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How The Steeles Helped Rescue a Distressed Home From Pre-Foreclosure

Therese hadn’t spoken to her stepfather in more than 10 years when she got the news of his death. What’s more, she learned she was the executor of his trust which meant she had to manage the sale of his house in Ramona, a semi-rural community south of the Cleveland National Forest, before going into pre-foreclosure just a few weeks later.

As Therese began looking into to the house, she learned one disturbing detail after another. Her stepfather had died in the home. Three weeks had passed before a neighbor called the police, who broke down the front door, where her stepfather was then found. The property was deemed a Hazmat site and had to go through a complete treatment.

Therese lived in Colorado, and she wanted to get rid of the house with as little effort as possible. She reached out to Lana and Andrew, two San Diego-area investors, who told Therese the most they could offer for the property was $325,000.

But the Hazmat designation and clean-up meant that all textiles had to be removed from the house. This included all of the carpeting throughout the home. With there not being any flooring throughout the home, the property was no longer financable to a traditional buyer, unless she was to invest in replacing it.

It was already mid-August and the property was at risk of going into foreclosure on Sept. 1. Therese had three options: let the house go to foreclosure, finance the repairs herself and work with a real estate agent to list the property on the MLS, or sell it as-is for cash to an investor as soon as possible.

Lana and Andrew referred Therese to their friends, John and Melissa Steele who have a large investor network. Therese called the Steeles on Aug. 20.

Sellers are required to disclose whether anyone has died in their home which can make sales much harder. The Hazmat issue added another wrinkle.

Still, the Steeles decided to list the property for investors, asking $350,000. Within 24 hours, more than 100 investors knew about the house. After another day, the team had received 25 offers.

Therese and the Steeles accepted the strongest offer: $425,000 for the property as it was, noncontingent, with a three-day closing process. The sale was finalized just nine days after Therese met the Steeles--and just a day before the property would have gone into pre-foreclosure.

Related: What is a Foreclosed Home?

The house sold for $75,000 over their asking price and $100,000 more than the first pair of investors offered. The difference allowed Therese to cover the costs of the Hazmat cleanup and her travel.

The tight timeline--less than two weeks before pre-foreclosure--meant the Steele team had to hustle. They used targeted marketing strategies to target investors, who would be less intimidated by its condition and have cash on hand. Most closings take 30 days; this one took just three.

Therese, who had already lost her stepfather, was able to fly home without losing any money. Working with the Steeles gave her more options for the distressed home than she realized she had. And their extensive network of investors and affiliates helped close the sale quickly and smoothly--not drawing out Therese’s goodbye any more than was necessary.

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