By Heather Curtis
An $800,000 house in Fairfax County went under contract in two days, despite coming with something unusual: a squatter in the basement.
Realtor Zinta Rodgers-Rickert with RE/MAX Gateway’s Red Truck Realty has sold more than 750 homes in her 33 years as a realtor but never one with a squatter.
“It is not commonplace. Now it’s not uncommon to see someone to sell a property with a tenant in place. Investment properties certainly sell with tenants in place, but, you know, the leases convey. There is no lease or signed documentation with this person,” Rodgers-Rickert told WMAL.
The ad for the 3,548 square foot home on 3709 Prado Place warns potential buyers that they can’t see the basement because a squatter is living there. As if that wasn’t enough to deter people, the home, built in 1964, is being sold as is, for cash and is “liveable but needs some TLC.” The windows are original, and some are rotting. The powder room toilet is shut off and leaks to the lower level. The dishwasher doesn’t work. Three toilets need to be replaced. The price tag to do all of the work needed to get the house in decent shape is estimated to be about $25,000.
Despite all its issues, Rodgers-Rickert decided to represent the seller.
“Our Northern Virginia market is really strong, so I knew that there would be some interest,” said Rodgers-Rickert.
She was right. Five offers were put in on the house, and it was under contract two days after being listed.
Rodgers-Rickert said the buyers are knowledgeable and qualified, and she thinks they would know how to evict the uninvited house guest.
“Evictions are not easy. They’re both emotionally and time-consuming and costly and can take three or more months,” Rodgers-Rickert said.
She said the owner did not want to have to deal with that headache and was hoping to be able to sell the home complete with the squatter, and it worked out.
There’s no word on what the buyer plans to do with the squatter or the house.