tips for buying a short sale in sacramento

Can This Sacramento Seller Qualify for a Short Sale?

Short-Sale.300x198You may find this surprising to hear, but this Sacramento Realtor takes the time to analyze her sellers before listing a home for sale and she makes sure the sellers qualify for a short sale. I realize it looks like I never say no to anybody, but that’s just because I list and sell many, many homes in Sacramento, including some short sales. I will take just about any listing but I do subscribe to set criteria: I’ve got to believe the home will eventually a) sell, and b) the seller can’t be crazy nuts, like Dr. Jekyll and Hyde personalities.

The Sacramento short sales in particular require special attention because they require so MUCH extra work and time. You can bet I make sure my sellers can qualify for a short sale because that will ensure that my short sales will get approved. I’ve worked on short sales now for going on 10 years, and I’ve sold and negotiated more than any other short sale agent in a 7-county area. I stay abreast of new developments, laws and legislation, lender requirements and, quite frankly, there is not much I do not know about short sales. For a person who once said she didn’t have anything more to say about short sales, I’ve written 150+ articles, a book and goodness knows how many thousands of blogs and online tips.

Sometimes, I have to say no to a short sale. Not every seller will qualify for a short sale. Like yesterday, a nice fellow called to ask me about listing his home in Natomas. A quick search while he was on the phone with me revealed he travels the world, has built a home in the South Pacific and presently lives in a home he owns in Elk Grove, an Elk Grove home with lots of equity. Although he continued to insist that he lives in the home in Natomas and, when I mentioned the disparity, he claimed to live at both homes. Which I suppose he could, maybe he has more than one family, I dunno, but I don’t believe a short sale bank will buy it.

The best chance to qualify for a short sale is to have a financial hardship. The worst thing is to have excellent credit, lots of disposable income, and the ability to pay on the mortgage. Upon closer examination of this guy’s situation, it was apparent to me that we could sell his home in Natomas and he’d be short about $10,000, after all the costs of sale and existing loans were paid. For THAT he wants to short sale? It’s not worth it. He’s got the ten grand, and, upon review and confirmation, it would not be a huge sacrifice or stretch to just pay the difference.

But people have to make up their own minds what to do. I should charge for my advice but the BRE seems to frown on agents charging for advice when it’s not part of a sale. The financials the bank will pick apart should negate any chances of short sale for this guy. I work with more sellers lately who pay the difference and don’t short sale because the gap is becoming increasingly smaller, thanks to our recovering market.

My reputation is also at stake. I don’t want to put a buyer and her agent through waiting 90 days for approval and not perform. My short sales close. Because I qualify the seller. And I give straight-up advice. If it’s unlikely to work, I’ll tell you. My advice to other agents is to think through the short sale and seek out a short sale expert if need be, and don’t just throw every seller into MLS because they ask. Buyers, look at the track record of the Sacramento short sale agent before committing to buy a short sale.

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