Why Some Agents Hate Sacramento Short Sales

agents hating short sales

Agents are not always justified when they hate short sales.

Just because there is one bad apple in the bunch or an agent runs into a scheming short sale seller is no reason to decide that all Sacramento short sales are worthless and to not recommend short sales to their buyers — yet, there are many agents in Sacramento who do exactly that. There are agents who hate Sacramento short sales. An agent a while back told me he has listed 40 or 50 short sales. I thought, hmmm, I’ve never heard of him, and I looked up his production in MLS, which goes back to October of 2008. He’s listed and closed 24 short sales. At least I know what kind of agent I’m dealing with.

Some people do fuzzy math. Even so, that works out to about 3 1/2 short sales a year. Enough to know better. Not enough to know anything, though. His attitude seemed to be that short sale sellers are liars and cheats, and they try to squeeze every free day they can out of the lender without paying a mortgage. He tells his buyers to avoid short sales. I imagine lots of other agents tell their buyers the same untruths and perpetuate the same misperceptions. They harbor a lot of anger and they hate short sales.

My experience, on the other hand, has been incredibly the opposite. Since October of 2008, I’ve listed and closed 295 short sales. My total production exceeds 295 because I’ve been negotiating and closing short sales since late 2005. I have the dubious honor of being the top Sacramento short sale agent. But just to keep the numbers simple, let’s run with the 295, which is just my sellers, not my buyers. That breaks down to an average closing of almost one short sale a week for 7 years straight.

Never in all of my short sale experience have I had a seller refuse to cooperate. Only once did a seller elect to accept a bank’s offer of a loan modification (he later went to foreclosure). Yes, sometimes banks offer loan modifications when they realize the seller wants to short sale, but if that loan modification does not involve a principle reduction, it’s pretty much worthless, and most loan modifications do not.

Besides, I ask my sellers qualifying questions. We discuss what will happen during the short sale so there are no surprises. I generally collect all of my paperwork upfront, and we contact the bank at least twice a week. Nothing falls through the cracks. My sellers do not leave the home a giant mess when they move out. They clean it up. Because my sellers are conscientious, which is why they are doing a short sale in the first place and not walking away. There is no reason to hate Sacramento short sales.

A buyer’s agent needs to do a little homework on a short sale before suggesting the buyer write an offer. The agent should check out the track record of the listing agent. It’s easy to do, just put the agent’s ID into MLS, check the sold tab and click submit. Find out from the listing agent if the seller has some place to go, whether all the financials are collected, and exactly how long the negotiation might take. Don’t just throw your buyer into a situation that is likely to cause all of you heartache. True, not every short sale is a short sale. But the qualified short sales are and an agent should learn the difference.

If an agent tells a buyer to disregard a short sale that is perfect for that buyer and all but guaranteed to close, whose interest is that agent best serving? Some agents don’t want to wait for a paycheck. That’s the thing they don’t tell you. They want a 30-day closing so they can get paid in 30 days, and I say shame on those agents. That’s despicable.

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub\'s Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.