How Many Times Do I Have to Sell This House or is the Third Time a Charm?

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

sacramento short saleAmong 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.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

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 Lyon Real Estate. 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


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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  Third time's a least I hope so for your sake and the sellers.  Looks like an adorable house.

Apr 13, 2009 02:59 AM #1
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Elizabeth, we have a similar home. Same buyer made an offer twice and backed out twice. (He's toast if he tries again.) Yesterday we finally got another offer. It's a beautiful custom home at a great price. Let's hope third time works on this one too!

Apr 13, 2009 03:03 AM #2
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


I hope that the third time is a charm for you.


Apr 13, 2009 05:00 AM #3
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

Too bad in this market we c=sometimes have to sell things three times and then the banks want us to discount our fee. Whats wrong with this story. Good luck on the third sale.

Apr 13, 2009 06:04 AM #4
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Well I can tell you that I certainly believe in "third time is the charm".  It's worked out very nicely for me "this time."

Apr 13, 2009 07:32 AM #5
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

I'm not surprised we have to go through so many hoops to get these properties closed. Perhaps eventually many will begin to understand how hard we work for our paychecks and the public perception of our industry will improve. One can only hope right? Good luck w/ this buyer!

Apr 13, 2009 07:39 AM #6
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK

Let's hope the third time is the charm... geez.

Apr 13, 2009 08:17 AM #7
Josef Katz
Digital and Direct Response Marketing - Manhattan, NY
{Marketing Maestro}

"doofus home inspector"  I can just picture the guy... If for whatever reason it doesn't close (I hope it does) maybe we have a client who might be interested...

Apr 13, 2009 09:23 AM #8
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - A "doofus" home inspector. . .Too funny!  Let's hope the next time you get a transaction together on this listing, it finalizes.

Apr 13, 2009 12:18 PM #9
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Elizabeth, I would hate to be the seller, how disappointing! I hope your third buyer makes it all the way to the closing also!

Apr 13, 2009 12:30 PM #10
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Elizabeth, I've got to go to bed.  You wore me out just telling about that house!  It made me think of a couple of foreclosures that I have going right now............

Apr 13, 2009 02:35 PM #11
Erin Stumpf (Attardi)
Dunnigan Realtors - Sacramento, CA
916-342-1372 / DRE# 01706589 Sacramento, CA

Ugh...I hate it when that happens.  Last year I had a short sale that went through 3 buyers and 3 approvals too.  Have one currently in a similar state. The seller is the one that suffers - so many emotional ups and downs.  My fingers are crossed for you!

Apr 13, 2009 05:19 PM #12
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

See, and agents ask me why I purposely price my short sale listings low. It's because my sellers need to attract multiple offers. Without multiple offers, we'd be back to square one on every other transaction. I regularly check in with all the buyers to make sure they are still hanging in there while we're processing the file. Which is more than I can about some other listing agents. I email them, call them and after repeated contact efforts, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but one shouldn't have to exert that kind of energy to get an update.

short sale agent sacramento

Apr 14, 2009 04:22 AM #13
Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

Elizabeth - That would be frustrating...I hope it closes this time!   :)

Apr 14, 2009 04:44 AM #14
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Good luck on this one. I love your term for the inspector! Fits some of them perfectly. We had one where the vinyl flooring in the upstairs bath had shrunk a little and pulled away from the wall. He said there might be water damage and the buyers wanted the flooring pulled up and replaced.- Nope, not doing that.

Apr 14, 2009 08:03 AM #15
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I've had short sales go like that. 

That inspector should be beaten with a wet noodle. 

Apr 14, 2009 04:00 PM #16
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

And yet I'm still getting more offers!!!

sacamento agent

Apr 14, 2009 04:23 PM #17
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

We use Clue Reports a lot...that way IF there was a flood...and claims made...we know....and not much can be left to the creative imagination of the inspector/buyer...don't ya love it ?  Know what you don't know and don't imagine the worst !

Apr 15, 2009 12:58 AM #18
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