While working on short sales, I think as an agents some of my greatest fears, are 1) declining values 2) properties in need of repairs 3) buyers backing out last minute 4) having to ask for a price reduction once it has been approved. In this short sale, ALL OF THE ABOVE OCCURRED. Luckily, my ally in this transaction was the wonderful Wachovia Bank. In a market like the one we are in today, it was a relief to have such a lender on my side. Wachovia is one of the few banks who understand that time is of the essence, and that short sale agents, we really are here to work as a team.
This property was listed in May, and as soon as we received our first offer, Wachovia approved the short sale within a matter of days. They understood that the seller had lost employment, and that after having to relocate out of state he could no longer afford this house. Wachovia even gave the seller something similar to 'cash for keys' to help the seller out. This is the ONLY bank that I have seen do this. It was part of a promotion that they currently have, but it was a HUGE help for my seller.
This house is a great property in the established neighborhood of Parkside Meadows in Elk Grove. The property was built in 1976, so it was certainly in need of work. It offers 2,121 square feet of living space, and it sits on almost a quarter acre lot. Indeed, an amazing value when you figure it cost less than $90/square foot. While getting ready to close with the first buyers, we learned last minute that unfortunate circumstances put them in a position where they could no longer buy the house. I immediately put the property back on the market, and went through several more offers to purchase the property from buyers who had never even seen the property. Needless to say, they weren't serious buyers. Finally a strong offer came in for less than the approved price, but still at fair market value. Wachovia quickly turned around and accepted the new offer. The property finally sold for $190,000.
I know that if this would have happened with any other lender, we would have still been waiting on BPOs, or struggling to find a borrower who would pay the previously approved price. Time is money, and more lenders should realize that. As real estate agents, and advocates for our sellers, we are here to work with lenders in helping them sell a property before it goes into foreclosure. I think all lenders should take a closer look at Wachovia / Wells Fargo and try to learn a thing or two from them when it comes to short sales (Bank Of America, I'm talking to You)!