It was right after a particularly invigorating yoga class that my instructor and good friend, Jerome Mercier pulled me aside to say that he and his wife, Cyndra were ready to purchase their first home. Both Jerome and his wife work on the Westside so the search area was defined and with a limited budget and small down payment, my work was cut out for me.
Sometimes, however, the angels of opportunity are hovering near by and this was one such occasion when they swooped down to help.
Finding a home at a rock bottom price somewhere West of the 405 freeway is difficult and extremely competitive. All cash buyers and investors swarm to any opportunity that rises to the surface. Shortly after pre-qualifying the Mercier’s for a loan we came across the ideal property. It was within their price range and priced very much at the bottom of the local market. The problem was our offer was being presented along side those of all cash buyers. We knew this was a great starter home for the family. How could we compete?
One of the first things I like to do is establish a rapport with the listing agent and create a level of comfort. In this case we found the perfect allay. Jerome and I both have a love for Jazz and when we walked into the home the agent had some great jazz playing from a cable TV music station. Jerome was enthusiastic about the house and we immediately struck up a conversation that floated from music to yoga and in a short time we all seemed to be old friends. That sometimes ends once you walk out the door, but not this time. The listing agent was sympathetic to Jerome’s situation and once the offers were in, he advocated for us. Though we were not all cash we were at least in the running, were pre-qualified and we presented ourselves as ready and able buyers. The owner was also sympathetic to the Mercier’s situation and even though we were counter offered, as was the all cash developer, our counter was signed, returned and it was immediately accepted.