What’s In It for Agents To Do a Sacramento Short Sale?

Sacramento Short Sale Agent Elizabeth WeintraubThere are days I ask myself why as a busy agent would I ever do another short sale, and then before I answer that question, I take it on. It’s not just me, the short sales in Sacramento, the few that still exist, are becoming more convoluted and complicated, if that’s possible after all these years. Nothing is a straight story anymore. There is no such thing as a simple hardship letter and automatic short sale approval. Nope, all of the short sales seem to involve years of delinquent dues, past due utility liens, judgments, court settlements, bankruptcies, horrific medical setbacks, in addition to having two or more mortgages to short sale, layered with mortgage insurance on top of Fannie Mae.

Not to mention, some of the buyers for these are no walk in the park, either. They’re probably VA buyers or obtaining CalHFA loans, and the properties probably require repairs, which could involve 203K loans and / or energy efficient mortgages. These additional complexities are more than most agents can handle or want to handle.

There are not very many Sacramento short sale agents in town who a) know how to handle these and b) are willing to handle these types of transactions. Why would any agent in her right mind do a short sale today when she can sell a regular sale and be done with it in 30 to 45 days? I’m sure that’s a question that some agents ask themselves. It’s a question I brought up to sellers last week as well, and I just put it out there on the table.

Now, I made them wonder. What was in it for me, the agent? Why would I agree to do their short sale when it’s so much more work and extremely time consuming? It’s not like I get paid more to do it because I don’t. I charge the same commission to do a short sale as a regular sale. I get paid the same. And I do tons more paperwork, all of which is contingent until the bank approves the sale. There is no transaction unless the bank approves it.

So what’s the deal? See, now I have you wondering, too.

The answer is somebody has to do it because otherwise sellers would have to pay a lawyer. And most sellers can’t afford to hire a lawyer. So, I handle the short sale for them at no out-of-pocket expense for them. All of my fees are paid from the proceeds of sale. It’s basically a free service for the seller. I know how to close these tricky little suckers, so what the hey. It’s a little bit like combining a public service with a business enterprise. A little pro bono work.

Then, yesterday, I received approval on 3 short sales that each had their own particular set of circumstances that would cause a normal agent to drink Draino. Because a normal agent would not have received approval on those short sales. I have a talent for it. What can I say?


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