Many, many years ago, before cell phones and laptops, I was a relatively inexperienced Realtor selling homes in Downtown Colorado Springs (I know, I know ~ hard to believe). FHA loans were rare, and Realtors tried hard not to use them. I advised these particular Sellers about the drawbacks, but pointed out that the very fair FHA offer that they had received on their home was the necessary method of lending for this prospective Buyer. After discussion and consideration, my agreeable Clients were Under Contract.
Appraisal conditions were prevalent and often harsh at that time on FHA loans. Because I specialize in Victorian and Vintage homes in Downtown Colorado Springs, I especially dreaded the thought of an FHA appraisal, not only because we knew they would find ‘conditions,’ but also because they were notorious for bringing in low values.
While our value came in, there were only a few places that had chipping paint on the hundred-year-old lap-board siding, but the FHA appraiser made it a condition of the sale that the entire home had to be scraped and re-painted. The poor Sellers graciously agreed to do this a week before closing, even though they were moving out of State with their brand new baby.
We scheduled the appraisal re-inspection for the day before closing, and all was completed and ready for the less-than-pleasant FHA appraiser to come back out and sign off on this last condition.
I met him out there that afternoon, and he stepped out of his car and halted. He looked down his nose at me in the manner of a pedantic professor, informed me that the separate garage-type structure on the back end of the property also had to be completely scraped and painted, and proceeded to get back in his car.
Groveling a little, I begged him to return by noon the following day so that he could sign off on the condition so we would still be able to close the next afternoon. He reminded me that every time he came out there that there was an additional charge, and I assured him that I was aware of that fact. We agreed upon a time, and I kicked into high gear.
I called and left a message for the Buyer’s Agent, let her know what had happened, told her that we would have it done, and went and got into my ‘work clothes.’ Because my husband and I had been restoring Victorian and Vintage homes in Downtown Colorado Springs for many years, I had all of the necessary supplies and a very willing spouse, and there was paint left over from the main house.
Imagine my delight and surprise when the Buyer’s Agent showed up, also in her ‘work clothes,’ brush in hand, ready to get the job done. My precious husband climbed the BIG ladder to scrape the top part of this barn-like structure, and the other Agent and I bonded over scrapers and paint brushes and intense work lights as the sun set. We burned not only midnight oil, but also sunrise oil and early morning oil while the Sellers supplied snacks.
Of course it was completed and cleaned by the time the FHA appraiser arrived, surprised and moderately impressed. We closed on time, and when my young Sellers returned to town years later, I was one of the first people they called. They were once again ready to purchase a home in Downtown Colorado Springs, and I was the best realtor for them!
I will always have a special place in my heart for Cindy O’Leary, not only a rock-star Realtor that I would gladly do a deal with again any day, but someone who is also a genuinely wonderful human being.