Elizabeth Weintraub • Sacramento Real Estate Agent: February 2011

If a Sacramento Agent Tells You To Write Multiple Offers on a Short Sale, Fire That Agent

I've had a theory for several years now, sort of lingering in the back of my mind, which I decided to test out this week. It involves buyer's agents who show short sales in Sacramento. See, for a long time now, I've been attaching a tip sheet and seller instructions to MLS for buyer's agents. The primary purpose is to educate buyer's agent, secondary to weed out the loser agents, and it's been working pretty well. I haven't been receiving nearly as many fraudulent and corrupt purchase offers as I used to get on my Sacramento short sales.

My gut instincts say that only inexperienced or truly stupid real estate agents would ever ignore those tips or fail to follow those guidelines. Because, after all, don't agents want to close their Sacramento short sales? You'd think so, but the truth is some agents believe they are White Knight agents and instead they tend to sabotage their escrows and close nothing. I hate to say anything bad about agents in my profession, but somebody needs to speak up.

Who is hurt by this irrational behavior? Not me or my sellers. My Sacramento short sale sellers are closing escrow because we try not to associate with or get into a deal with these types of agents. The people who are really hurt, though, are those earnest buyers who just want to buy a home in Sacramento but probably won't. The reason they are most likely doomed is because their trusted agent is giving them bad advice.

Over the last 48 hours, I've had 3 agents send me feedback on my Sacramento short sales. I get buyer feedback because I request feedback after every showing. Those 3 agents told me the agents were uncomfortable adhering to the guidelines set forth by my sellers, which are basically:

  1. Put the earnest money deposit into escrow
  2. Promise to wait for short sale approval by not writing write any other offers on other listings

Since I've closed almost 60 sales last year, I suspected these agents, based on their responses, must be closing few to none. Because telling a buyer to write multiple offers is horrible advice, and it's probably against the law. If you can't afford to buy every home you write an offer on, lawyers say you are breaking the good faith covenant inherent in contract law. Why would a buyer hire or rely on advice from an agent with a double-digit IQ?

Sure enough, I looked up the production from January of 2010 to present for these 3 agents. Agent A sold 4 homes, one of which was a short sale and not that agent's listing. That short sale was advertised as "approved and ready to immediately close," except it was a Chase short sale so I know better and it didn't immediately close. It's evident that Agent A has had no recent experience working an "approved" short sale. Agent B has sold nothing, but to her credit has one listing at the moment and, shockingly, it's a short sale. Those poor sellers. Agent C has sold one home -- one sale in 14 months!

Sacramento home buyers: If your agent tells you to pass by a short sale because you'll be required to act like a real buyer, that's a red flag. It's in your best interest to act like a buyer. You want to buy a home, don't you? Then my suggestion is that you fire your agent and hire yourself a better real estate agent, an experienced Sacramento short sale agent with a track record. Trust me, it will probably increase your odds of closing.

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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.

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