Tale of a Short Sale in The Rivers of West Sacramento

The Rivers West SacramentoHomes don’t come up for sale very often in The Rivers in West Sacramento, that subdivision known as the Lighthouse Marina (misspelled in many public records), which helps to produce high demand for these homes. It’s a very pretty gated community, featuring an assortment of maple trees and other landscaping approved by the HOA, The Rivers.

Thank goodness the U.S. Government isn’t in the habit of donating armed military tanks to HOAs because The Rivers would surely delight in owning one. Lord help you if you have a tree in your yard that is not approved by the HOA, or if you try to hold an estate sale, because it’s not allowed. They take their business of uniformity very seriously in this community, and it’s a comfort to those who live there, so I’m not knocking it.

I sold a home on Fountain Drive right on the levee last year which was one of several short sales. This particular home had been a model home and originally sold at roughly $1.5 million, IIRC. With the down market, it sold at $460,000.

It did not surprise me when I received another listing this summer in The Rivers that was slated to be a short sale. A beautiful home of almost 5,000 square feet located on a premium lot that was once a golf course and now a park. Tremendous views. When I first listed the home, the sellers of another home called to ask if they could buy it as a contingent sale. I offered to list their home, but they couldn’t act fast enough and another cash buyer swooped in to make an offer on my listing.

The sellers accepted that offer, and then we had to do battle with the buyer for another week just to pull a proof of funds. The buyer could not understand why the short sale bank refused to accept the offer without their proof of funds, and they continued to submit paperwork that did not conform — trying to make a round peg fit into a square hole, which does not work on a short sale. They dinged around in escrow for 2 months, long enough for us to get a confirmed price, which they refused to meet.

Back on the market again, and this time the first set of buyers who could not act fast enough came back into the picture. They had now hired a real estate agent, a neighbor, which was OK with me. I don’t care who buys the property, and I don’t need every listing in Sacramento. I’m not that kind of agent. They would not receive any “special treatment” whether they were my buyers with a second listing or another agent’s buyers, so it did not make any difference to this Sacramento real estate agent.

I know there are agents who don’t understand nor agree with that kind of philosophy. They would have jumped on this like hot fudge on a sundae. They would have grabbed that listing, grabbed these buyers as their own, and made a ton of money from it because that’s their focus. It’s not my focus. My focus is exceptional service with integrity. Sometimes, it means I miss a few bucks here and there, but so what.

About this time I did receive a call from another couple of buyers who were very insistent that I represent them in dual agency. I flat out refused these people. They hinted that they expected a discount on the price and they assumed that by working with me, I would gladly give it to them — that I would lower my ethical standards for a paycheck — which is insulting on so many levels. People like that don’t see it, though. They can’t see past their own greed.

It was a little risky with the contingent buyers, but it was a measured risk and I knew their agent would sell their home. By the time Wells Fargo insisted that we resubmit without the contingency, they sold their home and were approved to buy this short sale in The Rivers. We closed escrow without a hitch, and the sellers could not be more happy / relieved. The buyer’s agent was a sheer delight to work with as well. Many of the windows in that home were defective, and she worked with the manufacturer to get them replaced for free. Remember that if you are buying a home that is still under a builder warranty.

Which reminds me, I forgot to ask the sellers for a review. I’m confident they’ll give me 5 stars.

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