This is the second part of a 3 part series called "The Good, The Bad, and The Unexplainable."
The Bad - An REO Agents Worst Nightmare.
The South was recently plagued with extremely COLD WEATHER. At night temperatures reached as low as 8 degrees. This may be considered a warm winter to some of our REO brothers and sisters in the North but to us Southerners, it felt like we were in the Arctic Circle.
I received a new property around the first of December. The home is perfect for a first time home buyer. Just a few years old and in fairly good condition. Due to this, the seller thought the home would make a good candidate for a rehab. So, as instructed, I got two contractor bids. Also as instructed, I had the home re-keyed and winterized.
The bids included some minor repair as well as new carpet, vinyl flooring and pressure washing the exterior. One of the contractors bid was approved by the seller and they promptly began work right after Christmas. I received a call from the Contractor on Sunday, 1/3/10, informing me that the work was done and that I could take completion photos. I went out to the house to take the pictures on Monday, 1/4/10. The work had been completed and looked good. While I was there I noticed that the water had been turned on, which I assumed they did to pressure wash the exterior.
When I got back to the office that afternoon I uploaded the pictures and informed my asset manager that the home had been de-winterized and asked if I had authorization to have it re-winterized (of course I was wanting to know if I would be reimbursed because if you do anything without permission, it is very difficult to get your money back). I didn't hear anything back from them until the evening. They were asking that I get bids to have the work done. The next morning, before I had a chance to submit the re-winterization bid for approval, I get a call from the neighbor of the property. You guessed it, water damage. Her words were, "It looks like it is raining in your garage." That's right. A pipe to the hot water heater busted and the hot water heater just happened to be located in the attic. It flooded the house.
Needless to say this ruined my day and the rest of the week. Even though I had followed the procedures from the seller in handling their asset, they still felt that I was responsible for the damage. Well, right or wrong, I did what any good, seasoned REO agent should do. I bit the bullet, fixed the problem, and salvaged the relationship with the asset manager. It cost me about $1500 to get the water cleaned up and pipes repaired (which I am not getting reimbursed for). A lessen to those agents wanting to break into REO's, if you are in the business long enough, your going to have something go wrong.
I would love to hear some of your stories. It feels good to know that your not the only one having to deal with these types of situations.