Episode 72. Big News & The Year Long Estate Sale with David Dodge

December 5, 2022

In this episode, you’ll hear: What to look out for when signing a contract for an estate property How to provide value to sellers of an estate property The clunky administrative hurdles you need to overcome to close an estate sale If you’d like a shoutout (and a chance to win a $20 Home Depot […]

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In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • What to look out for when signing a contract for an estate property
  • How to provide value to sellers of an estate property
  • The clunky administrative hurdles you need to overcome to close an estate sale

If you’d like a shoutout (and a chance to win a $20 Home Depot gift card), just leave a review on Apple Podcasts and send a screenshot of it to me on Instagram via DMs!

Legally Getting an Estate Sale Under Contract

Purchasing an estate property can feel like a really great opportunity. Now, what do you legally need to do to lock things up? The most important thing you as a buyer of estate sales can do is ensure the person you are communicating with actually has the legal authority to sell the property. If the person who died (the decedent) had a Last Will & Testament – that person would be called the “executor.” If the decedent died without a Last Will & Testament that person would be called the “administrator.” There’s also the off chance you could deal with the “trustee” of a trust. But figuring that part out is key to signing a legally binding contract to purchase an estate property. 

Often what happens, especially in the situation where a child is selling their deceased parents’ home, is that one sibling takes the lead. Maybe because they are the organized one, or the retired one with more time, or just the one stuck with the job. But just because they are the leader of the movement to sell mom’s house doesn’t mean they have the authority to actually sell it. 

For example, if parents pass away without a will and there are 3 kids. The kids can’t just agree that kid #1 is going to handle the sale. You need a court to appoint kid #1 as administrator to sell the property because technically all 3 kids are owners in the estate. (I made some sweeping intestate assumptions here but I think you get the point that you need the paperwork!)

Finally, you gotta get the paperwork first. I often see investors eager to just lock up a property that they think the Seller can just do the probate process and get that official court appointment while they are under contract and title is doing their searches. The major problem with that approach is that the contract is unenforceable. The person who you got to sign the contract to “lock it up” doesn’t have any legal authority to sell the property so you didn’t really lock it up anyway. 

Opportunities to Provide Value to Estate Property Sellers

So you’ve got a motivated seller who wants to stop eating the holding costs on an unoccupied house. What other ways can you streamline the process for sellers during what can be an emotional and difficult transaction in an emotional and difficult time of life? (Remember – someone died!). If the property is filled with personal effects, you can offer to dispose of whatever items they don’t want after closing. A caveat I would give here is to make sure you have enough access to inspect the house properly or are getting the property at such a price that it doesn’t matter!

You can also offer to connect the seller with helpful people such as probate attorneys, CPAs, or movers to help them navigate some of the more difficult or confusing parts of selling an estate sale. 

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Connect With Our Guest David Dodge

David Dodge is a St. Louis Real Estate Investor with over 18 years of experience. David specializes in

Wholesaling Real Estate as well as using The BRRRR Method to acquire Rental Properties with none of his own money! David and his team have wholesaled over 750 houses to date and his company “House

Sold Easy” averages about 5-10 wholesales a month. 

David’s Website 

Episode Transcript

Bonnie Galam 0:00
Welcome back to the podcast. I’m your host, Bonnie Galam. And I have got a meaty episode on deck today with my guest, David dodge, we talk about an estate sale situation that I’ve actually seen arise several times personally in the last two years or so as an attorney. And so this is definitely not a one off like freak situation like some of the horror stories I share. But I also want to let you know I’ve got some really big podcast News, I’m going to share with you after my conversation with David, and I really think you’re going to enjoy it. i You may have noticed that it put the podcast on pause for the last month or so. But I kind of sorted out these details got them straight in my head. And I’m really excited, if not element a little nervous to share them with you. But more on that later. Let’s start off diving right in to this horror story with my guest, David dodge, guys this week, we are joined by David dodge. David is a St. Louis based real estate investor with over 18 years of experience and he got started back when he was in college in the University of Missouri at Columbia. He specializes in wholesale and we’re going to talk a good bit about that today. As well as using the burr method to acquire rental properties. He has wholesaled over 750 houses to date, and is averaging about five to 10 wholesale deals a month. I’m excited because David is also a landlord himself. And we’re gonna talk about one of these deals that he actually it touches on everything from title to wholesaling to getting really creative mid deal. And so I’m excited to bring you this episode with David dodge.

Bonnie Galam 1:48
Welcome to the House of Horrors Podcast where each week we dissect the problems real estate investors have faced, how they navigated that and of course what you can do to avoid ending up in their shoes. All right, now that you guys know exactly who David is, let’s get into like the weeds with wholesaling. I am so excited for this because we’ve never had like a heavy duty wholesaler on the podcast, and to talk about like some of the things that can go off the rails when you’re wholesaling. But even if you’re not wholesaling. I think a lot of these lessons are important when you’re dealing with just like funky creative financing, or you’re dealing with just off market properties or sourcing your own deals, even if you’re keeping them yourselves. And let me tell you, I heard a snippet of this horror story before we hit record, and it’s got a mix of everything. We’ve got dead people. We’ve got transactions lasting almost a year at this point. And so I’m gonna let David give you the backstory of like this wholesaling deal that, frankly, is still ongoing.

