The Story of Closing the Northstead Short Sale in Natomas
The beginning of the story of closing the Northstead short sale in Natomas goes back to last summer. I received a frantic call from the mother of the owner (a veteran) of this home. Recently discharged from the military for medical reasons, the veteran’s mother held power of attorney to sell his house. Both mother and son lived in South Dakota. When the seller bought this home originally, his wife executed an interspousal transfer deed, and she moved into the home with their children.
What foresight, though. Like he almost knew the relationship would not last. The interspousal transfer deed meant the wife could not claim any community interest in the property. Ever.
Somewhere along the line, the two separated. Then, in the fall of 2016, the wife abandoned the property and allegedly stole all of the appliances. She left behind a lot of furniture and trash littered the floors. Somebody had punched a hole in an interior door. Still, the condition of the home appeared to be pretty good. Not to mention, when the seller bought the home, he used his VA eligibility, which meant it had to pass VA inspections and clear pest.
Nobody had any keys. So I called a locksmith and paid to have new keys made. We put this on the market as a regular sale with a buyer credit just to test whether the market would bear it. The answer to that was negative. The home was located across from a school, a bad location. No FHA buyers wanted to deal with no appliances and a trashed house.
OK, this was a short sale, and that typically means a long time in inventory. Reason, fewer and fewer buyers possess the patience anymore to wait for short sale approval. Between buying a home that can close in 30 days and another that could take 3 months, buyers tend to lose patience and steam halfway through.
Sure enough, we entered into 3 escrows that canceled. Which meant I sold this home 4 times, eventually to the buyer who made it to the closing of the Northstead short sale. Yes, yes, yes, we will wait, their earnest little faces cried out. But they failed. The third buyers refused to increase their loan by $5,000 to meet the minimum net requirements of the bank. It would have meant an increased payment of maybe 30 bucks.
I don’t argue with these kinds of people, better to just get them out of our hair and go on with a new buyer who will close. This is what closing so many short sales like I do can do to an agent. Makes her much more pragmatic and practical. Some call it hard-nosed. Don’t take no shit. Because the short sale in itself is enough shit for one day. Including the soon-to-be ex-wife calling to proclaim this would never close.
Still, I press on and do short sales because there is such a need. I consider it my pro bono work. I don’t make that much from them and short sales require excessive time on my part.
We went into our 4th escrow the second week of January with an investor. Normally I do not like to sell short sales to investors because they rarely will accommodate the bank’s wishes. They believe, for some odd reason, that banks are desperate and will give them a break, when banks won’t. Also, if the next shiny thing catches their eye, they’re gone. But this investor held in there.
He was a bit confused, I heard, about why he had to pay delinquent utilities, but those liens were attached to the property since his offer. Perhaps he held higher hopes the bank would pay it, but banks rarely do that. At the last minute, the bank also slammed the buyer with payment of the entire escrow fee, too. However, we still managed a successful closing of the Northstead short sale on Monday.
I do not quit. If there is a way to close that short sale, you can bet your booties I will do it.
3146 Northstead Drive, Sacramento, CA 95833 closed escrow 3/26/18 at $255K.