PORTLAND -- Owners of a spectacular Vancouver Tudor home on a golf course were recently targeted by scheme taking advantage of home sellers.
Tom and Jean Healy are selling their dream home to fund their retirement in a warmer climate. An all-cash buyer made a good offer and wanted a quick closing.
“The buyers seemed like a nice couple. They came by three times and looked at the furniture and wanted to take measurements,” said Tom Healy.
But on closing day, there was no money. The buyers claimed it was a routing mix up and provided detailed bank statements showing the money was still in the bank.
Healy said even the Realtors and the title company believed them. Later, when the Realtors were gone, Healy said the buyers asked him if they could temporarily lease the home until the money arrived.
“I said everything on this lease document is blank and they said that’s because it’s only going to be two or three days at most,” said Healy.
The Healy’s were in a hurry to move south, so they reluctantly signed the blank agreement. It didn’t stay blank. It ended up being a one year lease for no money and the couple immediately moved into the home.
“Now I have to give them notice to say I’d like to come by the house, even though they paid nothing,” said Healy.
However, the Healy’s paid plenty. Legal fees to get an eviction order and a hotel to live in while they waited and hoped their home wouldn't be trashed in the end.
Newschannel 8 stopped by the home several times. There was no answer, just barking dogs inside and a note telling everyone to stay away.
“My wife and I don’t sleep at night anymore because we keep running these things through our head and say how in the world did we not detect something,” said Healy.
The fake buyers stayed until the last day of the eviction notice. The Healy’s are now cleaning up and putting their beautiful home back on the market. Real estate experts said sellers should be wary of signing lease or sales documents without having a real estate professional or lawyer in the room. The Healy’s are afraid the fake buyers will do the same thing to someone else which is why they feel it's important to share their story.