David Dodge 2:51
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I appreciate you having me, Bonnie, thank you so much. And before we jump in, you know, I just want to say a couple of quick things here. So like, you know, when it comes to wholesaling a lot of you know, individuals that are new to the business, and I teach and coach people all over the country on you know, how to get their first wholesale deal and all type of stuff. But one of the things that I really just want to highlight before we jump in is is to be a good wholesaler or to be an investor that wholesales you got to understand a couple basic principles. You know, number one is, you know, we are the liquidity makers to the real estate space, right, we come in and we offer to buy properties from motivated sellers that either are in a distressed situation or have a distressed property, sometimes both. And we offer to pay cash and close quickly. Again, we are the liquidity makers here. But the reason that a seller, a motivated one hopefully wouldn’t even want to take an investor’s offer or wholesales wholesalers offer is so simple. And I think people overlook this bounties. Let’s just talk about it for a second. But the reason that they would accept that offer is because the investor or the wholesaler is offering convenience to them. That’s really it, that’s all that we are really doing when we are our wholesaling is is we are offering convenience to a seller again, who may have a distressed property, or maybe they’re dealing with a distressed situation in their life. And in exchange for the convenience that we offer. We demand a discount. So we are making low offers offers that, you know, make a lot of sense for us investors. And then we once we get those properties under contract, we turn around and we find a buyer to step in our shoes, and we get paid to essentially get out of the way if you think about it. And that’s really what wholesaling is right? So we came across a deal about a year ago, we can jump into the nuts and bolts now we came across a deal about a year ago and it was in fact a motivated seller. It was a gentleman that had a home here in St. Louis where I live and work and invest and his parents had previously passed away. So that’s unfortunate, of course. But he essentially, you know, got the home, he inherited the property. And he has a couple of brothers and a couple sisters, I want to say there was four heirs total. Well, we agreed to buy the property. And we agreed on a price. We signed a contract. And then I went to the title company to deliver that contract and the earnest money to make that contract legal. And the title company says, “Great, Dave, we’re gonna process the paperwork and let you know when we can close.” Well, guys, that was a year ago, almost to the day. I mean, it’s crazy reason it hasn’t closed and it’s taken so long, is because when they ran the title, they noticed that the seller, the individual that I met at the property, wasn’t on the deed, he wasn’t the owner, it was his parents, not the end of the world doesn’t kill the deal. But in order for you to legally be able to sell something, you got to own it first. And in this case, the seller that I met with, it didn’t own it, because his parents still were on the deed, but they were both deceased. Go ahead, Bonnie, what were you gonna say?

Bonnie Galam 6:11
I was just gonna say that, like, I see this pop up, not just with like wholesaling situations, but also Realtors with listings that someone says, Hey, I’m selling mom and dad’s house, it’s portrayed initially, it’s just like an estate sale, without realizing that like the estate has never been opened. And so I can’t tell you how many times it’s kind of shameful how often I get calls from realtors who say, hey, we just went under contract on this deal. Turns out, probate hasn’t been opened yet, can we assign it like no one has the authority to sign anything, we can get this going until we’ve got an executor or an administrator in place and then be then be able to contract because whoever you just signed with probably didn’t have authority to sign back then…

