As of December 2011 there are 19,000 homes for sale on the Phoenix real estate market (see: Phoenix real estate listings by month). About 2,300 are bank home foreclosures, otherwise known as REO’s (real estate owned). Many REO properties need some work and that is expected. Others need lots of work and cause potential buyers to go hmmmm …. And then there’s the occasional house that really stinks! Literally.
I took a buyer, who flew in from New Zealand, out to look at REO properties on Wednesday because she wanted a first hand look at some bank home foreclosures. Prices are beginning to go up (see: Phoenix Housing Tracker Price Per square Foot) because inventory is going down and because we’ve had a record number of sales in the Phoenix market in 2011. But there are still deals out there.
Well, we are 5 homes into our search when we open the door to a really nice looking home. It was one of those moments that would have been interesting to record on video — then watch our reaction. I knew something was wrong as soon as I swung open the door. 5 steps into the house and my eyes were beginning to sting. Holy pet urine Batman! This was not the work of a random “tinkler.” These pets had the run of the place. I would never have thought to stop by Big 5 Sports and buy 2 gas masks before showing bank home foreclosures in Phoenix, Arizona.
My client was shocked at the smell. It was almost so thick it could be cut with a knife. But after traveling half way around the world she could not be stopped. She proceeded to do a quick walk-through of the downstairs and headed upstairs. I started to assess her weight and wondered if I would need to carry her out of the house. It’s been awhile since I worked out regularly at the gym. My mind started remembering the correct lifting techniques to avoid back injury.
She disappeared up the stairs and I tried to regain my senses. It occurred to me that she might think this yank was a pansy, so I darted up the stairs. That was a mistake because I started to breath harder. My memory was jolted into remembering that warmer air rises. If it was possible, the smell was even worse upstairs. Of all the bank home foreclosures I could have been in … then I lost my train of thought.
Where am I?
Then I remembered. My client came out of the master bedroom and headed for the stairs (thank you God). She didn’t appear faint (thank you God). We headed outside and locked up the house. My client actually liked the floor plan and features and commented that removing the carpet would help a lot. She wondered what my thoughts were on the subject.
I actually had thoughts on the subject because, first of all, my sight and mind was returning. I told her I had bought a house with a similar problem at the trustee’s sale, which of course was “sight unseen” (and smell un-smelled). I described the process of scrubbing and sealing concrete. I described the process of sanding and sealing 2×4’s that were along the concrete floor. Thankfully she was losing interest in the house and I wouldn’t need to return (thank you God)! On to better smelling bank home foreclosures.
Today I received an email from the listing agent wondering what I thought about the house. It was then I decided to write this post. My return email will contain a link to it. That should be satisfactory feedback, don’t you think?