Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

Not too long ago, I had an online exchange with a local blogger who asked: "Do you specialize in the sob story listings?"

Well, it looks like I have TWO new sob story listings.  There's a possibility of a third coming up. In the interest of brevity, I'll only mention this story.


Yesterday, I received a call from a nurse who was ready to surrender to foreclosure and let the bank take over the condo that she bought for her seriously ill brother and sister. Sadly both siblings died shortly after moving in. Since her resources are limited and without additional income, she couldn't keep up with the payments. She tried to get her realtor (who sold her the condo) to help sell it as a short sale, but she said that realtor seemed disinterested. Even after she called him a few times after they talked about short sale, he didn't call her back.

She called me out of desperation, and I told her I would help. I first put her in touch with someone who does loan modifications, but it was determined that it won't work for her.

I explained to her what the ramifications are between short sale and foreclosure/bankruptcy, and she agreed to try the short sale route.

So I am in the midst of putting together the short sale package, preparing the condo for sale including doing some light staging. It's an uphill battle. No condo has sold in that complex for over a year, and the only other condo actively offered for sale is also a short sale.

It seemed that this nurse was breathing a sigh of relief that she found someone who would help.


When I mentioned to some folks what I'm doing to prepare these listings for sale, I was told that I'm doing too much for such challenging sales. One realtor even said he woudn't do it. So what does that make me?

He didn't say it in so many words, but he thought I was being sucked into doing things that won't make me any money.

But are we in this only for the money? God, I hope our humanity prevails!

Related blogs:

My heart truly bleeds for...

Another short sale as yet another client falls victim to recession


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Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA
Pacita, You are a good realtor, not a sucker! And what you do for others always has a way of returning back to oneself, whether good or bad.
Mar 27, 2009 07:15 PM #1
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Lori --- you're up late! And thanks for validating how I feel. So many people need our help, and if we can extend assistance every which way we can, we should.


Mar 27, 2009 07:19 PM #2
Jamie Friedman
eXp Realty - Kapaa, HI
Kauai Real Estate Connection

Pacita, I applaud you as it is the heart of real estate to have a heart! May your efforts come back to you tenfold!


Mar 27, 2009 07:34 PM #3
Ray Logan
Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors - Stacy Mathews - Houston, TX

A "softie or sucker?" Who cares if you feel it is the right thing to do than do it. The way I see it it is a Win - Win - Win situation. You win by trying to help someone in need, She wins by getting relief and peace of mind that someone cares and is willing to help, and your business wins whenever she tells others about this great Realtor that has a heart.

Mar 27, 2009 07:35 PM #4
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Jamie --- thank you. My other listings are sob stories, too. I think it helps these folks to a certain extent to know they are not alone and that people will help.

Ray --- as a matter of fact, this nurse asked me for several cards because she also knows of other folks in her place of business who don't know where t turn. When I told her that there are better alternatives (such as loan modification or short sale) to foreclosure or bankruptcy, she looked like a light bulb just flashed above her head. If anything, it's part of our role as realtors to educate, right?

Mar 27, 2009 07:45 PM #5
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team


I, too, have deals which don't make a lot of business sense... and yet somehow I'm still involved.  Many times it is a drain on my time and frustrating considering the compensation/work ratio.

I usually make the decision to help someone who needs it (but doesn't fit my ideal scenario) based upon how much available time I have to help.  If I'm booked with other (more productive deals), I'll pass the listing or buyer on to another agent in my team.

Your goodness will return to you soon!  There is a God.

Cameron Novak, Corona Real Estate Agent
Cameron Novak

Corona & Riverside Short Sale Specialist
The Homefinding Center
Corona, California

Mar 27, 2009 07:54 PM #6
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA


I am reminded of a saying: " comes back to you."

....and I do subscribe to the principle of paying it forward.


Mar 27, 2009 07:59 PM #7
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA


I remember when I started doing short sales and nothing was happening for me.. I was morally obligated to help my past clients that needed my help. .today is paying off..I have about 25 listings and 9 under contract . . we are closing 3 short sales this month.

