No Guarantees in Sacramento Real Estate for a Seller
It seems that Sacramento sellers are wanting a lot of guarantees in a sale these days, some of which they just can’t get. That’s a recipe for a few frustrated sellers. For example, I’ve had sellers tell me they want 100% assurance that the buyer can get the loan. Well, I’d like to be 29 again, too, but it ain’t gonna happen. OK, maybe not 29, maybe 39 instead. Yeah, like Jack Benny and 39. A perpetual 39, never a day older.
We can get a preapproval letter from a lender, and we can do all the due diligence possible about that letter, but it’s still not worth a damn thing. Lenders are not required to guarantee that the buyer can get a loan. Some of them don’t even run credit reports, if you can believe it, and I do because I see this sort of thing all the time. Many don’t even complete a loan application, because it’s too much work for a buyer who might never get an offer accepted, or whatever.
We can demand a DU (desktop underwriting) but even that is not a guarantee. It will disclose FICO scores, but that doesn’t mean that one of the parties doesn’t have a lien filed against her or an ex-husband has had a foreclosure in the past or that a buyer won’t lose his job midstream. Anything can and often does happen during escrow. Buyers change their financial situation and ruin their chances of buying a home, all on a whim, as they seem to undergo a temporary lapse in judgment. But it was so pretty, sparkly, dangly, fast, sleek, new, modern, um, they forgot. Oops.
I recall a couple of sellers who demanded that I lay out for them every situation that could possibly affect them during the term of escrow. What? Do you want to sleep at my house while I do this? Then, they asked if I would recite line-for-line each page of the 10-page purchase contract and explain each sentence as though I am a lawyer. In the middle of another escrow, sellers decided they no longer cared for the buyer and asked to replace the buyer with a new buyer, as though I have the power to magically unwind a contract. Abracadabra. I do my best to anticipate problems and head them off before developing, but I can’t possibly predict every scenario that could pop up during escrow.
Some things are surprises because, well, they are a surprise.
Like when a buyer drops dead. I don’t always expect that to happen. But it does.
But I know what it is. It’s fear. It’s fear that sellers are doing the wrong thing or making the wrong call. If one little problem pops up, there are sellers who will try to find a way to pin it on the listing agent. And that’s OK, really. You could pin a tail on this donkey, and I wouldn’t feel it. I don’t force them to take responsibility for their own actions. I’m not their mother. My job as a Sacramento REALTOR is to move them from Point A, which is putting the home on the market, to Point B, which is to closing and pocketing a big ol’ wad of cash in the seller’s bank account — at which point, they forget all about the drama.
I can’t guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong, but I can promise to try to fix it.