"Oh, you probably think that all real estate agents drive around in Porsches and wear designer clothes." I accused a caller of harboring those beliefs the other day and laughed as I listened to him vehemently deny those thoughts. We both laughed. I laughed for a different reason. I laughed because I was indeed dressed in Eileen Fisher and driving down Interstate 5 in my Porsche. You see, as a Sacramento short sale agent, I have to find my chuckles somewhere. The short sale business is not all slap-stick comedy.
Much of it is helping homeowners let go of their homes. On the one hand, we've got the gritty details of the short sale to deal with. On the other, it's the detachment of a dream. I've worked with several sellers lately in those situations. It's a little bit tricky, because grief and depression can easily slip into their thinking when you're trying to rationalize offers.
I never leave my sellers out on a limb all by themselves. Especially when it comes to offers. Because an offer is not just an offer. An offer is a buyer who will wait for short sale approval and is qualified to buy a short sale. Sellers need guidance to navigate the solutions put before them.
In one such short sale that closed last week, my seller struggled to say goodbye to the home. We had a long relationship, almost a year. The first buyer waited until we were on the brink of approval and then skipped merrily away. The next-door neighbor tried to buy the short sale. Regardless of how many times I warned that Bank of America might not approve a neighbor, due to the arm's length agreement, the neighbor kept pushing.
All parties to the transaction have to sign that agreement, which means I have to disclose known relationships to the bank. But the neighbor thought he could steal the property. He submitted a lowball offer. We countered the offer. The neighbor refused to cooperate, so the neighbor did not get the house. After the first buyer flaked out, the neighbor hired another agent. A well known agent in Elk Grove who had extreme difficulty writing an offer for a short sale. Not all agents are familiar with short sales.
This agent argued profusely over the price. Kept repeating that this neighborhood in Elk Grove was the agent's specialty and the agent knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the home was priced too high. At this point, even if the neighbor offered the price we wanted, the seller was a little bit worn out by the neighbor's efforts. Still, the neighbor refused to offer a reasonable price. The agent was working in some other universe, too. No dice.
We sold to a VA buyer who obtained a VA loan. The offer was more than list price and at an amount we felt the bank would take. The bank took the offer. It appraised at that price, too, by a VA appraiser. And it closed. When I stopped by the house over the weekend, the garage was open and all the windows were open.
The key was still in the lockbox. What? Nobody home? It was possible, I suppose, but I needed to verify. I figured out what had happened. Sure enough, the seller had met the buyers and handed over the keys in person at closing. Sellers don't usually do that. That's the buyer's agent's job.
But to me it meant the seller had closure. Yep, all is right with the world.
Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.
Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.