Dangers of Hiring Any Old Realtor for Sacramento Short Sales

Bank of America Short SaleAll Sacramento short sales are not the same, and a seller should not just hire any old Realtor he or she can find to do a short sale. I can’t express the sentiment enough that if you need to do a short sale, you owe it to yourself to hire the best Sacramento short sale agent you can find because you have no idea, and I mean seriously absolutely zero idea, of what can happen in a short sale, but a specialist does. A specialist can prevent some crap from ever taking place to start with.

For crying out loud, Sacramento short sales are traumatic enough without lopping a second or third helping of pain on top of existing angst and agony.

In this next short sale I’ll share with you, the seller had hired some other agent in Sacramento to do his short sale. He called me because he hadn’t heard anything from his agent for a while and wondered what was happening. Asked if I would be so kind as to go over to his house and check it out because he lived out of town.

Tahoe Park is not that far from Land Park where I live, so I drove over but not before I checked his listing in MLS. Lo and behold, the listing was still listed in MLS as “expired pending” status, which is not allowed. It meant there was an offer of some sort, most likely expired as well but not necessarily; however, the listing itself had expired and there was no longer any agreement between the seller and the listing agent. The seller insisted that he wasn’t even aware they were in contract.

First thing I noticed when I arrived at the home in Tahoe Park: there was no sign in the yard. The place looked forlorn. Lockbox was there, but no sign. There was another lockbox, too, the kind attached to the gate by a preservation company hired by the bank, which meant a side door was drilled out. It would appear that the short sale agent had simply given up on this client and forgotten about the listing. I retrieved the key from the lockbox, inserted it into the lock and slowly pushed open the door. There was something on the floor in front of the door. God, I hoped it wasn’t a dead animal. It was a pile of old mail and a FedX envelope. I called the seller and he asked me to open the FedX envelope. Dated in September and this was February. The letter from Bank of America informed the seller his short sale was denied.

And this is how I came to list an FHA short sale with Bank of America in Tahoe Park last February. I’m not certain the previous agent even realized this was a HUD-related situation.

After MLS removed the expired listing and allowed my listing entry, the previous buyer’s agent called to submit the same lowball offer she had previously submitted. As a top Sacramento short sale agent, I know it is not necessarily in the best interest of the seller to submit a lowball offer on a short sale. Not only that, but since it’s an FHA short sale, two things must happen: #1) the seller needs to receive an ATP from HUD, without which the sale will go nowhere, and #2) HUD will prepare a formal appraisal, not a BPO, and the offer price must meet or exceed the net expected.

The agent appeared highly agitated and frustrated that I could not advise the seller to take her buyer’s offer, especially since the seller had previously accepted an offer from that buyer. Well, that was part of the problem, the offer was too far below the comparable sales. Would her buyer like to increase the offer or does the buyer believe banks are handing out short sales left and right like toasters?

It took a while to obtain an offer that would meet HUD’s guidelines and to meet the seller’s expectation of commitment duration. FHA short sales are not processed quickly and can take months and months. On top of this, since the sellers no longer occupied the home and had moved away, we needed to obtain a variance from FHA because the reason for moving did not fit like a round peg into a round hole. That’s how the government works. No square pegs in round holes allowed without a variance.

But the long and short of it is we got the ATP, we got the variance, and we closed the escrow in September. I know this without hesitation, and the truth is if the seller had not finally hired a top Sacramento real estate agent who used specialized knowledge to close this sort of FHA short sale, he’d have a foreclosure instead on his record.

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