Stay Away From the Sacramento Short Sale Crooks

Short-sale-crooks-300x168The problem that arises sometimes when taking over a listing — especially a botched short sale listing — is gaining the seller’s trust. Some sellers have been scammed so much, they don’t know where to turn nor whom to trust, and that’s pathetic. There are so many crooks in the short sale business. The crooks aren’t just the real estate agents, although there seems to be more of them than you’d probably suspect. The crooks are also the short sale negotiators, known as third-party negotiators hired by the agent, many of whom are not even licensed to legally do the job, on top of the buyers riding around in the back pockets of some of these agents.

The alarming thing is if you ask these people why they are crooks, they will tell you they are not crooks. And they will believe it. That’s how they get to be crooks because they believe their own lies.

It’s no wonder the short sale banks are cautious and careful, expecting every piece of documentation to be perfect. Seeing what I’ve seen in the short sale business, if I were the CEO of a short sale bank, I’d be scared crapless to approve some of the short sales because you just never know. Buyers are in cahoots with agents who are in cahoots with the negotiators, and they’re all in bed together. The person who doesn’t see any of this is the poor sellers. And why would they? What do they have to compare anything to? They have probably never done a short sale before and will never do a short sale again.

The best advice that I can give to a seller is if something seems too good to be true, check it out. Verify it. Talk to a person of authority and get advice. The buyers should not have a pre-existing relationship with the listing agent. The buyers should not be trying to simultaneously sell the property when they are buying the property. There should be no monkey business going on. The home should be priced at market value, not way below market value and sold to the lowest bidder. Deposits should be released to escrow.

Ask your Sacramento short sale agent to give you references. Prospective sellers are free to check out my Weintraub reviews online — real letters from real sellers. Find out how many short sales your proposed agent closes per year. Last year, for example, I sold more than 100 short sales. Does your short sale agent measure up? Probably not, but then there aren’t very many individual agents in Sacramento who sell as many short sales as I do. If the agent has closed 15 to 20 short sales, that’s a good number, though. Maybe you should hire that agent. Everybody and their grandmother is claiming to be a short sale expert today. Make them prove it.

Your agent should collect documents from you upfront. A hardship letter is a must for just about every kind of short sale, with a few exceptions. Tax returns, bank statements, payroll stubs, financials, all of these documents should be in your agent’s possession. If your agent does not negotiate the short sale, consider hiring a different short sale agent — an agent who does her own negotiation. Don’t let your future fall into the hands of a third-party vendor who doesn’t know you nor your situation. That’s a recipe for failure.

And listen to your gut instincts. If your gut tells you something is wrong, it probably is wrong. Very wrong.

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