Of all the crazy things that could fan the flames in an escrow, this particular case I’m about to discuss was exceptional, but then many Sacramento short sales are unique. This was also a small transaction as compared to selling luxury homes in Sacramento or in Davis — but as a Sacramento Realtor, I really don’t look at the sales price and tally my potential commission or I’d never list and sell half of the properties that I do. Or, as my husband likes to point out, still much more than his paycheck.
The only thing worse than not being able to show a home, from a Sacramento Realtor point of view, is when a buyer’s agent opens the door with an eager buyer in tow to discover the occupants of the home are slumped toward the TV, half-dressed on the sofa, slurping Big Gulps and chomping on Cheez-Its, slopping orangey bits everywhere. The zombies don’t even look up nor acknowledge there is another presence in the room. Stuff scattered everywhere, dog poop on the floor, not to mention flies buzzing the stack of dishes dumped into the kitchen sink. Not a pretty sight. And not an easy way to sell a short sale home in Sacramento.
Here is an example of a short sale in West Sacramento that sold at the end of October and could not close until the middle of April. It certainly was not the buyer’s fault, even though that is usually the case. It was not the seller’s fault, either, nor either of the agent’s. It was due to the lovely combination of an Ocwen lender combined with Nationstar as the second lender with MI on top of the cake. Those Ocwen / Nationstar combo short sales can be complicated to bring the two sides together, but it is generally much easier when Ocwen is the first and Nationstar is the second than the other way around, let me tell you.
Buyers who plan to buy a short sale in Sacramento should receive some kind of assurance that the bank will approve the short sale. In other words, the odds should be in their favor, especially if they have to wait 6 months for an FHA short sale or 90 days for most other short sales. If a buyer is to invest that amount of time, wouldn’t it be nice to know whether the bank will approve the short sale?
For starters, a buyer can approve the odds by buying a short sale listed by an experienced Sacramento short sale REALTOR. By experienced, I mean the REALTOR has a long track record of closing many short sales, not just a handful. It seems that some agents close one or two short sales, and granted it can seem like a lifetime, but two short sales does not make an agent an experienced short sale agent. It makes the agent somebody who ventured into short sale waters and came out without drowning or getting shot, a note-worthy accomplishment but it doesn’t mean much.
When the first question out a potential seller’s mouth is how much is your commission, that sends an agent a subtle message that either the caller has never sold a home or thinks the only thing that matters, i.e. differentiates agents from one another, is commission. I deal with both of these issues in my own way. Which means I address it head on and early and first, because any misconceptions about how a Sacramento real estate agent operates needs to be cleaned up immediately if I am to proceed with the conversation. If the caller is searching solely for a discount agent, they have misdialed.