David Dodge 6:55
They didn’t, they didn’t, which is fine. It’s not the end of the world, of course, but like, they can still sign a contract with me, it’s not really super enforceable, but at least it gives the title company, something to start working off of right? And then from there, they’re gonna let us know what we need to do. Well, that’s what they did. They took my contract that took my earnest money, they call me back a couple of days later, and they said, “You know, the seller on this one,” and just kind of use Gary as an example, you know, Gary, was not the owner of the property yet. So he, you know, couldn’t sell it to me. So they basically said, “Hey, you know, in order for Gary, to be the owner of the property, they’re gonna need to take it to probate court.” Well, Gary was unaware. So we helped. And that’s really the one of the things that we do, again, I mentioned this from the beginning is, is, in order for us to get a good deal, we have to provide convenience. So we went back to the seller, Gary, in this scenario here, and we said, “Gary, you know, we love to buy the property from you nothing’s changed. However, you aren’t legally allowed to sell it to us yet, because you don’t own it, the estate hasn’t been opened,” as Bonnie mentioned. And in order to do that, in order for you to transfer a deed from, you know, a parent or a deceased individual, you got to go to court, you got to go to probate court specifically. And you need to have the probate court allow you to sell that property and basically get you on title or transfer the title from the parents names into the estate which essentially would be owned by him and his three siblings. So kind of a crazy situation. But you know, Gary said, “Hey, Dave, you know, we want to sell it, regardless of what we need to do here. So let’s go ahead and open up probate. And let’s get the ball rolling.” And we said, “Great,” now here’s the thing. As investors as wholesalers, we have to provide convenience. Well, they’re paying insurance, they’re paying taxes, they’re paying utilities on this property. Now, I know from being a, you know, an experienced investor with almost 20 years under my belt at this point, that the probate courts don’t happen quickly, this isn’t something that’s going to happen in a day or a week or even a month, it’s going to most likely take four to six months, if not longer to get through this entire probate process. So what I decided to do was to offer more convenience to the seller and say, hey, I’ll buy this property. And the purchase price on this deal was, I believe, 92,000. And I said, I’ll buy the property from you, as soon as you are legally able to sell it to me, but in the meantime, I would love to take control of the property, and I will be responsible for paying you rent, which will essentially help offset your cost of ownership, which the main cost that they would have at that point would be the utilities, the taxes, the insurance, and you know, and then of course, any maintenance that they may have to do on the property. So I said, you know, let me cover the rent and pay your rent in the meantime. But that’ll allow me to get in there and start renovating the property or go ahead and lease the property. And that’s what we did, we did a small little renovation, I think we maybe spent 12, or 15,000, nothing crazy. But we still had the contract to purchase it. So that was something that, that allowed me to feel comfortable spending money investing into this property, because I am going to be buying it and hopefully within the next week or two at this point, because it’s been about a year, right. But what we did is we went ahead and start renting it, we have a contract to purchase it in place, we went and did some small minor renovations. And then we went ahead and we sold the property or leased it to another individual on a lease option. So they’re going to lease the property from us for about two years. And they have the option to to buy the property at any time between the time we sign that lease. And the end of that, that lease, which is a two year lease. Right. So where does that story get kind of hairy? Well, right here, this is where it gets hairy, right? So we are working through this probate process with Gary and his three brothers and sisters. And we’re getting really close to the finish line getting the estate set up so they can go ahead and and sign off and sell it to us illegally. And then one of the brothers passes away. So now we have an open probate case on the parents. And that essentially would open up an estate. And it gives each of the four siblings Gary plus three brothers and sisters, the ability to now take ownership so they can sell it. But one of those four individuals, one of those four heirs, passed away, unfortunately terrible during this process. So now we’re all we’ve wrapped up the first probate and we’ve created an estate. However, one of the four individuals is no longer here, so they cannot sign off on the sale. So what we’ve had to do is open a second probate case up for the for the air that passed, who has three children. So now his three children are going to have to open up an estate with the probate court, and the three of them are going to essentially share in 1/4 of the ownership or 1/4 of the estate from the original probate court. So I’ve never had to deal with a double probate in this scenario, you know, in all of my 20 years, but you’re in the business long enough, you’re gonna see, you’re gonna land on this kind of stuff. Yeah, so that’s where we’re at. So now the second probate should be coming to a close. And we’re essentially going to need the three heirs that are still alive to sign off. And then the three heirs that make up the you know, 1/4 of the original probate are going to also have to sign off. So at the end of the day, we’re going to be able to help them get this property sold, it took a little bit longer than you know, ideally, but because there was deaths and probate courts and multiple of them, that were, you know, in the process, and I don’t think that really made this complicated, Barney was a lot of the heirs live out of state. And sometimes you have to open the probate court up in the state in which the heirs live. So it’s just it’s a, it’s just a huge cluster, with multiple courts and multiple states trying to, you know, wrap this, this project up. But long story short, it should close later this week or early next after about a year of waiting. And we’ve been helping the sellers this entire time by paying them rent, which will help offset all the costs that they would have to incur by owning the property, we were able to take possession of the property, do some light, light renovations, go ahead and release the property out to another individual and even give them the option to buy. And again, we should be able to close this thing up here in the next week or two and get everybody that’s you know, an heir or dealing with an estate wrapped up and and paid and they won’t have to worry about this anymore. And then we will actually take possession of it. Once we close legally on paper, we already have possession via lease, but we really like to get our name on the deed. Yeah. And then Trump’s off. Title. Yeah, that’s right, that trumps all exactly. So kind of a crazy one, you know, but it’s just just one of those things like you can’t, can’t prevent people from passing. And when they do, it’s obviously very unfortunate. But again, kind of back to where I where I started Bonnie is is as real estate investors, it’s our goal, in order to get a good deal typically is to provide a lot of convenience. And this is just another example of how we are able to provide convenience as investors, or more specifically as wholesalers and able to get a really good deal on the property. Now the property has an ARV of about 160. Okay, and we bought it for 92. So we got a really good deal on it. And because we got a really good deal on it whenever we saw that there was going to be problems and that we weren’t going to be able to move forward right away. Instead of just saying hey, you know, thanks, but no thanks and walking away. We said, hey, you know, we’re not going to go anywhere. We’re going to help you get through this, but we’re even going to extend a little bit more can unions to you. And we’re gonna really offer to rent this property from you. In the meantime, while the courts go through all this process and paperwork of getting it to where you all can legally sell it to us.

