a blog entry entitled The Battle Between Capitalism and Altruism,
I wrote about competing offers for properties in Chicago, Ill., and Hartsville, S.C. The battle referred to the fact that, in each case, one of the offers would have involved our getting paid off months or even years sooner than with the alternative offer.
In each case, however, the alternative offer was from exactly the kind of buyer DBNR has been targeting since its inception - people who are willing to work diligently to get themselves ownership of property.
As you may remember, in Chicago, one of the offers came from someone who was better at words than action. He regularly put me off with assurances that his own clients would come through with cash, but it never happened. When I gave him his final deadline, he never even bothered to call back. Sheila (not her real name) called me to find out what had happened even before I had a chance to call her. She signed her contract, got a money order, and sent both via overnight delivery.
That wasn’t quite the end of the story, though. When she took possession, she was astonished to find that the other party had been so confident in getting the property that he’d already had workmen inside. Sheila is not someone to be trifled with. She told him to get out and stay out. His response: he started making the same kind of all-cash offers to her. Sheila came back to me, asking about this guy. I told her, “If he hands you a certified check, take it. But if he could back up his words with cash, you wouldn’t be the owner today.”
In Hartsville, as you remember, I was talking to one prospect’s father, who was negotiating for his son, who lives outside the country. He had first lowered his offer and then, after finding out that there was another party interested in it, raised it again. When I called to determine the son’s level of interest, I never heard back.
The other prospect, Ronnie (not his real name), wanted to buy the property and park his trailer there. His ability to make his down payment, however, was predicated on his wife being approved for Social Security. There was a period of about ten days during which I wasn’t hearing anything from Ronnie, either, but I’ll be darned if he didn’t call me Saturday before last and say she had been approved and he was ready to send me a $500 nonrefundable deposit.
I told him he was still going to have to come up with the rest of the down payment - another $1,000 - but he was confident he could do that. I can still hear his Southern accent coming through the phone: “Ah don’t quite know how we’re going to make that happen, but we are.”
It may be longer before DBNR gets its money, but that’s okay with me. I like being part of a real-life Frank Capra movie where the little guy gets a piece of the American Dream by pluck and dedication. It makes me feel good.
One last thing about Ronnie - call it just one more indication of his confidence in his ability to get his dream property. He said to me, very politely, calling me Mr. Noble, “Do you mind if mah friends and Ah start cleaning off that lot for mah trailer?”
I told him I didn’t mind at all.