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El Monte Duplex – Closed Escrow

Research reflects that it costs five times more to attract a new client than to keep an existing one. The business model of a Realtor should be to retain clients by building a loyal relationship. Unfortunately, many Realtors put a greater focus on getting new clients by door-knocking or cold calling rather than relying on referrals and repeat business.

I met the seller of this El Monte duplex, in 2014. She and her cousin were trustees of a home in Temple City, which I sold for them. She later referred a co-worker to me. Her co-worker was the trustee of her father’s estate. He owned a home in Alhambra, which I sold for her.  Last year she and her husband relocated to Washington State and I sold their Glendora home.

El Monte Duplex - Closed Escrow

I have stayed in touch with the owner of the El Monte duplex, which is a rental. It’s not always easy being a landlord and she and I have been discussing a sale for several years. Then COVID hit, and tenants can refuse to allow showings if they have concerns. They also cannot be given the notice to vacate. My client was not as concerned with selling for the highest price. She had a substantial capital gains tax facing her. She was simply tired of being a landlord.

We had several options. We could outwait COVID and the hold on tenant evictions. I could attempt to sell to an investor, who wouldn’t be able to view the back house. Or we could try to sell to the occupant of the front house. The son of the front rental was the best one to qualify. He obtained a co-signer and applied for an FHA loan with just a three percent down payment. FHA appraisers are much stricter regarding a home’s condition. Fortunately, this tenant (potential buyer) realized this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He took care of the FHA appraiser’s fix-it requirements. He obtained loan approval, and we closed escrow last month.

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