Bonnie Galam 15:13
I have a few questions about the situation was one was every buddy at least in the initial four, let’s take the initial four siblings of the parents who originally owned the property was everybody on board? Because I know sometimes like when you get the call from like one of the siblings, it can take a little bit of like, wrangling to get everybody on the same page, like someone’s sentimental and someone Yeah, no, that’s actually a number like how did that go for you?

David Dodge 15:38
Yeah, that’s actually a really great question. So, you know, what we had done originally was we made the offer for about 85,000. And they were wanting 100,000. And we kind of met in the middle at the 92,000 was either 92 or 92. Five, that we kind of met in the middle. So yes, that process took, you know, probably about a week or two. And this is over a year ago at this point about a year ago at this point. But that process took about about two weeks of negotiating because we were dealing with one of the heirs, Gary, but Gary had three, three other brothers and sisters, I want to say he had a brother and two sisters. So there was, you know, to two males and two females that were the heirs here. And to answer your question, Bonnie, you know, some of them wanted more, some of them just wanted to wash their hands of this. So we just we came to a number and this all happened verbally, you know, at 92 Five, and that’s when I sent the contract over to Gary to sign and Gary did, he signed it and sent it back. And we knew that there was other EHRs. But we didn’t need to necessarily go get all their signatures, usually what we can do is we can do all that at the title company at closing or just before. But in order to get the deal under contract and get it over to the title company to open escrow, you typically only need one signature from a seller, you don’t need all of them. Right now again, in order to sell, you will need all of them. So you know that process of negotiating was very straightforward. It didn’t take that long, like I would say, one to two weeks, which is pretty common when you’re dealing with multiple people, right. But we got it down to 90 to five which which, which was, you know, a win win, it was a win win a year ago. And it’s a win win today, because the value of that property has probably gone up by 10 or 15,000, just in the last year. So now we have a property with an ARV of, you know about 100 175,000, give or take on it, say 5000. We’ve, we will be purchasing it again. Hopefully next week for 92. We’ve put probably about 15 in it. And we’ve been paying $700 a month for about a year at this point in the in the interim, but we’ve been able to rent the property for 1200 a month. So we’re cashflow in what is that eight 910 1112 cashflow and $500 a month. You know, while we are waiting, so it’s really been a good deal because you know, 500 a month times 10 months roughly is 5000 that we’ve been able to collect above and beyond what we’re paying back in in the rent to the seller, which has helped us the purchase price, which Yeah, and that’s really helped offset, you know, you can look at it one or two ways, it’s helped offset the repairs that we’ve put in, which is about 15 by five down to 10. Or it’s just helped offset the purchase price down. You know, whichever way you look at it, it’s a winning scenario for both of us. So again, the goal here would be for us to buy it, and then get the sellers. In this case, there’s four of them, one of them passed. So then there was three, but then the one that passed had three spots or had three heirs. So now we’re dealing with, you know, essentially six different people and two different sets of probates. You know, but here’s the thing, just because this is a complicated one, and it’s taken a lot of time, I didn’t stray away from the, from what I said in the beginning, as investors in order for us to go out and get good deals, we have to be able to provide convenience. So, you know, when we found out about the first probate, we said, hey, you know, not the end of the world, but we know this is going to take roughly six months. So why don’t you let us rent the property and get access to it. And that’ll help you all and they loved us for that they’re like that would be great. That means that we don’t have to come out of pocket for six to eight months worth of electric and utilities and water and sewer and trash, and insurance and taxes, which typically are —

Bonnie Galam 19:31
Like the triple net lease on this place,

David Dodge 19:32
Basically, well… we were paying them and they were still responsible for the taxes and the insurance. But the utilities were moved over to us. And we told them Hey, we’ll maintain the yard and, and the trees and all that stuff. So So kind of Yeah, kind of I mean, we didn’t put insurance in our name and or opt to pay the taxes because they still owned it and in the event that you know, probate got screwed up or we could didn’t buy it, you know, we didn’t want to necessarily do that. But we did help them, by helping them cover those costs, they weren’t really looking to profit on the $700 a month, that’s just something that we kind of came up with that would more than cover their costs and maybe put 100 or two in their pocket, and give them peace of mind. But we didn’t, we didn’t want to, you know, just let this house sit for a year. Right? Because, you know, if they didn’t maintain it during that time, that would really screw things up. So, you know, we just offered convenience and, and it really, really worked out. And again, now we’re getting to this finish line here where we were thinking we may be able to close it later this week, but if not, definitely by next week. And we’re through both of the probates and the title companies got everything that they need. And you know, you’re dealing with mobile notaries because there’s out of state individuals. I mean, it’s this is a lot of moving parts. But here’s the cool part. And this is the really the main takeaway for anyone that’s, you know, watching or listening here today, Barney is, you know, I don’t know, the first thing about probate court as a real estate investor, you know, title companies in lawyers, probate attorneys, that’s their job, right. So just because that we had to deal with the double probate doesn’t mean I need to go educate myself and become an expert at all this stuff, we just rely and lean on our title company, and their probate attorney. So whoever’s in the process–

Bonnie Galam 21:23
So they did end up getting a probate attorney, so that was one of the questions I was thinking about asking you is like, how did the probate get handled?

