The Seller’s Hardship in a Short Sale
I can often spot a Sacramento buyer’s agent who is new to short sales. They are the guys who start firing off questions the minute they get this short sale agent on the phone. It’s like they are reading from some list of questions to ask a short sale agent, and maybe they are. There is a lot of goofy information online, written by people who are not short sale agents. You can’t blame buyer’s agents for thinking that it’s true because, after all, it’s online, man, it’s on the Internet, it must be true. A smart reader would consider the source before absorbing the data. Sometimes, it’s just an opinion and not fact. And sometimes, it’s a stupid opinion at that.
My absolute favorite question to get from a buyer’s agent is: What is the seller’s hardship? Even if I gave them that information — which I won’t — they wouldn’t know what to do with it. It’s like asking who is the lender; they don’t know what that means, either. They might hear it’s Bank of America and then cringe, because years ago Bank of America had received pretty bad press. However, nowadays, Bank of America short sales are, for the most part, pretty straight forward. So, unless that agent has closed a bunch of short sales herself, she would most likely be clueless about what’s involved or what she could expect to gain from obtaining that knowledge.
It’s none of the buyer’s business what kind of hardship the seller is enduring. That’s personal and private information. Any sensitive information shared by a seller with this Sacramento short sale agent remains confidential. In fact, it’s my fiduciary relationship with the seller that prevents me from disclosing information, apart from ethical reasons. The only thing a buyer or her agent needs to know about my short sales is whether I believe the short sale will close. They don’t get to see the hardship letter.
I’m not disclosing even if there is a hardship in a short sale because not every short sale requires a hardship. Some of my Bank of America Cooperative Short Sales have no hardship whatsoever but they close. If a buyer’s agent wants to know whether a Notice of Default has been filed, the agent can find that information in the property data available online to agents, right alongside the number of loans and identity of the original lenders.
A buyer’s agent is not squeezing the sellers’ personal and confidential information out of this Sacramento short sale agent.