Longest Escrow of my Career! | #KeriTV Episode #8

Hey guys, this is Keri TV.  This is going to be a video that I’m filming in a different location.  What’s so important about this right here, right now, is that it is 5:30.  I just arrived home, and I’m changing for dinner.  I am opening up a bottle of champagne to celebrate one of the biggest victories in my career.  Victory for the persistence that it took and all the people involved.  I sound like I’m winning an academy award.  This is great.  This is great. I just feel super excited because we made it happen. I’ll go through the story in this next clip.  I’m here, getting ready for dinner, and I’m opening this bottle of champagne.  No one’s here, so I’m going to have to open it on Keri TV, whoo-hoo!  I’m pretty sure this is one of Eric and I’s engagement gifts, so, sorry babe. So, cheers, to make – [pop] [laugh].  I think I just had a heart attack.  Cheers!  This is real life. Cheers. Thank god that didn’t go over.  I’m super excited about this closing because of all the hard work that went into it from June of last year. So cheers, never give up on things or people, be patient, be persistent, and let the roof pop off, right? Hah!  See you in the next clip and I’ll explain the story.


Okay, so here we are, outside 949 10th Street.  We were just inside celebrating last Friday, and we just closed escrow today on this adorable bungalow in Santa Monica. I represented the seller and the buyer off-market, and the purchase price was 2.95 million. This bungalow is going to become three beautiful new townhomes. I can’t wait to see how that goes.  I love the gardener cramping my style right now. Anyways [laugh].  Back to Keri TV.  I wanted to do a special episode on this because this was the craziest learning experience of my career.  I wanted to tell you all a little bit about it.  Here we go. 

I like to send out buyer letters for properties in the neighborhood that my buyers are looking for when inventory is low, which I’ve discussed in one of my other videos. I had sent out a letter for a lovely single gal named Tara. Now, I got an email in February of 2017 that said, Hi. I received a letter about my home, saying that you had a buyer.  I’m interested in selling. I took a look and thought, hmm. I don’t remember sending out for anybody that was an R2 lot in Santa Monica.  I’m looking through, and because of the zoning, I thought it was a condo.  That condos were built on the property. I said, well, let me check in with some of my investors or developers in Santa Monica and see if I have anybody. Then I take a look and see who’s looking in Santa Monica for a development property.  We shopped it a bit through the agency, through other agents I know, and out of our brokerage, which we do. We share a pocket system. Nobody really wanted to quite pay the price.  The market was still catching up to what the seller really wanted.  It’s sort of a, making your move price.

One day, we get a call about a property in the area and one of my assistants happens to take the call, because I’m on another call.  She gets off the call and I say, oh hey, who was that? She goes, oh, total waste of time. A developer, he’s looking to build something for himself in Santa Monica.  Whatever.  I said, give me the phone. Give me the phone. I call him right away. I said, hi. I just heard you were looking for a tear-down in Santa Monica, on these streets.  He said, yeah. I said, I have the perfect property for you off-market. What’s your price point?  What are you looking for?  I sent it over to him, a picture of the front and specs on the lot.  He says, I want it.  Let’s make it happen. 

Of course, there was a little bit of negotiation on the price, but this isn’t even the interesting part. Buyer says he wants it, we go back to the seller, and we have some negotiation.  There’s a lot of different circumstances in this part that I won’t even go into.  Basically, two months later, so this is April. May, June.   June, the offer gets written.  Yes, okay.  February, April, and now June, an actual purchase contract gets written.  I remember writing it one morning, a Sunday morning, at seven thirty in the morning watching a formula 1 race.  I sent it to my Dad, I sent it to Hyde.  This is the most confusing deal ever! Can everybody double-check this? I sent it to our office legal.  It was just such a complicated transaction and it was off-market. The seller gets the offer and then things kind of dwindle down for a few months. There was a little bit of back and forth about what they’re building here.  She was possibly going to live in one of the units after, talking to 1031.  The owner was taking a new job. We go back and forth, back and forth.

July, August, September! Seller says, okay, let’s make something happen.  I’m going to come down.  Let’s have a meeting.  I’m like, okay, great! She lives up north. The seller comes down, and she happens to pick the one weekend that I am in Las Vegas celebrating my birthday.  Right?  Oh boo-hoo, poor me, what did I do?  I went to Vegas! I did go to Vegas. Shawn was in town, and my brothers and friends. It was actually one of the best weekends ever.  I said, you know what?  I’ve been working on this since February.  If she can only meet on that day, what am I supposed to do?  I tried to get every other day on the planet. My dad takes the meeting for me. Which is great. Meeting of the minds. October sixth or seventh.  Meeting of them minds.  Buyer and seller plan the whole thing.  Then. Yep. This video may be long. Welcome to the last year and a half of my life.  Okay. 

Then we get the official counter-offer in the works.  We get a one-page counter-offer in December with an addendum with terms. Now, this addendum to the counter-offer to the purchase agreement from June gets renegotiated for one month.  One month going back and forth on each point, change this, change that, change this, change that.  One month. Call, email, change, change the pdf, email back, call, change. I wasn’t trying to get involved.  I was just the messenger.  Each person was so particular. Middle of January 2018, we open escrow on a purchase agreement dated June 2017. Escrow was like, is this a mistake? What’s going on? This escrow is a six-month escrow with six-month extensions built in. I’m serious. There were six-month extensions built in into the six-month escrow.  The seller could extend month by month up until January 2019. This was essentially a year escrow we were getting into. I was like, I’m in this deep now, how bad could it be? [laugh]

We get into escrow. Yes, opening escrow.  There’s a lot of very complicated contingencies in place for the seller and the buyer. Release of deposits, contingencies removals based on other purchases, the seller’s purchasing commercial property. I’m not going to get into their personal details.  The seller gets into one escrow on a commercial purchase, which is great. The buyers are excited about 949 10th Street. That doesn’t go through, so then the seller comes down to LA and says, hey, I’m going to look at properties in LA.  I miss it here.  Let’s see if we can find something with good cap rate. Well, of course you know LA doesn’t have the best cap rates because they’re trophy properties and a premium to live here. We start shopping in LA. So, all of a sudden, now we’re out trying to find properties.  We get into escrow on another property for her, because she’s in a 1031 exchange in June.

Yep, this story is still happening. It’s still happening. That purchase ends up not working out over two weeks of going to the city, inspections, repairs, quotes, time at the property. It just wasn’t the right fit for her. She cancels that escrow and starts searching on other places. I eventually find her this really great rental in Venice.  She sees the property. She writes an offer, flies down to see it, inspections pass with flying colors. Of course, it wasn’t an easy escrow, but we go through day by day, patiently, patiently.  The day that she released contingencies on that property and released contingencies on this, and that meant were thirty more days to close. That leads us to September 25, 2018. 949, 10th Street, double-end, off-market [claps]. It can be done, folks.

So that is my special Keri TV episode.  It is probably going to be the longest episode, like the longest escrow of my career. But I hope it was a learning experience for you about persistence.  I don’t know. I just thought it was crazy at some point. But we ended up celebrating Friday night with this amazing dinner at Locanda at Montana, and it was just the best experience. I wouldn’t trade any time or energy in this this for the world.  I’m so blessed and fortunate to do what I do. Congrats everybody. This is Keri TV, signing off.