David Dodge 21:29
That’s a great question. So when we sent this to our title company, originally, they said, “Hey, Dave, the guy that signed the contract doesn’t own the property his parents do.” And I said, “Okay, great.” Well, if his parents were still alive, then there would be an easy, you know, typically one or two page thing that they could sign to transfer it into his name. So he could sell it to me, quitclaim, whatever it may be to be able to do that. But because the parents were passed away and deceased, in order for him to get the property into his name, he would need to go open up the estate with the probate court, like you had mentioned Barney. So, you know, what we do is in this case, is we say, Oh, that’s a bummer for them. We need to get them connected to a probate attorney. So our title company gave us a shortlist of, you know, four or five probate attorneys that they do a lot of business with. And they said, here’s who we would recommend. So we went back to the seller and said, hey, you know, we’re not sure if you’re even aware. And I think in this scenario, they didn’t even know that they needed to go to probate court. They just figured, hey, if I have a death certificate, doesn’t that allow for it? And it doesn’t, unfortunately, there’s more to the process than Yeah, so we gave that the seller, Gary and his, you know, three brothers and sisters, the list and we said, hey, if you already have a probate attorney, or you know somebody in your network, go work with that person, we would highly recommend that you work with somebody that you already know, know or know of. However, if you don’t know a probate attorney, or don’t have anybody in your network that can refer you to one, here’s a list of people that we recommend. And then what ended up happening is he contacted one of the individuals on that list, and he went and worked with that person. So the whole probate attorney and process me as a real estate investor and a wholesaler had nothing to do with it really, other than just recommending. So he and his brothers and sisters had to go hire that individual and pay that individual to process this and, and open up the estate and do all the things that the probate court does and will do for you. And that was kind of on them. But you have to understand that that’s also an inconvenience for them. Not only are they going to have to come out of pocket, and it’s not a crazy amount of money, but usually it’s 1000 or two, that they’re gonna have to pay to the court and to the attorneys, you know, again, by us offering to rent it during this process was a big help to them, because it brought in a little extra income and an offset the owning, you know, the cost of owning the property. And then, you know, here’s the thing about it, we didn’t anticipate a double probate, you know, whenever we introduce them to the first round, Gary and the three brothers and sisters, they were like, Oh, this is kind of a bummer. But whatever, we’ll get through it and will circle back in four to six months. Well, after about halfway through that process. You know, one of the brothers I believe it was got sick and passed. And again, it’s tragic. It’s so unfortunate, like, we will never ever wish or ask this to happen to anybody, right? But it happens it’s life. So we, you know, kind of let them know like, hey, you know, we’re, we’re sorry to hear about your about your sibling passing and it looks like you guys are almost wrapped up on this first round of probate. That’s the good news. But the bad news is, is because he’s not going to be there to sign off at closing. We need to open a second probate because his heirs and I believe he had three children. Those three children need to now open up an estate and their estate is going to be essentially 1/4 have the original state so definitely super complicated.

Bonnie Galam 25:04
It reminds me of like the law school like hypothetical like exams that we would likely this person dies. And then how much shear did this person get if it was purse Derpy is that if anyone’s listening who is also a lawyer, I’m probably like triggering some Layton PTSD talking about these statements that we had to like, figure out the total and the share and who gets how much money and what, but it this stuff like does happen. Like it’s not just like Law School. Hi, Bozeman, I can’t tell you how many times have you dealt with like mid transaction, like the double, the double probate is unusual.

David Dodge 25:38
So the double probate is a first for me, this is a first for me, for sure. But you know, we probably dealt with 40 or 50 probate records.

Bonnie Galam 25:46
That’s pretty common.

David Dodge 25:47
Over the years. Yeah, that’s not that uncommon. And, you know, sometimes the sellers will know, the owners, you know, the heirs will know that they need to take it to probate court before they even contact the investor or the real estate agent. And they do they just know, right? Yeah. But the other times, they don’t know. And they call investors like me, or you or they call, you know, real estate agents. And they just list the house. And if you’re dealing with a real estate agent that has been around and knows better, they will essentially tell their client, Hey, you can’t even sell this right? Now. It’s going to be a waste of time for me to list it. Why don’t you take it to probate court and circle back whenever you guys can legally sell it. But whenever you come across an agent that’s green or new, or doesn’t know, you know, they made to go go about listing it. And then again, it happens, just like it happened to me where you get to the title company, and you say, “Hey, can we close this?” And then, you know, next week or two weeks or three weeks from now, like just whenever is, is good? And they say, Yeah, we would love to, but they don’t own it. Yeah, that’s why it you know, happened to be a longer process on this one.

