A Silver Lining to a Sad Successor Trustee Sale
Right before I received the “confirmation of closing” email for a successor trustee sale near Elk Grove, I had received bad news from my vet about our cat Horatio. Poor little guy had a bit of diarrhea, so I took him to the River City Cat Clinic in Land Park. We adopted Horatio about a month ago. The vet suggested we test him for leukemia and AIDS, since he came from a shelter. Well, the vet called yesterday afternoon to say the results came back positive.
When I was 23, I lost my Himalayan, Cairo, to leukemia. I had visited that cat daily in the hospital. He could barely stand up with tubes taped to his legs, he was so sick. I would reach through his cage and gingerly hold him, trying not to sob. He didn’t make it. I can’t do this again, is my first thought.
Never in a million years did I expect our newly adopted cat to have leukemia. They don’t vaccinate for that when your cats are indoor. Tessa and Jackson have not been exposed to the leukemia vaccine. I can’t test either of them for 30 days. Our cats could die. All of the cats at the shelter could die. Horatio could die. I’m absorbing all of that when the email popped up informing me the successor trustee sale had suddenly funded and closed.
I had met that seller when I came out to the house to do my visual inspection. Met both daughter and mother. Days later, BAM, the mother collapsed into a coma. Daughter and I listed the home. Her mom is in hospice now. Just thinking about life and its preciousness was enough to make me want to cry, but I had to call the daughter to let her know the sale had closed escrow. How are you, she asked? Well, I wasn’t planning on saying anything personal, but I could not say peachy keen. I shared what happened with Horatio. I was a bit raw at the moment. We talked about her mom. End of life options.
You can’t always bottle up stuff. It’s not healthy. Now I sometimes fight it, but despite my analytical nature, I am a compassionate person. I try to show empathy for my clients. To be aware. Everybody has some horrible thing going on in their lives, when it comes right down to it. Stuff we share, stuff we don’t. But it’s there.
OK, silver lining time. There is always a silver lining.
I set aside my tears. I reminded the daughter about how many offers we had received, four in all. The very first offer was from a young couple trying to use the CalHFA program for first-time home buyers. This is a program that is hard to get an offer accepted for in our Sacramento seller’s market. Everybody wants the cash buyers or the conventional buyers. Some listing agents wrongly pigeonhole CalHFA buyers and shove them down the totem pole. The only kind of buyer that struggles more with offers than a CalHFA buyer is a VA buyer.
Of all the offers we had received, the CalHFA offer was the lowest. It was only $5,000 over list price. I want what is best for my seller. We want the committed buyer who will close and not try to make the seller pay for repairs or or closing costs. We want the highest offer. But in this instance, I pointed out to the seller that I felt our list price was the top of the market, and it might not appraise for more. All of those other offers are pretty much worthless if they are contingent on an appraisal, and it doesn’t appraise (and they were contingent).
Why not give the CalHFA couple a break? I suggested. Why not sell to them? We can make an agreement that they will take care of any lender-required conditions or repairs, and let’s let them buy the house. They have a family and are just starting out. Wouldn’t your mom prefer to let a young family take over her house? Breathe new life into a home that brought the mom so much joy over the years? It’s really the same money no matter how you look at it due the appraisal situation, and these buyers deserve consideration.
The daughter agreed. The CalHFA buyers were the first offer, too. They had waited through the weekend, after the open house, and that patience won the house, even though there were multiple offers. This successor trustee sale closed, by the way, at my original suggested sales price. The appraisal was at list price, not above. I was right all along. And that’s why it pays to hire an experienced Sacramento Realtor.
The daughter and I wish the new homeowners many happy years in their new home. She and I each are enduring our own pain, you can’t get away from it in life, but it’s good to acknowledge that something wonderful also happened yesterday.