wells fargo short sale

Crazy Escrows in Sacramento Mean We Stay to the End

sacramento short sale are not always easy closings

Crazy escrows are not uncommon in Sacramento short sales.

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 property itself was somewhat unusual in that deferred maintenance and dry rot was evident, among some nice upgrades. That makes it hard to appraise because some BPO agents struggle with repair issues. It’s easy when all the homes within a half mile are similar to each other like those homes in Elk Grove or Natomas, it’s quite another thing when the neighborhood is distressed and the homes are not so new.

We received a few offers during the first 2 1/2 months this home was for sale, but none at the price we needed to gain an approval from the bank. Agents seem to think we should be grateful for their buyer’s lowball offers and send them to the bank on the off chance they might get accepted, and I guess they seem to forget that we don’t work for their buyers. We work for the seller, and if we’re gonna work, by golly, we’d also like to get paid for it, however small that paycheck might be. We’re not interested in hearing why the buyers feel the home is worth less, in many cases we know what the bank expects. Meet it or you don’t go into escrow. Finally, a buyer who would occupy the home wrote an acceptable offer.

Wells Fargo sent us an approval within 8 weeks, which is a little bit longer for Wells Fargo than normal, but it was also a HAFA short sale. We still had the second lender to contend with, which wasn’t budging from its high demand and, on top of everything else and typically par for the course, vandals broke in to steal appliances and wreak havoc. The sellers handled much of the repair though their insurance company, thank goodness. Then we went through 4 or 5 rounds of proposed approvals from USAA until we were down to the last 400 bucks.

I pleaded, cried and practically wept out loud to the negotiator about the sellers’ particular medical condition. Think about the worst health thing that could possibly happen to a human being, apart from maybe cancer, and that’s what the seller was going through. Then February 1st rolled around and the 2015 HAFA short sale guidelines changed, so I resubmitted the package to Wells Fargo and requested a revised approval letter to include the $10,000 relocation incentive to the seller and to pay the second $12,000. It took Wells Fargo another month to release the revised approval letter, which was finally, finally followed by the approval from USAA.

The appraiser then requested a pest report and a pest completion. Fortunately, the buyers agents, super team that they were, stepped in to help the buyer handle it. We were all ready to fund and close when the appraiser went back to confirm the pest work was completed, and she decided, on a whim, to make the crazy escrow even crazier. She noted that the floors were buckling and presented a trip hazard. Bam, the buyer’s agent was over at the home on his knees with a belt sander, fuming and mentally cursing that appraiser, I’m sure. Who knew an appraiser was also a home inspector? There’s a special place in hell for those kinds of people. If the appraiser had a problem with the floors, why didn’t she note it in the first place instead of waiting for the funding and preventing a timely closing?

Yet, close we did. From start to finish on this short sale, over 8 long months, we dealt with hostility from other agents, rejections from the lender, vandalism, inept appraisers, repair requests for the buyer, and yet in the end we prevailed. I don’t give up. As the seller mentioned yesterday when I called to congratulate, that couple would hate to think what could have happened in some other agents’ hands.

The thing is this crazy escrow was gratifying in many ways to me. A first-time homebuyer got a great deal on her first home, and the sellers received their release of liability, plus $10,000 to help ease the transition into a new life elsewhere.

Super Bowl Sunday 2014 and Sacramento Open Houses

Super Bowl SundayHome buyers in Sacramento were out in droves over the weekend, attending open houses, touring new listings and writing offers. This was the one weekend in January to do it because we got a break in those football games. Granted, I am not a person who watches football. I am probably in the minority but football doesn’t interest me. Not even if I imagine the team players as short sale negotiators at various banks — oh look, Bank of America just swiped the ball from Green Tree, and Wells Fargo bashed PNC in the head. Nope, still doesn’t do it for me.

Next weekend, of course, will be Super Bowl Sunday 2014, and it’s just not a good weekend for an open house. Oh, sure, there are Super Bowl widows and widowers who will be out and about, but the bulk of Americans will be focused on who will win the Super Bowl. Big Super Bowl parties everywhere except at my house. I’m not even sure who is playing, I think Denver and . . . After we get past this next weekend, it should be clear sailing through spring into summer for Sacramento real estate.

A negotiator at SLS called me this morning to ask when we would record on a short sale scheduled for closing. I told her it would be tomorrow. But what TIME, she persisted, almost in a whiny voice. Well, Sacramento has 5 recording times — it will be one of those, I offered. One of those 5 times. Don’t know which one. She probably would have smacked me if we were sitting across the table from each other.

But then I’d throw a football into her face and break her nose.

Congressman Uses Political Power to Persecute a Short Sale Agent

HAFA-Short-Sale-SacramentoA friend of mine, a real estate agent on the East Coast, is under investigation and accused of breaking the law when he did nothing of the sort. It’s a crazy situation, this short sale lawsuit, apparently brought on by vengeance and petty vindictiveness, in other words, it’s political. Some guy in Congress tried to buy a short sale. He wrote an offer that was contingent on selling his home and sent it to my friend, the listing agent.

Now, you and everybody from California to Florida knows that a contingent offer for a short sale has about a snowball’s chance in hell of getting accepted by the bank. All the short sale agents I know would advise their sellers to reject such an offer if, for no other reason, than they will undoubtedly receive another viable offer without such a contingency. A short sale bank is under no obligation to approve a short sale and, it is even less likely to do so, if the buyer is not in the financial position to purchase the home because the buyer has not yet sold his own home.

