Is the Third Time a Charm in a Sacramento Short Sale?
There is a saying in the Sacramento short sale business that the third time is a charm. Agents who sell a lot of short sales might chuckle over this statement because it’s absolutely true. We don’t want to sell a home more than once, but sometimes, there is no way around it, no matter what we do. Apart from forcing a buyer we’ve tied to a chair in an empty warehouse to listen to Stuck in the Middle With You, we can’t really interrogate them.
OK, that was just a sick joke. But when you sell a home a third time, that’s where your mind goes and the sellers follow that thought process, too.
As the seller’s listing agent, I do comb through the supporting documentation sent by the buyer’s agents and try to make sense of an offer for my sellers. For example, I recently received a cash offer from an investor with proof of funds attached. In the proof of funds — which was outdated by more than 30 days rendering it unacceptable to a short sale bank — were a series of checks drawn in the sum of $1,000. The funds in the account were barely enough to buy more than one house. What does that tell you? Yeah, they promise they aren’t making other offers, and it’s possible they have a sick relative somewhere they’re routinely sending $1,000 checks to, but I kinda doubt it.
We closed an escrow last week that had been in the works since spring. This was a home in Antelope that was a short sale with two loans, one of which had been discharged, and then a third lien popped up during a title search. This was a judgment against the seller, so the home could not be sold without its release, and the short sale bank sure as heck wasn’t gonna allow payment of that. But I’m used to the tough deals.
We sold the home the first time to a buyer who appeared qualified. After we received short sale approval from both the first, Ocwen, and the second lender, GMAC, the buyers’ lender re-evaluated their financial situation. Somehow, that situation had changed, and the buyers no longer qualified.
We sold the home a second time to a cash buyer who was very eager to close. Somewhere along the line this buyer decided she was paying too much for the home because, after all, she had a sister who bought a home nearby who paid less. Didn’t matter to her that the homes were not comparable to each other, she canceled. Cash buyers can be fickle.
By the third time we sold the home, GMAC, the second lender, had sold the worthless piece of paper to a collection agency, so we had to get a new third party authorization, wait for a new account number to be assigned, and then submit to the new second lender. Plus, the seller had long ago vacated. We figured the judgment creditor would probably now want additional interest, but they were happy just to get paid, thank goodness. We received approval and closed last month, just after we discovered a water leak in the laundry room.
Like I said, the third time is a charm. If you want an agent who will sell that house again and again if need be, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. As a top Sacramento short sale agent, I possess a lot of patience.