Bonnie Galam 26:49
I’ve even seen it where it’s been like trusts where someone’s like, Hey, I’m gonna sell my house. And then it turns out, it’s in a trust, but their parents are also like on the trust. And you find out when it hits the title company, like exactly how you said, and you realize just how many people have to start signing things, especially when he gets to the closing table. And you guys, did you guys consider doing a power of attorney at any point to kind of like punt all of the signing responsibilities to like one person, or did you just kind of have like a contact person.

David Dodge 27:22
So the title company is really again, we leaned heavily on them, I don’t want to go learn how to be an expert at every little thing. What I what I want to be an expert at, and what I try to teach all my students at being an expert at is providing convenience in exchange for discounts. That’s what we do best as investors, right. And we make you know, as an investor, you make your money when you buy, you get paid when you sell, but the money is always made on the buy, aka you gotta buy at a deep discount, well, what better way to convince a seller to sell you a property at a deep discount, then provide them with convenience that creates win wins? Right? So, you know, one of these things that I just keep coming back to is, is we did a really good job of providing convenience to the seller, we kept them in the loop. We told them that we weren’t going away, we offered up to introduce them to a couple, you know, probate attorneys that we had gotten from the title company that came highly recommended. And we did all that we offered to lease the property in the interim, we did all that. Right. And just because we haven’t closed on it yet, doesn’t mean that we can’t turn around after we fixed it, which we did, and release it to somebody else. Well, the person that we released it to said, Hey, I really want to lease the home, I’ll happily sign a two year lease. But in the event that I can buy it from you guys sometime between now and the end of the lease. Are you open to that? And we said sure. Right. So we went above and beyond to provide the convenience. And there’s always going to be title companies and probate attorneys and individuals that we can bring in as needed to help get the deal across the finish line. That’s what we did with this one.

Bonnie Galam 29:01
Do you think you’re gonna keep that probate attorney in your back pocket? Like, were you happy with them?

David Dodge 29:05
You know, I’m not super happy with the probate attorney. Because once the double probate occurred, they kind of got confused and like, there was probably a month or two where nothing really happened. Because everybody was was like really confused. And, and some of the airs live in different states. And, you know, I’m not upset with the individual. I personally aren’t working with them. I just referred that attorney to my customer or client. Right, you know. So, you know, that’s, that’s a good question. It’s a hard one for me to answer just because I never spoke to that attorney. I never had any business speaking to the attorney. If anything, I would follow up with Gary and his brothers and sisters and say, Hey, have you heard any update from the attorney and really they were the ones that were motivated to get this thing through the probate courts and to get it done? Because they couldn’t sell it to me without their their name being on The deed or at least having the estate that allows them to sell the property without their name being on the deed, right. So they were much more motivated to get this done than I was. However, we followed up with them every couple of weeks saying, hey, is there any updates? Is there anything we can do? Again, we just wanted to keep providing convenience to them. Because that’s what they want at the end of the day, no one’s going to sell you a property at 40 or 50, or 60 cents on the dollar, for no reason. Right? That would be pretty foolish. But if their, if their reasoning is, I want convenience, I want cash I want quick, I want to sell this as is, and I’m okay leaving a little bit of money on the table. Because I’m paying for that convenience. By leaving some money on the table. That’s what we go for. It’s what we shoot to do. It’s what we’re trying to do every day with every seller that we talk to we don’t pay retail, we are looking for deals. And how do we get those deals, we provide convenience. It’s so simple.

Bonnie Galam 30:55 <br. Yeah, I love that. And I love the your perspective that it it's a win win. Because I think there's always a win win opportunity in even with this horror story like, as soon as before we hit record, like we were saying, when you put the lease on the table, I was just like, brilliant. Brilliant. That that's it, it keeps them at the table keeps you in control. You get they weren't gonna hedging their losses at this point on. Yeah, it I thought that was a really, really crazy–

David Dodge 31:23
They weren’t gonna go away. But it was one of these things where we, why let it sit around vacant for a whole year whenever we could release it from them provide more value, and then fix it up, which helps keep our guys and crews working, and then turn around and lease it to somebody else, which again, provides a ton of value because now we’ve not we’re not responsible for maintaining the property The tenant is and we can create income to offset the lease that we’ve signed and cashflow. So there was a lot of moving parts no brainer constantly creating win-win scenarios the entire way through.

Bonnie Galam 32:02
So if people want to learn more about you more about wholesaling, should they go to your website?

