The Broken Sacramento Short Sale is Not a Real Listing

A 'real' jigsaw puzzle of a SOLD real estate sign in front of a new home. Each puzzle piece can be mWhen the phone call starts out with the caller apologizing for not calling this Sacramento real estate agent earlier in the game, I tend to go on red alert. Because if they knew to call and didn’t, there might be something wrong that I can’t fix. But you never know. Particularly in a Sacramento short sale, sellers often end up listing with the wrong agents — those who don’t live up to their expectations — but sometimes the expectations themselves are out of line. I have to figure out which.

Real estate agents can end up as the punching bag simply because there’s generally nobody else around when things don’t pan out. That comes with the territory. Sometimes they deserve the fickle finger of blame pointed in their direction but not always; we’re all different. Here are two different types of situations. In this first transaction, a seller called to say he hadn’t heard from his agent in months, and didn’t know what was happening with the sale of his home. Wha?

There was no sign in the yard when I went over to the house. It was listed in MLS and this Sacramento short sale had expired in pending status, which is a status that can draw a fine from MLS because expired pending status listings are not allowed. Yet, there it was. Lonely and forlorn. Weeds overgrown. The lockbox was still on the gate with a key inside. The gate was unlatched, banging in the breeze on the fence. It’s hard to say what had transpired in that listing, but it’s now in escrow with me, sold again and pending.

Earlier last week a seller called to plead that I sell her home as a short sale because she discovered that I’ve closed hundreds of Sacramento short sales. I do hold the dubious honor of having sold more short sales in a 7-county area than any other agent for the past 8 years. She had a hard-money second with 21st Century, so I know the problems associated with that particular type of short sale and how to handle them. We talked for a while, and it was beginning to look like I could help her but it was bugging me that she had dinged around for more than a year and did not receive some type of approval or rejection letter. The facts just weren’t adding up.

Then I asked the important question. Was she living in the home? Nope, she had moved about a year ago. OK, second-most important question: Did she buy another home? Yes, she did. All right, third-most important question: In whose name? It was her name. Ding, ding, ding. Like I told her, she can easily find some agent to list it — many so-called short sale agents don’t understand short sales even though they may have a certified designation next to their name — and there’s a small chance, maybe a 10% chance that her Sacramento short sale might get approved, but those odds aren’t high enough for me to take that listing.

I prefer to take listings that close. Much of my successful career is due to the fact that?I inherently gravitate toward the 100% closings. Even an overpriced listing will eventually come down to a point where a buyer will want to buy it, but one can’t fix a broken short sale. Before any of my Team Weintraub members allow a buyer to sign a purchase offer for a short sale, we check it out to assess whether it will close. Not all of them will because not all of those short sale listings are a short sale to start with.

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