Your story makes my head hurt.
Here is what I do in similar situations.
Call the number on the for sale sign.
Talk to the neighbors.
Talk to anyone whom you think knew the buyers.
Get the application they filled out when they bought the home and call everyone on it, Parents, friends, work, ect.
Go to where you know these people went. Examples would be place of work, friends, places of the buyers other contacts or places they hung out.
If these things don’t work you need to get a better lawyer in order to at least learn the process of evition/reposesion. Usually when you learn the process you will get used to doing it yourself.
I own and manage 4 mobile home parks for a living and I avoid these situations pretty well. The secret? Preventive Maintenance.
Here is a list of items you can do to avoid these situations. This list will make your life much easier. Also your business will be more profitable. This list is more enjoyable then the above list and situation.
- Stop by and talk to the buyers. Ask them questions. You can learn lots of things about these people just by asking a few questions and listening. Ask them how work is goin.
Talk to them about current events, the weather, ect.
But you may be surprised at how much people will tell you about their lives. And you get a heads up regarding future problems.
From time to time get them to fill out a “resident contact sheet” This sheet can have general questions like their current phone number and place of employment. I also have an emergency contact on this sheet. Meaning friends or parents phone numbers.
Drive by. Stop if you see them. Make sure when you talk top them to make them comfortable. You do not want these people to be scared to talk to you or see you. You want them to know you “don’t bite”. Your just an honest business man who is down to earth. You want them to call you when there is a problem.
I say the words, “thanks for calling” almost anytime a tenant calls. Even if they are calling because there toilet is not working.
If I get the feeling a tenant is having a honestly hard time I may stop by with several bags of groceries. This may only cost $25 and will make a huge step towards a long term customer. Also this customer will most likely respect me more. If they respect me they may feel more comfortable telling me when they need to hit the road. Usually by the time I do this I have collected or will collect much more than this in late fees. I have yet to be sorry I did this. I believe God rewards those to give to the poor. (Proverbs 19:17)
Preventive maintenance is enjoyable and profitable.
I am amazed at how often some of the landlords go to court. Nobody wins when you go to court! Remember that.
*You will loose buyers, whether it is a pain in the butt, or a nice profitable transaction! You will loose buyers!
Look at the top list then look at the bottom list. You will have to do one of the two lists when you loose buyers. Why not do the bottom list? Not to mention when you choose the bottom list you still have the top list for a backup to avoid court.
Let them know you buy and sell homes. If this person really wants to sell their home you want them to be the first person they call.
I hope this all helps,
Post Edited (02-09-09 06:22)