Maryland Blogger: A Challenging Transaction

A Challenging Transaction

A Challenging Transaction


The December blog challenge for members of ActiveRain was posted by Carol Williams and Anna Banana Kruchten. They asked us to write about a crazy or difficult transaction.

I have sold hundreds of HUD and VA foreclosures and many of them provided some unusual challenges. I was helping a young man searching for his first home and we found the ideal property, a HUD owned condominium on the top floor of a very nice building in Germantown, Maryland. The only work that needed to be done was to apply some fresh paint and maybe to change the wall to wall carpeting. His FHA financing was approved and settlement was scheduled. It was wintertime and the HUD contractor had winterized the property since the heat was not on in the unit.

We had some very cold weather and the sprinkler system in the unit was frozen and the pipes burst with a resulting flood of the top floor unit and the ones below. Workmen broke into almost every wall and the ceiling in their attempt to find the pipes and to stop the flooding. This ideal condominium became a disaster.

Fortunately, I had a good relationship with the HUD staff in Washington, DC and arranged to meet with a couple of the representatives at the property to view the damage. They did all of the necessary repairs including new paint and carpet and the end result was a condominium in move in condition. My buyer was delighted and went to settlement and all went well.

When dealing with foreclosures, you need to be able to cope with some difficult circumstances. This transaction took place in time when HUD sold their properties directly by weekly offerings to the highest bidders without using listing agents.


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Photograph by Roy Kelley
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Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Roy Kelley and Associates


Roy Kelley, Associate Broker

Realty Group Referrals (Retired from RE/MAX Realty Group)

6 Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 200

Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Main Office:  301-258-7757 (You will not reach me at this number)

Send an email message if you need my phone numbers. I will be happy to recommend a real estate professional if you are moving to the area.

Comment balloon 17 commentsRoy Kelley • December 27 2019 07:22PM


Good morning, Roy Kelley I've seen a home with broken pipes and ice on the walls.... that's a huge project to repair.... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 2 months ago

Good morning Roy. Experience and connections are an advantage when things are turning south! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 2 months ago

Good morning Roy. Your buyer was fortunate that "you knew someone". Still sounds like a horroe show to me. Beautiful flower.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 2 months ago

Good morning, Roy... it takes someone with a lot of patience to deal with HUD homes... I'm not one of them.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 2 months ago

Wow, that is quite incredible that you got them to do the work, your clients definitely hired the right person for the job!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 2 months ago

Roy, Not every agent can deal with foreclosures, but you knew exactly how to handle this transaction!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 2 months ago

Roy, boy that really worked out for your buyer, didn't even need to do the paint and carpet after all!   

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 2 months ago

Hi Roy,
Those burst pipes create a horrible mess.  I had it happen on Thanksgiving Day in one of the upper units of a 4-plexes I managed. The tenants had left for the holiday and turned their heat way down.  When the frozen pipes unthawed it was a wall of water. The downstairs tenants had to be moved out during renovations.

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) about 2 months ago

Roy, I had a similar situation occur years ago.  Although it wasn't a HUD house, it was vacant in winter.  A pipe burst under the kitchen sink and flooded the home, and ruined all the hardwood floors.  Fortunately, the seller made it right, and the buyer was happy.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 2 months ago

Good morning Roy Kelley - that had to be so discouraging.  Broken pipes and water damage are such a big set of problems.  Glad it all worked out.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 2 months ago

Hello Roy,  we all had difficult transaction in this business, to many to remember I think.


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 2 months ago


What a hellish transaction you went through.  A big salute to you for dealing with the government and their magnificent aptitude at using red tape...A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 2 months ago

Yike Roy Kelley that was a nightmare story and bravo to you for pulling it off perfectly for your buyer!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS, 602-380-4886 (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 2 months ago

HI Roy Kelley - It is a good thing you knew who to contact in HUD. Great job for your buyer.

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 2 months ago

Good Morning Roy,

The buyer was fortunate to have been represented by you because handling HUD-owned is not easy. If it weren't for you, the buyer would have not closed on this unit. The best part was getting a newly done unit.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) about 2 months ago

Roy - this is a great entry for the December Challenge! If I never sell another HUD home again, I won't say I miss them. They definitely have their own unique challenges. I found the most difficult times were between 2008 - 2010. Banks had a lot of power then. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 2 months ago

Thank you very much for stopping by. It is always good to hear from you.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 2 months ago