The above people were not my visitors but just here to paint the picture for you.
Last Sunday I ran an Open House for a property in Greenwich that I am representing. The Open House was announced on all the big real estate online services– Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com and more. The Bills were playing the Steelers at the exact time of the Open House, and since the Bills (whom I do adore but seriously, can’t those guys get it together. I mean, what was up with Goodwin getting in the way of his teammate’s catch the week before?) are rather unreliable, I figured, a combination of great weather, advertised sweets and no good football games would bring out some buyers.
I was correct and had a steady flow of visitors. The last folks were a family of four. A very pregnant mom, let’s call her Sue, about 34, the dad, let’s call him Dave, about same age and two boys approximately 4 and 6 years of age. They said that they were moving from Los Angeles, had been in NYC for a bit and now were trying to decide between Westport and Greenwich. They were very jazzed up about the house and life in general and said that timing was critical. The baby was due by C-section on December 6th and they would really like to be in a house by then. Every time they made an offer on a new construction home, it got held up by an incomplete Certificate of Occupancy so they were now looking at homes in good condition but not brand, spanking new.
There were lots of enthusiastic thumbs up as they toured through the house, with Sue exclaiming that the massive third floor would be perfect for Dave’s trading business. He beamed saying that his firm had an office in NYC but he worked out of the home. I asked the boys where they went to school and they told me that they were being home schooled to which the mom replied, “That’s ending Monday when the tutor starts.” Dave said that the boys were just accepted at Buckley and I looked at him puzzled (the only Buckley I know is in NYC) and he said “Yeah, it’s on North St. It’s a Montessori School.” I corrected him that it was Whitby which he was thinking of. Odd but, oh well.
I asked for their names and email so that I could send them any follow up information. The email bounced back. I did a little Googling to see if I spelled their names wrong. What popped up next was a series of blogs and articles about this couple. The articles and supporting documents showed a range from unpaid hotel bills, non payment for renovation services, and misrepresentations in a number of real estate related transactions.
All to say, it’s always good to have your antennae up. If these folks had made a bid, I would have let my client’s lawyer take a look at the internet information, just to be extra careful.