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When Homeowners Attack
Homes across the country are beginning to look as though a tour bus of addled rock stars or a limo full of Hollywood starlets has come to stay the night. In foreclosure, the owners of said properties are taking out their anger at the banks by trashing the place before they leave.
It’s estimated that about half of foreclosed properties have this kind of damage, according to a new survey by Campbell Communications, a marketing and research firm based in Washington D.C. Realtors tell tales of animal leavings, paint poured onto carpets, fixtures ripped out and windows smashed. It isn’t admirable (or pretty) but creative realtors have begun offering cash—sometimes thousands of dollars—to residents who leave quietly, and without making a mess.
Though bribery might seem like a poor way to do business, it can ensure a better experience for the home buyer, who is getting a fairly good deal in the current market. Let’s just hope the tactic is working, and that they don’t find themselves walking into a money pit. [Wall Street Journal]