Moreover, to add more ammunition to his complaint, the congressman threw in a charge of misleading advertising because the listing agent advertised the home as a Wells Fargo short sale. He says the agent did not have the permission of Wells Fargo to market the home. The problem with this accusation is Wells Fargo does not give agents permission to market the home because agents are free to market the home without the permission of the short sale bank. In fact, the bank insists on it. On top of which, how the short sale will be processed and the length of time it will take to get approved all depends on the bank. Which is why all short sales are labeled by the lending institution.

You have your Bank of America short sales, Chase short sales, Ocwen short sales, Citimortgage short sales, Green Tree short sales, Nationstar short sales, and yes, your Wells Fargo short sales. Throw into that mix, say, a HAFA angle, and now you’ve got a Wells Fargo HAFA short sale.

But this legislator is having a hissy fit because his offer was not accepted by the seller and sent to the short sale bank. So, he’s coming after this listing agent with both barrels blazing by filing this short sale lawsuit. And he seems to have the state department of real estate commission riding halfback. He is using his political power to persecute an innocent person. This is indeed a sorry situation and a poor reflection on our political process that allows such a horrendous situation to move forward, particularly when it is baseless.

I have tried to be helpful to buyer’s agents and share with them the reason(s) the seller did not accept their offer. I think from now on I will keep my mouth shut. Because whatever you say, evidently, can come back to bite in the form of spite.

The Ease of a Sacramento Short Sale With Jennifer Kelly at Wells Fargo

jennifer Kelly as Wells FArgoA prospective seller called me yesterday to discuss a distressed property in Sacramento that she wishes to perhaps sell as a short sale. We didn’t have much time to talk before she had to leave for an appointment, so I will follow up with her today. I like to be prepared for my discussions with sellers, so I access all the information that I can find for our consultations. The more information that I can give to a seller, the better. Because an informed seller is a seller who makes the right decisions.

I know the answers to many problems that plague sellers. It’s my business as a Sacramento real estate agent to know the answers. I don’t have to go to somebody else for an opinion. Although, I would never give a client legal or tax advice because that is not my speciality, and I am not licensed to talk about such matters. But real estate advice or short sale advice, I’ll talk your ear off. And I’ll be right. You can trust the information I provide. That’s why sellers choose Elizabeth Weintraub as their real estate agent.

There is another person in the short sale business who is not in the limelight but is simply incredible. That person is Jennifer Kelly at Wells Fargo. She works in a certain department, and I don’t believe she handles all short sales, so please don’t call her for general advice or leave messages in her voice mail. No exceptions, people. I am mentioning her because she is superb and the standard to which all short sale service departments should strive to achieve.

I contacted Jennifer yesterday because the seller with the pending short sale situation fell into Jennifer’s department. I could tell by looking at the tax records that this was a short sale that Jennifer might be in charge of approving. I emailed her to verify that this short sale would fall within her jurisdiction.

Six minutes later, I kid you not, 6 minutes later, Jennifer sent me a complete package of documents that pertain to this seller’s particular situation, with specific instructions, on top of a preapproved sales price. In 6 minutes!

You can’t get somebody to answer the phone in 6 minutes at other short sale banks. You can’t get a short sale APPROVED at many banks in 6 months much less 6 minutes. Jennifer is a busy person. She’s always out talking to companies, managing those in her department, helping sellers understand what’s happening and making sure her short sales are processed correctly.

I don’t know anybody who measures up to the professionalism of Jennifer Kelly at Wells Fargo. She soars far above the crowd with superior customer service skills. Wells Fargo is lucky to have her and probably does not pay her enough. She makes me look even better to my sellers.

I cannot wait to tell this prospective seller today that I have every document she needs to complete and her short sale price is already preapproved, and I don’t even work for her yet.

Wells Fargo HAFA Short Sale Approved in 2 Weeks

Wells Fargo HAFA Short SaleThe earth stood still for just a second last week after Wells Fargo approved a HAFA short sale for sellers in Elk Grove. We were expecting approval at earliest by the end of March but we instead received short sale approval on March 1. The usual 6 weeks that Wells Fargo typically takes to approve a HAFA had been shrunk to about 14 days. Completely incredible. I knew Wells Fargo could eventually shorten its timeframe for a HAFA short sale, and it has exceeded my expectations.

I listed this particular Elk Grove short sale in early February. We held off showings for at least a week to build momentum and pushed for multiple offers. From the half dozen offers, we chose the cleanest offer from the most qualified buyer and submitted it to Wells Fargo. Under Wells Fargo new guidelines, it has reduced tasks in Equator and now asks for limited documentation. We uploaded additional docs a week later and, 7 days from receipt, we were notified of approval for this Wells Fargo HAFA short sale.

The only little glitch is the bank set closing for 29 days from approval. This might not be enough time to get the buyer’s loan processed. Moreover, it’s difficult to find a rental that allows occupancy at the end of the month. Because Wells Fargo, like most short sale lenders, requires an arm’s length affidavit, the seller can’t rent back. But unlike some short sale lenders, oh, like Citi, for example, Wells Fargo doesn’t put up a big fight to issue an extension. Sometimes, getting a short sale extension from certain short sale lenders can be cause for handing over your first-born child. But not in a Wells Fargo short sale.

So, don’t believe all the crap you hear about short sales. I hear buyers say they wouldn’t touch a short sale if it was the only home for sale in Sacramento, and that’s not a fair attitude. If you choose a short sale listed by an agent who closes a lot of short sales and you get the right lender to work with, a short sale doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy.

Wells Fargo gets 2 thumbs up from this Sacramento short sale agent. I’ll throw in a couple of toes, too.

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