Paperwork to Submit a Short Sale Offer

It’s not easy to get a short sale offer accepted in Sacramento. It’s the competition. Because the problem with changing MLS status from Active Short Sale to Active Short Contingent or Pending Short Lender Approval is a Sacramento short sale agent has one supremely ecstatic home buyer and probably 20+ or so disappointed and / or angry rejected buyers. People get mad when their offer is rejected. It’s not like your average home buyer in Sacramento is used to rejection, not like a real estate agent who deals with rejection as part of the job: like doors slammed in faces or buyer’s snorting, “I don’t want to talk to an agent; I was just looking,” click.

It occurred to me this morning that perhaps some buyers could increase their chances of short sale offer acceptance if all of the correct paperwork would be submitted with an offer. There are times I receive offers without the right documents, and sometimes I get offers with too much paperwork, and agents might toss in the kitchen sink with it.

Many agents have never written a short sale offer. I try to point agents in the right direction but not everybody appreciates my assistance for what it is, which is to try to help. I guess when faced with a made-up question such as is the listing agent helping us or trying to sabotage us, it’s easier to believe sabotage, but that’s the wrong default because the menu options are incorrect. There is no reason on God’s green earth for anybody to try to sabotage a buyer’s agent. None, whatsoever. If people think somebody is out to get them, I suggest they look in the mirror.

Here are the documents a buyer needs to submit with a short sale offer:

  1. The 10-page Residential Purchase Agreement, which includes the Buyer’s Inspection Advisory.
  2. The Short Sale Addendum. Without the short sale addendum, your offer is not a short sale offer.
  3. Agency disclosure.
  4. Proof of funds.
  5. Preapproval letter from lender.
  6. Copy of earnest money deposit.

You can squeeze by with items 1 to 3 and send items 4 to 6 at a later time, but it increases your odds of acceptance with all six items at inception. It is also helpful to send all documents in one PDF, not six separate files.

Paperwork we do not need at offer presentation are the disclosures. This includes the buyer and seller statewide advisory, lead-based paint, water-heater, and any of the other disclosures. Let’s save some trees. Let’s save a file to download, too. Some PDF files are so large they do not email. How would you feel if your agent sent all of that paperwork and it never arrived because the file was too big to transfer? I’d like to grab a megaphone and yell from the tallest hill here in Sacramento, where would that be, maybe out in Elk Grove? Stop sending these 95-page files, please.

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