David Dodge 32:10
Yeah, the websites the best place to learn, you know, we have some free courses over on the website, they can connect with me if they want to, they can learn more about our coaching and our mentorship program. All that information is all centralized in one place is called discountpropertyinvestor.com. We also have a podcast called The Discount Property Investor. And you can go check it out over on that same site discountpropertyinvestor.com

Bonnie Galam 32:41
Perfect. Thank you so much for joining me, David. I really enjoyed this conversation. It was a fun little legal twist that brought me back to my law school days, and I love being able to share a little bit of a wholesaler funkiness. And I hope you close on this next week.

David Dodge 32:54
I hope so too, buddy. Thank you so much for having me on the show. And it’s always fun getting to talk about deals that are difficult or strange or have nightmarish stories. And you know, this is kind of one of those for sure.

Bonnie Galam 33:07
Well, I hope it shakes out in the end.

David Dodge 33:09
That’s right. Thank you have a good day. You too.

Bonnie Galam 33:12 Thanks so much for listening to the House of Horrors podcast. Make sure to follow us on Apple podcast Spotify, or wherever you’d like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcasts episodes, show notes, links and more at Bonnie galam.com forward slash podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your portfolio and take my free legal workshop the three legal myths preventing you from securing and scaling your portfolio and of course what to do instead at Bonnie galam.com. And to stay connected and follow along follow me on Instagram at @bonniegalamesq and send me a DM to say hi. If you liked this episode, please let me know by leaving a five star review subscribing and sharing it with another investor who could learn a thing or two about estate sales and total everyone’s favorite thing right? And stick around because drumroll please here is the big news. They just are going to be changing a good bit around here on the podcast. And to get personal with y’all for a second I honestly haven’t been loving these guest episodes between you and I and let me just say this has nothing to do with David actually, I think he’s one of the better guests I’ve had in a while. But it it hasn’t always been easy to convey the legal Lessons of a situation when the guests frankly on these real estate podcasts have a very strong motive just to pitch to talk about how smart they are to really kind of center the conversation around what they want to talk about not what the intention of this podcast is, which is to share and get into the meat of horror stories. And you know, sometimes even want to kind of teach the lesson themselves but the problem is they don’t always have the lesson especially like the legal lesson, right? And just to kind of pull the curtain back a little bit like several of these episodes have had to be like very, very highly edited. And you know I’ve done my best to kind of politely get points across in these conversations. But I know that there’s a better way for me to kind of deliver legal lessons to you without having to navigate the hassle of guests who really just kind of want to pitch. And so instead of these, like long, admittedly kind of clunky interviews were the lessons, I admit, I feel like they sometimes are getting lost in the middle. I’m going to be doing three new things, guys. And the first is curating horror stories from the news. And I’ve done this before back in episode 64. With the $19 million dollar doorman deceit and we talked all about like disclosures and fraud when it comes to sellers and also what need to look be looking for with buyers. They also had a really, really fun episode I did, as a bonus back over the summer, kind of dissecting John Oliver. And like the hate, he was spewing all over landlords, and these were really fun episodes for me to make. And if my stats told me anything, you guys really loved them, too. If you are newer to the podcast, I definitely recommend scrolling back to these two episodes and giving them a listen. And let me tell you, another new thing I’m bringing to the podcast is a really easy new way for you to communicate with me about your horror stories, or even something new, quick legal questions. And I’m using this tool called SpeakPipe, where you can essentially leave me like a voicemail. And in I would love for you to share like you, you know those situations where it’s like you can’t make this stuff up. And I’m gonna dissect them on the pot in the way that hopefully will be quicker and kind of more to the point that these like really long guest interviews have been. And as I kind of hinted, I’m going to be bringing back the monthly Q and A sessions where you leave me your questions, and I answered them on the pod that was a really fun series that kind of got lost over the last few months with all these horror stories. And so you can leave both your horror stories and your questions on my voicemail that is set up over on my website at Bonnie galam.com forward slash podcast, there’s this like little button right on the top. And actually, there’s a widget that pops out the side for you to record your message. And Good god, I love a good word smoke. No, they were something that I hated. But over time, I’m like, This is so much easier, it’s so much better than typing it out. And if you’ve got your air pods in or something, it’s really easy to kind of listen to these messages. And so I feel free to drop a message to me, I’m gonna link it also in the link in my bio on social media for you to quickly kind of access it there. And the last and perhaps maybe one of the biggest things is I’m actually bringing back something old. Yes, I’m bringing back the good bones title. Yes, I’m backtracking for longtime listeners. This was the original name of my podcast. Almost a year ago. Now I changed it to the House of Horrors. And I’m going back to the old name. I’ve got to admit, it feels a little funny, if not a little embarrassing, as like a business owner when you you know, backtrack on something. But I’m really I’m not afraid of trying new things. And I’m really glad I tried this kind of new format with the House of Horrors, but it’s not the winner. I had a lot more fun before. And just an important like quick tech note, while I’m telling you this is that you don’t have to do anything if you’re subscribed. All that’s going to happen is the little image that you see here next week will be changed. Next week moving forward. If you want to tell people about my podcasts could tell them it’s good bones again, not the House of Horrors. And like you’re still going to have access to the back catalogue of all of the episodes. And you’ll also have the episode automatically dropped next Monday. If you’re subscribed. If you’re not yet subscribed, what are you waiting for? Click that little button and let’s make some things a fish during this cuffing season. And don’t make things hard for yourself searching for new episodes every week, I would love to have you as a subscriber. And hopefully this will be like a little push to have you join this fun little community that we have here. Anyway, so let me tell you a little bit about my reasoning. I wanted to share with you that I’m going back to good bones for a few reasons to be honest. One is that is just more positive and more upbeat. I am not a Debbie Downer. In fact, I really kind of intentionally try to take the opposite approach of most lawyers, and not try to scare investors into like legal products or legal services. And rather, I really want to empower investors through legal and legal education. But that House of Horrors as a brand, like the dark imagery, the intense music and the constant focus on like things going wrong, just felt out of alignment. And as I mentioned, horror stories are still going to be a component of the podcast, but it’s going to be more of a monthly segment, as opposed to the majority of the content that’s going to be delivered, which is kind of how things have been for the last year or so. And I also just wanted to kind of create a like creative space a content space to share more than just horror stories without waiting for a horror story to kind of pop up to convey it. Like I really had a lot of tips and things I wanted to talk about and I kind of felt like well, I don’t know Her story to fit this in. And so it just kind of always sat on the backburner. And I’m like always DMing listeners on my Instagram about things like lending tips and tenant turnovers and like the behind the scenes of my own business, which if you’re not following me, go over to Bonnie Galam USQ on Instagram, don’t be shy, come chat with me. I do my best to respond to like every DM I receive. But I’ll tell you like the House of Horrors as a title, it just felt really constraining that, like I needed to fit it in this box. And so let me tell you what you can you know, real quick expect from here on out. Let’s assume it’s like a four Monday month, you can expect to hear four different episodes each month. One is a horror story yet, like I said, those are not going anywhere, we will still be talking about things going wrong, dissecting them how to prevent them lessons learned all of that good stuff. But in a more condensed model, I don’t see you know, these hour long episodes coming back, my goal is to kind of keep things 30 minutes or less, maybe even 20 minutes or less, in like a predictable format. Number two is that legal q&a session, those were really, really fun. You can leave a voicemail to let me know your q&a, or you can drop them in the good bones, Facebook group. Number three is an actionable legal or property management lesson. So I’ve sprinkled those through in like the last nine months or so. But like really kind of getting actionable with legal and something you can quickly and easily implement in your business. And so expect one of those episodes a month. And then the fourth type of episode you can expect is like real estate news and analysis. And I’d like to turn one of those episodes, maybe the q&a, or like the real estate news podcast into a second short, like 10 minute or less weekly episode, so there’ll be two episodes dropping each week. And so I’m curious if you have a preference between the q&a is coming every week, or doing like news updates, shoot me a DM, shoot me an email, whatever you prefer, let me know what your preference is. Because that’s something I’d like to start dropping in the new year. And don’t forget if you have a horror story to share or a question you want answered, just go over to bonniegalam.com/podcast, click the link at the top and easily record your message guys. I’m so so excited. I feel like such a weight has been lifted off my shoulder just like recording this right now. And I’m excited to bring you all this new content, maybe a little bit more of a predictable content. And I’m not sad to say that this is the last episode of The House of Horrors podcast. It has been a fun ride. And I’ll see you here next week. On the reborn reincarnated Good Bones Real Estate Investing podcast. Bye for now.



