There are days that I wish I could gather all the short sale sellers in Sacramento in one place -- maybe the Convention Center in downtown Sacramento -- and spend a few hours explaining how short sales work and how to avoid getting ripped off. Sacramento is witnessing an abundance of scam artists who are crawling out of the woodwork in our troubled times to prey on naive underwater home owners.
But I intensely dislike giving public speeches, and I don't have the time to put together such an undertaking. I'm hoping somebody else in the position to do this reads my blog and says, "Yeah, that's a good idea. We need to help short sale sellers in Sacramento, and I've got the money, time, inclination and knowledge to pull this off."
The trouble is there are tons of crooks and scammers in the short sale business, and readers write to me nearly every day to share tales of being victimized. The swindlers are generally entrepreneurs who purposely decided they could capitalize on the falling economy by jumping into short sale or loan modification negotiations simply to make a fast buck.
Upside down sellers don't know where to turn. As a result, they hop online and frantically search for answers. What they find are opportunists who offer such lousy solutions as:
- Walk away from your home, we'll help you to do it (when a loan modification might help owners stay in their homes).
- Stop making your mortgage payments because that's the only way a lender will do a short sale (which is false).
- Give us $3,000 in cash upfront to "negotiate" for you, we know all the short sale negotiators (nobody knows all the negotiators).
- List a short sale with me and I'll outsource your short sale negotiations (the agent loses control of the transaction and the performance of those companies have been disappointing).
- Buy another home through me and I'll get you a mortgage (which typically leads to underwriting rejection as a result of guidelines designed to prevent buy and bail).
The truth is hiring a Sacramento short sale listing agent who has extensive short sale experience and routinely closes short sale transactions in-house is a home seller's best bet, coupled with obtaining independent and qualified legal and tax advice. Moreover, home owners do not need to pay anyone to negotiate a short sale or do a loan modification.
Here are nonprofit (free) counseling resources for home owners who first may want to attempt to do a loan modification:
Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America: 1.888.302.6222
Homeownership Preservation Foundation: 1.888.995.4673
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming soon to a bookstore near you.
Photo: Big Stock Photo
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.