Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Silver Spring Settlement Today is an Example of Focussing on the Result and Not the Process

One of the reasons I used as a picture from Brookside Gardens in yesterday's blog about the Montgomery County real estate market is because I have a settlement today for a residential rental property in Silver Spring,MD that is a few blocks away from Brookside Gardens. It has been an unusual transaction, to say the least, and I am just focussed on getting my clients into the home they want.

My clients,who are relocating from Florida to Maryland for a new job,contacted me around a month ago in response to an internet ad that I placed. The move was sudden for my clients as a great job opportunity came up,which required them to relocate.
They were looking for a home in the Silver Spring area near a metro stop for work,convenient for shopping and near parks for their children. Instead of buying at this juncture,even though it is very advantageous to do so with the $8000 tax credit, my clients decided to rent for a year, just to make sure they like Silver Spring, Maryland and that he is settled in his job before buying. So, they decided to rent a home and if all goes well,we will begin house hunting again in the summer for a home to purchase,when they know the area better.
I emailed my clients a handful of homes,which I thought they would be interested in and we spent an afternoon previewing them. We had to find a home for them as soon as possible. To add a couple of dynamics,the wife was in Florida with their children until we found a home and was busy locally coordinating the moving company.
So,I showed the homes to the husband, who would then tell the wife what he saw as the positives and the negatives of the home.
There were several challenging dynamics with the home which my clients chose. The biggest hurdle has bee the communication gap between the listing company and the home owners:
(1) The home owners live in Arizona and currently there is a 3 hour time difference between Arizona and Maryland, which made it challenging to respond rapidly to one another's questions and comments during negotiations. Often landlords who are out of town enlist property managers to work out most of the details,but the landlord and property management company are in the process of breaking their business relationship,as you will read more below.
(2)There is a tension between the owner and listing broker who is listing and managing the home. I have heard both sides of the story -- there are always at least 2 perspectives. They have been in an unhappy business relationship for months.
The listing and property management agreement between the two ends September 25,2009 and they are severing ties at that point. According to the property manager,he tried to end the business relationship earlier because of the tension between both sides,but, according to him, the owners said no--perhaps the owners wanted to find a new property manager before parting ways with the current one. That would make sense to me. But,I don't know.

Anyhow,as soon as my clients sign the lease and the landlord returns the lease signed on his side and everything goes as schedule,the relationship between the owner and listing broker/property manager is over.

My clients gave the listing agent a list of repairs that need to be completed within a short time frame after my clients move in,but since the agency relationship between the owner and current lister is ending,the current lister will not be overseeing or be responsible for execution or failure of execution of repairs. So,my clients and I had to type a seperate addendum to the owner independent of the soon to be former property manager,to guarantee the work will be done in a timely and workmanlike fashion.
Since the owners are in Arizona and it is challenging for him to self manage his Silver Spring home,they have just retained a new property management company,who I called to introduce myself.
The new property management company is going to inspect the home because:
(1)they haven't seen the inside of it before
(2)the owners of the home were shocked at the alleged property condition of their home (which was eluded to in the offer to rent his home) and want the new property manager to (a)verify the condition; (b)budget and schedule repairs.
The good news is that in my conversations with one of the home owners,he seems reasonable and said as long as the new tenants are reasonable,things will work out well.
As the buyer agent,I wish that the transition from one property manager to another took place either prior to the lease signing or after the repairs were completed so there would be less paperwork and we could perhaps more efficiently take care of the home repairs documented by my clients.
But, since I am neither the listing broker,property manager or owner of the home,I have no say. At the same time, if this transition from one property manager to another was something my clients were going to be comfortable with and feel their interests would be at risk/it would impact repairs being done on the home after all of our conversations,then my clients shouldn't sign the lease. Perhaps they are thinking big picture and are only going to rent the home for a year.
My clients signed the lease a short while ago and created an additional addendum seperate from the lease for the owners to sign,agreeing to repair terms. I think it is a fair addendum and it protects them since the property manager executing the lease is now removed from the situation.
I will certainly keep a close eye out for my clients and make any calls to make sure that any agreements in the lease and lease addendum between the owner and my clients are executed. I probably won't have any say since I am not the property manager, but will guide them if they feel their tenant rights are being violated. I do hope that with a fresh start of new tenants and a new property manager, that my clients will enjoy calling their landlord's home,their home for the next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment