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Here's How Someone Snuck In An Escape Clause

Welcome back to Lies People Tell where we share a true story from the seedy trenches of the real estate world. Know of one that we should tell the world? Contact us through our tipline and we'll get it up while keeping your identity hush-hush.

This story comes to us from someone specializing in buying and selling land in the DC suburbs and has to do with something called perc rate (basically how fast the water drains through the soil). A local and very expensive lot consisting of several acres was up for sale and a developer was interested in purchasing it. But the timing of the land going on the market was when he had a number of other real estate holdings that tied up most of his cash.

He was still waiting to finalize the sale of those sites and knew that if he bought this new lot and some of the other deals ended up falling through he'd be too thinly spread financially. So he had to come up with a way to buy the lot, but give himself a way out should he need it. Enter the perc rate scam! The developer added to the contract that the land's perc rate had to be unrealistically high otherwise the deal was off. Our source couldn't remember the exact numbers, but says it was 'never going to happen'. Since the sellers barely knew what a perc rate was they didn't question it and signed the contract.

· A previous Lies People Tell [CDC]
· Investigations and percolation tests [GeoEnvEngineers]