buying a short sale fixer with financing

The Sacramento Short Sale Closing Against the Odds

Short Sale Sign in SacramentoThis was the Sacramento short sale that closed against the odds. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew the buyer’s agent and had faith in her abilities, this particular short sale closing might never have happened. It’s almost as though we “willed it” to a conclusion, so closing occurred. Of course, having years of experience in closing hundreds of short sales helps — there is no denying that fact — but this particular short sale presented so many unique challenges. The sellers were very cooperative, too, which made the horribleness bearable.

The problem with this particular Sacramento short sale was not the fact there were two loans between Bank of America and Green Tree. I negotiate many short sales with two loans. Moreover, Green Tree is not a problem for me like it seems to be for other agents. After years of hammering, I’ve got the process down pat and know intimately how Green Tree operates. It also wasn’t the fact that there was a SMUD lien filed against the property. I know what to do with those, too. It was the condition of the home.

This is where many Sacramento short sale agents throw in the towel.

Half of the home was remodeled and the other half was not. Further, it needed a new roof because the existing roof was beyond its useful life. Did I mention the pest work? The conundrum: The seller is not responsible for the repairs. Buyers don’t want to do any work and they don’t have any money anyway. Toss into that mix the fact the bank wanted top dollar for this home — the same sales price as for a home in excellent condition — and couple that nonsense with there is really no arguing with the bank.

Unless there is strong argument, which is rare. Arguing with a short sale bank is usually a wasted effort because the banks just don’t care. The value banks typically want rarely reflect the BPO as much as it does the bottom-line net the bank could obtain through other financial options. The bank insisted on a crazy high list price, which I eventually convinced them to reduce. The buyers offered an even lower price, but they were willing to obtain an energy efficient mortgage (which involves a little known credit) and pay for other repairs.

I trusted the buyer’s agent to perform. This is where industry experience and networking pays off. We had the perfect match in this transaction. I had the sellers who needed to sell and she had the buyers who needed to buy. Challenges be damned.

The buyers didn’t have a lot of money, and we needed to rely on first-time home buyer loans and repair loans to help them to buy this house. Their agent is a pro at navigating the waters for first-time home buyers.  Getting the approval from the bank for this Sacramento short sale was the first step. The second step was renegotiation with the bank. Yes, I know this goes against all that I preach about short sales and buying the home in AS IS condition without any further renegotiations but this was a special case. It wasn’t motivated by financial gain or greed.

I developed a strategy and presented a compelling case. We obtained the price reduction. The buyers got the home of their dreams. OK, maybe it’s not the home of their dreams right now, but it will be after the new roof is installed, the sewer lines are fixed, the pest work is completed and they eventually remodel the other half of the home. Sometimes, you’ve just got to have faith in the experience of your real estate agents to pull off what seems like an impossible transaction.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. The sellers walked out of this with about $7,500 in cash from the bank. This was a sweet short sale, despite the additional work.

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