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DISCLAIMER: Although Bonnie is an attorney she doesn’t give legal advice without a written and dually signed engagement agreement. All episodes of House of Horrors are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The information you listen to here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney 

© 2021-2022 Bonnie Galam LLC | All rights reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Bonnie Galam LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free of paid, written or verbal), produce, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Bonnie Galam LLC

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I'm a self-managing landlord, generational wealth evangelist, self-education obsessed course creator, automation avenger, book worm, Sixers fan, semi-retired real estate attorney and momma to two tiny hummusapiens. 

I believe that time is the most valuable currency, but money is a close second. I fight against the bad rap landlords get while still pushing the industry to improve. 

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This is not a law firm. Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice. Bonnie does not provide you or your company legal advice. We simply provide legal information and education for you to customize and use on your own and have reviewed by your own local attorney. Bonnie is an attorney licensed in NJ and PA, but is not practicing law or establishing an attorney-client relationship with you, ever through Bonnie Galam LLC. Some states may consider this attorney advertising (although it isn't intended to be). Thank you!

This is not a law firm. Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice. Bonnie does not provide you or your company legal advice. We simply provide legal information and education for you to customize and use on your own and have reviewed by your own local attorney. Bonnie is an attorney licensed in NJ and PA, but is not practicing law or establishing an attorney-client relationship with you, ever through Bonnie Galam LLC. Some states may consider this attorney advertising (although it isn't intended to be). Thank you!

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