I watched my grandmother–who is now dying of Alzheimer’s disease–get mercilessly preyed upon during her final months/weeks living in her house before having to move into an assisted living home.
I watched all manner of shady things happen to her. Guy shows up to house, claims her (dead) husband wanted a paint job done, she agreed to pay a check for $5k for a few shutters to be painted which took the painter guy about 3 hours. We only found out about this after the fact.
And then there are all the “legal” telemarketers who sold her a bunch of worthless services, and on and on.
And then there are the commercials for snake oil (Prevagen, etc) that prey upon the elderly.
Watching all of this made me realize just how much of the economy is based upon preying on lonely elderly people who are scared and confused and feeble-minded.
So back to real estate: are these offers–which bring a new definition to the term “low-balling”–sent out with the hopes that some old person who doesn’t have all of their marbles for whatever reason is just going to go “ok, sure” and sell the property they don’t need for $12k even though it’s worth $90k? What am I missing if this is not the reason?
One of the things we noticed my grandmother doing was “paying” unsolicited offers that would come in the mail because she thought they were legit bills. We had to take her checkbook away from her after we saw what a problem it was becoming.
So this offer–complete with 1 page contract–came to me in the mail. All I could think of was how my grandmother just might have done this when she was losing her mind before moving into the home. She might just have treated it like a bill and signed it and mailed it back to them. Or she might have thought (in her fog) that $12k was a fair deal and she just didn’t want to mess with it.
Any thoughts from those of you with more experience with all of this? Again, I get the strategy of lowballing thousands of people with the hopes that 1 or 2 will bite. But again, this seems to be a whole new level of lowballing. I thought lowballing was offering 50-60% of the value for something. This is offering 12% of the value.
TL;DR version: I think these lowball real estate offers are preying upon the elderly, and I even think it’s a large percentage of the accepted offers they are getting. If I am wrong please explain the deal to me like I’m a 10 year old. Thanks!