Back in early 2013 while working with Coldwell Banker HPW in Mebane, I listed and sold a foreclosure home for a large regional bank. As part of the process of getting ready to list the property, I did the normal preliminary task of pulling the on-line property information to find out where in Mebane the home was located so that I may perform an on-site inspection of the property in preparation for completing a Comparable Market Analysis (also known as a Broker’s Price Opinion).
When I arrived at the property the first thing that stood out was that the front and back yard’s grass was knee-high and the bushes were overgrown. So far no big deal, I would just need to find someone to bush hog the yard and cut the bushes back. The next thing I noticed was an attractive ranch style home with a cedar exterior siding with a one car attached carport. Now I’m thinking, hey this is looking like a nice home to sell.
Next, I waded through the knee-high grass to go inside the home. Of course, all three doors to the home were locked so I was unable to see what the inside looked like. I scheduled a locksmith to come out the next day and he rekeyed and opened up the house.
I saw that the floor covering was missing in the kitchen and living room, the bathroom was nasty, and the rest of the home was in pretty rough shape and in need of paint throughout. Having seen worse foreclosures, I was still feeling pretty good about the home, however, it just wouldn’t be worth as much as I was thinking it would be.
After getting back in the office and performing an initial analysis of the property, it appeared that this home should be worth about $40,000 based on its current condition and a depressed real estate market at the time. However, after diving deeper into researching property records, I discovered that the private road access to this property ran through a separate tract of land owned by the person whose home had been foreclosed on. That parcel of land was not being foreclosed on and the owner was not willing to cooperate with the bank in granting an easement. No surprise here, right?!
It appeared we were now stuck with an unmarketable landlocked property. That was the bad news. The good news was we had one interested buyer who happened to be the next-door neighbor. Because the neighbor lived next door, he didn’t need an easement since the new resident could drive across his property to access the home. Without any other options, the bank ended up agreeing to sell the home to him for $10,000. Even with the home being in rough shape, this neighbor got a great buy, and that was how we were able to sell this landlocked property that was otherwise unsellable.