Among my dozen or so short sale listings in Sacramento, sits a darling home in Orangevale that begs to close escrow. The first go-around brought 4 or 5 offers, half of which vanished by short sale approval. The banks approved the sale very quickly, too, in about 5 weeks.
Upon approval, we were down to 2 buyers, one of which had offered substantially more than the other, so the bank chose that buyer.
But that buyer hired a doofus home inspector who insisted the home had been through a recent flood. Nope, the sellers responded, there had been no flood. What had happened was the removal of 6-inch baseboards, which were replaced by smaller baseboards. This left an exposed unpainted line on the walls around the room that looked like a flood line to the inspector. Hey, wear your glasses, why doncha? Regardless, the first buyer freaked out and canceled.
The second buyers were real estate agents who were planning to cosign on an FHA loan for their son. This time we got short sale approval in about 3 weeks. Halfway through escrow, the son bought another home. Fortunately, the second buyers decided they would move forward anyway and buy the home as an investment. Except they didn't know that FHA requires more than 3.5% down on an investment purchase, and they didn't have enough money. That pending sale blew up.
I then called back an agent who was having a hard time finding a home for her buyers. She had been calling Sacramento short sale agents who have a lot of pending short sales, asking to be notified in the event of a cancellation. Desperate times call for creative measures, and buying a short sale in Sacramento -- heck, buying any type of home -- is a challenge for most buyers right now. There is little for sale and tough competition.
This agent showed the home, wrote the offer on the tail end of the previous cancellation, and we're back in escrow.
For the sake of my sellers' sanity, I hope the 3rd buyer sees this through to closing.
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming in June 2009.
Photo: Elizabeth Weintraub