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Crazy Sh*t In Real Estate with Leigh Brown

Crazy Sh*t in Real Estate!—a podcast that will shatter the HGTV-induced veneer of real estate, and celebrate the challenges of working in this wild, wacky business.
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Crazy Sh*t In Real Estate with Leigh Brown
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Apr 28, 2017

It is extremely important for those in real estate to stay vigilant at all times, especially in this day and age where technological crimes are at its peak. Imagine the pain and heartbreak a realtor goes through when he tells his elderly clients they’re put on hold at closing because of possible fraud. That’s what Brian Whitta, a realtor from the micropolitan city of Findlay, Ohio, experienced and he shares his story with us today.

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Time Stamped Show Notes: 

  • 00:33 – Today’s episode isn’t just crazy, but heart-breaking, too
  • 00:44 – Leigh introduces Brian Whitta
  • 01:00 – Brian is located in Findlay, Ohio
  • 01:14 – He got his license in 2005, but has only been full-time for the past 3 years
  • 01:37 – A micropolitan is an honor bestowed upon a city when they are not tied to a metropolitan area
    • 01:54 – The criteria for receiving the honor includes having growth projects – Findlay is the world headquarters for Marathon Petroleum, Cooper Tire, with the largest dishwasher manufacturer plant, Whirlpool
  • 03:04 – Brian’s story starts with Bob, a family friend who asked him some real estate questions
    • 03:11 – Brian went to Bob’s house and the questions were about the sale of their home
    • 03:24 – Bob had medical issues and they were considering moving to a condo unit
    • 03:36 – Mary was adamant about their moving to the RIGHT condo
    • 03:44 – Both Bob and Mary are nearly 80 years old
    • 03:51 – The first day of their house being listed, they had 5 showings
    • 03:57 – One agent quickly submitted an offer above the list price
    • 04:04 – The appraisal was low and the couple decided to not go through with the sale
    • 04:12 – The couple already had a condo in mind, but they couldn't make the sale go through
    • 04:34 – Bob needed to sell the house for the sake of their health; so, the other agent and Brian negotiated a reduction in their commission to help with reducing the closing costs
    • 04:48 – They made the sale go through
    • 04:54 – The seller of the condo decided they wouldn’t pay a realtor
    • 05:04 – Brian and the other realtor needed the proceeds from the sale of the house to cover the costs for the purchase of the condo
    • 05:14 – Bob and Mary decided they would pay Brian for the purchase of the condo
    • 06:27 – At closing, the attorney mentioned about the option of wiring the proceeds to Bob
    • 06:48 – Brian interrupted the attorney because they were supposed to get a cheque
    • 07:23 – The attorney explained the benefits of the proceeds being wired as opposed to receiving a cheque and Bob and Mary agreed
    • 07:56 – At 9am the following day, Bob called because the proceeds were still not in his account
    • 08:20 – The title office assured them that the wire transfer would come that day
    • 08:28 – At 11, Bob called Brian because the money wasn’t there yet
    • 08:42 – Bob didn’t call at noon so Brian thought things were okay
    • 08:50 – At 2pm (wire cut-off), he got a call that the money still hadn’t arrived
    • 09:02 – Brian called the title office
    • 09:20 – The owner advised that the wire had already been made at the account number Bob provided
    • 09:47 – The owner read the email to Brian and provided the account number, the address, the names of the parties involved, and the dollar amount
    • 10:18 – Brian told the owner that this was not Bob’s email address or his bank account numbers
    • 10:25 – The owner said he’d call back and hung up
    • 10:44 – Brian called his attorney and called Bob back regarding the wire fraud
    • 11:39 – Brian informed them the title office is liable for the loss
    • 11:48 – At 8pm, the office informed them the wire couldn’t be stopped and that it went through
    • 12:02 – They were on hold for the closing
    • 12:22 – After 13 hours, Brian got a call that the money was rejected and had been returned
    • 12:57 – The title office and bank fraud department coordinated with each other
    • 13:12 – The owner of the title handed over the cheque and they were able to close the condo
    • 13:21 – They later learned one of the emails of the transaction was hacked
  • 15:30 – Processes and policies do not eliminate the risk for fraud
  • 16:00 – Wire fraud is NOT only in big markets, it can happen anywhere
  • 17:24 – It takes a different level of care to look after elderly clients
  • 18:21 – Call Brian at 419-701-4040
  • 18:31 – Connect with Brian on Selling Findlay
  • 19:18 – Tweet Leigh Brown for your very own crazy story in real estate 

3 Key Points

  1. There is a different level of care and concern needed to support your elderly clients.
  2. Be vigilant with fraud by having your policies and process in place, but remember, it can happen to anyone.
  3. Going the extra mile—in this case, negotiating a reduction in commision—is just part of getting the job done and looking out for the interests of your client.

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