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A Real Estate Agent Doubles As A Last Minute Chauffeur

Local real estate agent Tim Savin, with McGrath Real Estate Services, Inc., shared a closing he went through with a wealthy client living overseas who needed to find a home before returning to the US. Everything was done with pictures, video, and a DC-based friend who obtained a Power of Attorney so she could sign all the documents. The only problem was the friend was invited to speak in New York on a panel discussion with President Clinton on the day of closing (these things happen when you have friends in high places). Everything was moved up to accommodate her, but then things got delayed, and Savin had to play the role of Knight in Shining Armor to make everything go smoothly. Read all about it after the jump.


I frequently work with members of the State Department and Foreign Service Officers. An existing client of mine was returning to the area after being overseas for several years. The client wanted to purchase a home in Northern Virginia. Their goal was to settle prior to arriving back in the states so they did not have to reside in a hotel once they arrived back.

After identifying several properties which would meet their criteria listings were emailed to the client overseas. They indicated their preferred properties which were then toured and a detailed "walk-through" video was created for the clients to have better perspective of the properties so they could finalize their choice. They decided and financial terms were negotiated for a final sales price of $822,000 with a $5000 seller subsidy.

The home inspection took place and several items were identified and negotiated to be fixed. Since the client was overseas and would not be present during the settlement they obtained a Power of Attorney to act on their behalf.

The seller fixed all items as agreed. I went to the home the day prior to closing to perform the final walk-through. The purchasers Power of Attorney was a personal friend of the clients and took their responsibility very seriously. They wanted to see that all items were fixed and not just go off the receipts which the seller provided to us. I met her at the property and proceeded to show her the items are fixed. This is where an understanding of how items in the home work and having proper equipment to test items, such as how to properly test the electrical circuits which were mis-wired or how to turn on a sump pump to ensure its functionality. After showing the Power of Attorney that all items were fixed they were extremely pleased and ready to move forward with the closing.

Closing was set to take place in the afternoon at 3pm. However, a few days prior to settlement the Power of Attorney was informed she was to head to New York to participate on a panel discussion with President Clinton. She expressed how important is was for her to make this trip and the settlement would have to be moved as her train left mid-morning the day of settlement.

I arranged with the title company (Highland Title in McLean) to perform a split settlement and our side would take place at 8am, prior to their normal business hours. It looked like everything was going to come together and everyone was going to be happy. However, on the day of closing the final paperwork from the lender was still being processed. Time goes by and the Power of Attorney was getting extremely nervous as they had a train to catch. It gets to a point where she indicated she would have to leave as there would not be enough time for her to go home to drop her car off, arrange for a cab ride, and make it down to Union Station in time for her train. Using some quick thinking, after checking my schedule, I told her not to worry. I would personally follow her back to her home and then drive her down to Union Station which would free up some additional time since she did not have to arrange and wait for a cab. She was ecstatic. Shortly afterward the paperwork came from the lender. She executed the documents, we immediately got in our cars, headed to her home so she could grab her luggage, and made it to Union Station with a few minutes to spare. She made her panel discussion in New York, the purchasers got their home of choice, and I got a huge smile when I was personally called "a Shining Knight" during an email exchange between the Power of Attorney and the purchasers.

Image from Shutterstock