There are home buyers in Sacramento who think short sale sellers are desperate. I don't know why or who feeds them this nonsense. But I have had buyer's agents send me offers that don't have a chance in a blue moon of ever being accepted, and I wonder why they do it.
I suspect some of the agents simply want to teach their buyers a lesson without being the bad guy. These agents have probably been in the business long enough to know that they risk losing the buyer all together if they come down too hard by expressing their professional opinion. It's a fine line we walk. Not every buyer cares about our professional opinions because, after all, they buy a home once or twice in their life and we do it every day, but they know more than us.
The fact is a short sale bank will get a BPO to establish value. The bank might even pay for an appraisal. Banks generally do not pluck numbers out of thin air. I tried to explain this to buyers via their agent. The buyers, we'll call them Buyers A, wanted to buy a pool home in Del Dayo, Sacramento. The sellers of this pool home had it listed with another real estate broker who could not close it.
When the sellers grew frustrated enough with that transaction, the sellers called me. They knew my reputation as a Sacramento short sale agent who gets the job done. I was confident I could close this. The sellers had already canceled their listing with the other short sale agent by the time they called me and were trying to decide between two short sale agents. I'm glad they chose me. They are very nice people who were stuck in a bad situation, like most short sale sellers. Their lender, Bank of America, was pretty clear about the price it wanted to allow this home to sell as a short sale.
We picked that price and put the home on the market. Buyers A and their agent called me and offered less than list price. The sellers rejected their offer. I suggested the buyers offer list price -- then, if Buyers' A's appraisal came in less, we would adjust. FHA appraisals are assigned a case number. This means the next buyer would get the same appraisal, so the bank would need to adjust the value or forget about selling for six months. No, Buyers A weren't that confident of their lowball offer. They didn't want to take the chance.
The thing is there is always another buyer in Sacramento who will buy the short sale.
Buyer B spotted this pool home and offered list price. She went into escrow. She paid for a home inspection and a pest inspection. Then, her appraisal arrived. The price on that appraisal was $20,000 less. We sent the request for a revised short sale approval letter to Bank of America, and the buyer's lender ordered her loan docs.
When docs arrived in escrow, the buyer canceled. Why? We will never know. Probably cold feet. At the 11th hour, Buyer B vanished. I chalk it up to the squirrelly market in Sacramento. Whatever was up with Buyer B, she still needed to live somewhere. The mortgage payment on this home was less than rent would be. But buyers aren't always sensible.
As a Sacramento short sale agent, I know that it's not unusual to have to sell some Sacramento short sales more than once. I'm in it for the long haul. I don't abandon my sellers. I called Buyers' A's agent. Before Buyers A could pop back into the game, Buyer C came along. The sellers had lowered the price to match the appraised value from Buyer B's appraisal. Buyer C offered the new list price and Buyer C closed escrow last Friday. Buyer C listened to her agent. Got a great deal on a pool home in Del Dayo. She bought Buyers A's home. Buyers A were there first. They could have bought that short sale home if they had followed their agent's advice.
Certified HAFA Specialist
Sacramento Real Estate Listings
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.