Persistance with  a good heart . . PAYS!

Mar 27, 2009 08:51 PM #8
Ray and Melissa Dietrich
California Aces Realty - Murrieta, CA

I think your doing the right thing. My experience in this industry is that if you go the extra mile for someone, even if it is not always the easiest way to make a quick buck, it pays back with the magic of real estate income - REFERRALS! Good luck!

Mar 27, 2009 09:48 PM #9
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

The only reason to list a property for sale by short sale or regular listing, is that there is a statistical likelihood of it being sold and the bank accepting the short sale. 

Any other reason is just prolonging the owners distress. 



Mar 27, 2009 10:47 PM #10
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

There is help out there for situations such as this without selling the homes. I know we want listings but try and help them save there home first!

Mar 27, 2009 10:57 PM #11
Denise J. Storm
Re/Max Pinnacle - Durango, CO
Broker Associate - Durango Colorado Mountain Homes

I agree and disagee with your is a hard one and if I was put in your position, I probably would do the same thing as I believe in "pay it forward" and "good karma".  However, you do have to consider what was said by Lenn Harley "Any other reason is just prolonging the owners distress" this may be true if it is not a sellable listing. 

I wish you and your Seller the best of truly are just tyring to "pay it forward"

Mar 27, 2009 11:16 PM #12
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate


You are not a sucker. What goes around comes around. You are doing this for the right reason and that is all that counts!

Mar 27, 2009 11:30 PM #13
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

What it makes you is ethical....a people person...not driven by what you can get but what you can do for someone...and from every angle, that is a very good thing...keep up the good work and know you are doing much more than the very right thing !

Mar 27, 2009 11:41 PM #14
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


I would love to meet you one day ... you seem like a person that really cares and it shows in your posts.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!"

Mar 28, 2009 01:16 AM #15
Mike Hendren
Mike Hendren Photography - Cloudcroft, NM

Softie or Sucker - - - Neither!  Pacita, you're doing the right thing and the payoff will first come from the satisfaction you'll get from helping someone who really needs it.  I also believe that acts like this payoff in other ways you could never imagine.

Keep doing the right thing.

Mar 28, 2009 01:19 AM #16
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Fernando --- if I didn't already close short sales, I would be afraid. Fortunately, I have a few short sales under my belt, too. Congratulations on yours!

Ray --- my sentiments exactly. Without prompting, this nurse asked for several of my cards because she knows a few people who may also need some guidance.

Lenn --- I am hopeful the statistics favor my listing. I mentioned it to one of my buyers. He knows the complex (it's just around the beach and near the shopping center). He's interested in writing an offer to buy it for his daughter. He's not in a hurry, and is willing to wait for the short sale process.

Laura --- looking for ways to save their home is always the first recourse. The new and possible third listing I mentioned, I told them abut loan modification, so they're trying that first.

Denise --- I am keeping my fingers crossed. It's a nice condo....perhaps the tide is changing and buyers will come. What I willl do is THINK POSITIVE!

Dorie --- that's how I feel. It is the right thing to do.

Sally and David --- in my heart, I know I'm doing the right thing and that's what's important to me. I can't feel comfortable with myself if I didn't even try.

Richard --- you're so kind. Thank you.

Mike --- you're right. The payoff is how good I will feel, doing the right thing.


Mar 28, 2009 04:30 AM #17
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Pacita, I hope you will be rewarded for your kindness. Referrals maybe? Good luck with your decision to help the woman.


Mar 28, 2009 09:53 AM #18
Carol Lee
Dilbeck Real Estate - Oak Park, CA
Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes

Pacita- you are not a sucker, you are a caring person.  Would you really want to be like some of those realtors who are in it soley for the $$, without looking at the person behind the purchase or sale?

Mar 28, 2009 11:04 AM #19
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Jay --- I hope that the saying "Good things happen to good people" is a guide to do the right thing.

Carol --- through the years, I think the folks who truly care about their clients are the ones who will continue to grow their business and whose reputations are untarnished.

May the golden rule prevail.

Mar 29, 2009 05:08 AM #20
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