Maybe Your Roseville Home is Worth More?

Of my four closings yesterday, two of those homes were regular transactions and not short sales. I hope this is a trend that continues. Fewer short sales, more equity sales. Because for the past 7 years, most of my business in the Sacramento four-county area has been short sales. That’s why they call me a Sacramento short sale agent. But before short sales, I enjoyed a long career selling regular homes. People tend to forget about that. But I don’t because my job is to help sellers sell their home, regardless of what it is.

One of those closings was a home in Roseville. It was owned by a spunky 82-year-old woman whom everybody adored. I mean everybody: the title company, the escrow officer, the buyer, the buyer’s agent, and especially me. This woman is incredible. Funny, sweet and smart. I could not believe that her family dumped her at the last minute. The home was hers alone, but a while ago her family members decided to join her in title. I’m not sure exactly why but I’m betting they felt she had equity, and they wanted a piece of it. When she told them she was interested in selling, they convinced her that she would have to do a short sale. If she was to short sale, they wanted to bail because they did not want to participate in a short sale. No money to them and nothing but a hassle.

See, the thing is a short sale lender will want everybody to participate in the short sale process, even if the parties are not on the mortgage. If they are on title, they need to fill out all of the paperwork, just like the mortgagors, and apply for the short sale. This seller’s family members were so sure she had to sell as a short sale that they deeded the home back to her and recorded that deed! I always check out title before I take a listing. Three decades ago I used to work at First American Title. This seller definitely had clear title to the home. A home with equity!

She was also very shocked when I told her she did not have to do a short sale. She had plenty of equity. This Roseville seller had enough equity to sell her home for top dollar, pay a commission, all of her closing costs and back taxes, and still have a lot of money leftover. Do you know how good that feels as a real estate agent to share with a seller that kind of good news? Or, as a seller to hear it? To find out that instead of a short sale, you can protect your credit and stash, say, $20,000 in the bank. When you’re on a fixed income, $20,000 could be a year’s income or more.

It beats the alternative. I had to inform a Land Park seller last year that her Land Park home had slipped into short sale territory and that she needed to sell as a short sale. We tried to sell as an equity sale but it hadn’t been working. She exploded to the point that I had to cancel the listing. Just blew up at me. I always try to tell people the hard truth but not everybody can handle an agent who is direct. Some prefer agents who sugar-coat, beat around the bush, and that’s not me. Eventually, that Land Park seller put her home back on the market as a short sale with another agent. That was too bad. Because I would have done a good job for her. You can trust that I will always try to do what is best for the seller.

But before jumping to the conclusion that your home is underwater, you should ask a real estate agent for her opinion of value. You might be pleasantly surprised. Some of us do a bang-up job at pricing a home and figuring out market value.

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