Selling Your House the Hard Way

With Patience It was great news all around when I found a buyer myself for my California home, through ads and bulletin boards around town, then took the young couple to my favorite realtor to sign the purchase documents. I was very contented to pack, move, and hand the keys over to the couple, who had agreed to pay me a reasonable monthly rent until the closing on the sale, which was already scheduled. I knew the deal was a good one for both parties. I then, with relief that the real estate part of my career move was over, went on with my life, which involved starting an overseas job. Some time went by, when, out of the blue, so it seemed, I got a frantic piece of postal mail from my realtor: the couple had not disclosed some details on their loan application and had been turned down for the mortgage! Now, in an era before the internet and even cell phones, I found myself 9,000 miles away from the scene of action, in a drastically different time zone. Since the couple were already living in my house, the prudent thing for me was to continue the rental. I set that up with the same realtor, as a management contract instead of a sale. That was fine, but I desperately did not want to be a long-distance landlord. After a year, I asked, "This couple has a firm record of paying this rent faithfully for a year now. Based on that, can't they now qualify for a mortgage on the same house? They did, and we finally, though belatedly, completed the same sale that had been contemplated originally. A case of "Whew! A happy ending at last!"

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