Closing an Escrow Against the Odds

Elizabeth at 62I may have been riding ponies and yelling giddy-up last night but this morning my birthday is over and I’m just another old fart whose day of glory has passed. No more 20-year tawny for me today, me — who had the brilliant thought that if one glass was a fine way to end the evening, a second glass might be even more fun. Instead I have built-in radar that says, nope, you, young lady, need to go directly to bed, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Put that head on the pillow, NOW.

I am thankful for my built-in radar because it keeps me out of danger. I have pretty good gut instincts as well which I, at times, rely upon. It’s the reason we closed an escrow on Friday that probably would not have otherwise closed this month.

This was a transaction initially scheduled to close within the first week of June, not the end of June. Mid stream, the mortgage lender switched the financing from conventional to FHA because the buyer did not qualify. The underwriter discovered a foreclosure on record some 7 years past for one of the buyers and disqualified the buyer. Yup, guidelines can make provisions for waiting periods but underwriters can do what they want.

Then the file sat at the lender because everybody thought somebody else was working on it, or at least that’s the mortgage lender’s story and he was sticking to it. He went so far as to pull out the my-grandmother-died card, or wait, that might have been another transaction and these are probably guys without grandmothers, I may note. I dunno. What I did know was I had a very unhappy seller due to the financing for the buyers. She expected to close. She had to make another mortgage payment she wasn’t planning on making. She asked me for options.

The solution she liked best was to sell the home to another buyer. So that’s what we did. We signed a back-up offer with a second set of buyers and issued to the first buyer a Demand to Close escrow. The buyer’s agent was horrified. Said she had never received a Demand to Close escrow in all of her years in real estate. It won’t be the last, I offered. Not in this real estate market. The lender has the ability to make any file a priority, and it may as well be ours. They managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat and closed.

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