When Renting Doesn’t Go as Planned: Sundae Customer April R.

You’re ready to begin a new chapter in your life and have everything lined up. Then, your best-laid plans fall apart when an unexpected problem arises. Suddenly, you’re back at the drawing board, frantically trying to figure out what’s next.

Sundae customer April R. had this experience before contacting us. A single mom juggling the needs of her children and her out-of-state grandmother who needed a nearby caretaker, she set plans in motion to move the family to be closer. April planned to rent out the house she owned as a source of much-needed income while caring for her grandmother and getting her new business off the ground.

“I’m following my passion to help people who are suffering from depression so they can feel confident and fulfilled,” said April about her business plan. “I’m working on a book, growing the business, and caring for my family all at the same time. It’s a lot of change at once but I was ready for it.”

Changing plans when life happens

With her plan formulated, April lined up a rental management company, packed up the family, and made the move. Everything was taken care of until April moved and the rental management company became completely unresponsive.

“They dropped the ball as soon as I left town.” said April. “I was too far away to coordinate anything myself. I started thinking about all the things that could go wrong. What if tenants trash the place? They could tear the house apart, or worse, squat in the place and we’d be much worse off. I decided I couldn’t manage the home remotely and I started looking around at different options to sell.”

Sundae: How did you hear about Sundae?

April R.: When I’m ready to move on or make a change in my life, things seem to just fall into place. Just as I made the decision to sell rather than rent out my place, I saw your Facebook ad. I didn’t know much about Sundae at the time so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But once I spoke with your Customer Advisor Zach, I was really impressed. I’ve worked with many property investors in the past so I know a lot about the industry, and I was impressed with how much knowledge Zach had.

April R. Walking

Sundae: What other options did you consider and how did you find out about them?

April R.: I already had a lot of real estate investing knowledge. In 2008, my husband and I had to short sale a home due to various issues. We did a ton of Google searches and online research and learned a lot about selling with a real estate agent vs. a real estate investor.

Sundae: Did you consider selling with a real estate agent?

April R.: I know from my experience that the decision to go with a real estate agent vs. an off-market real estate investor depends on your timeline to sell. If you don’t have at least ninety days, don’t even try to go with a real estate agent. Homes can sit on the market for a good six months or more.

Even if you have the time, it’s not realistic to go on the market if you have no capital to fix up your house. I just had a friend who needed to sell her home and she had to put $20-30k into it in order to sell the house. Also, if you’re living in the home, you must take care of it and keep it clean while it’s on the market. You have to consider the time, capital, and hassle when weighing options. In my situation, a real estate agent just didn’t make sense.

Sundae: did you consider any other offers?

April R.: After I got the offer from an investor on Sundae’s marketplace, I did look around to see if I could get a better offer and it turns out I couldn’t. I’m so glad it ended up working out otherwise I’d go into foreclosure and be homeless.

April and son

Sundae: Why did you choose Sundae?

April R.: For me, it was mostly about price. But it was also because I could trust Sundae when it came to the timeline and overall communication.

I had been strung along by various real estate investors in the past, only to have them leave me hanging. When Sundae said they were going to do something, they did it right away. If something wasn’t going to happen on the expected timeline, I was notified right away. I never felt like I was out of the loop, not even for a second. What made such a difference is that Zach spent so much time with me on the phone, answering all my questions which was invaluable. And he was always upfront.

When you’re working with someone shady, they don’t tell you and keep things from you. I had a bad experience with a buyer in the past. I went to sign with one of those shady people and they bumped up the numbers on the contract and didn’t even tell me.

You guys are different. I feel that Sundae is open and honest.

Sundae: How did you feel once you decided to move forward with Sundae?

April R.: I felt a huge relief. Before I had the offer from an investor on Sundae’s marketplace, I was so paralyzed, shaking in my boots, that I didn’t know what to do. As soon as I knew there was a plan, I felt better.

One thing that people often don’t think about in real estate is that stuff happens! Everyone’s worst fear is that the buyer backs out of the deal. I couldn’t afford to be left hanging again and you didn’t let that happen. You guys followed through, which is the most important thing. You were dedicated to helping me regardless of what it meant for us. I can’t thank Sundae enough for that.

I don’t have a fear of being homeless now — I’m so relieved. Relief is such an understatement. I feel unburdened. I feel I have freedom.

I do a lot of work on myself and told myself to “trust the process.” It’s so hard for real estate businesses to build trust. There are so many things that can go wrong. But Sundae came through, and no one was able to beat what Sundae offered us. I was reassured by that fact, that I was getting the best deal. And at the end of the process, Sundae even came back and gave me more money! You guys were able to get more money for the house than your estimate and you didn’t just pocket all the money. You showed empathy for the situation I was in. You could have just pocketed the money, but you didn’t. You passed it on to me when you didn’t have to do that.

Sundae: What’s next for you, April?

April R.: Now that this process is over, I’m glad to be able to focus on my business to help people suffering from depression so that they can feel confident and fulfilled in their life. I’m working on writing a book and my ultimate dream… to be on Oprah.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.