Coeur d'Alene Real Estate Short Sales and why they test even the most determined...

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene AB37665

Janna Rankin Scharf, AB, CLHMS, GRI, CSP - Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate

Let me start out by saying that when we have a short sale offer, we need to submit it with a packet of other documents required by the lender.  Until they have received the packet and all documents, and have input the COMPLETE packet into their system, your offer languishes in a black hole.  Nothing is happening, no one even notices or cares that it exists.  Once they have the complete packet of documents, your offer will then be able to "take a number" and get at the back of a very long line to await being assigned to a negotiator.

Short SalesDecember 30 - I received a good purchase offer for a short sale listing of mine.

December 31 - I called the Third Party Creditor, First Horizon, to verify their submission requirements.  They said the first thing they needed was a letter of authorization and to allow 72 hours for receipt. I faxed my letter of authorization.

January 4 - I verified the receipt of my letter of authorization.  They gave me  a list of what to include in the complete packet, and two fax numbers to try.  They said to expect it to take 5 to 7 business days to be input into the system after I fax it, and then 60 to 90 business days for a response.

January 9 - Called to verify receipt of packet.  Not in the system yet.

January 12 - Called to verify receipt of packet, not in system yet.

January 15 - Called and spoke with Paulette, who confirmed receipt of a partial packet.  Say what?  It is missing the P&L, proof of income and listing agreement.  This is a common and interesting occurrence, considering that the entire packet was submitted at one time, all together, and complete.  I asked Paulette if whomever was inputting the documents into the system would have recognized that the Seller Representation Agreement was, in fact, the listing agreement.  She chuckled and said yes, and asked me to refax the missing documents.

January 15 - 22 - Tried repeatedly to fax missing documents to two different fax numbers to no avail, they would not go through.  Tried morning, noon and night.  24/7.  Their darn fax machines would just not ever accept a fax from me.

January 22 - Called and explained my frustrations and got a mailing address to send the documents to.  Found out some missing documents had turned up, all they needed now was the listing agreement.

January 25 - Mailed the complete packet.  Made several more attempts this week, just for the heck of it, to fax the documents to both of their fax numbers, with no success.

February 3 - Called and spoke with Carlie.  Still haven't received the documents I mailed a week ago, but not to worry, it takes two weeks AFTER they receive them for them to be input and show up in their system.  I made a note in my file, THIS IS NUTS!

February 16 - Called and spoke with Chris.  Surely by now they could confirm receipt of the documents I mailed.  "I'm sorry, I can't discuss this file with you, you're not authorized."  Say what?  Yes, I AM authorized.  The authorization was the first thing received and acknowledged. It has been included with every fax and in the mail packet that you are refusing to tell me whether or not you received.  Everyone else I have spoken with has found the authorization and discussed the file with me.  LOOK AGAIN!  No ma'am.  No authorization, I'm sorry I can't talk to you.  Yes you can, because I am authorized and everyone else has been able to find the authorization.  LOOK HARDER!

Round and round and round we went. She would not let me speak with a supervisor, because I was not authorized. I came close to losing my religion, but I'm happy to say I kept my wits and accepted the fax number to fax in my authorization.  I asked her, between clenched teeth, that supposing a miracle occurs and I am actually able to get their fax machine to accept my refaxed letter of authorization, how long will it take to be uploaded into their system so I can call in and see if they have received the complete packet which I have been trying to get to them for FORTY SEVEN DAYS.  72 hours, she said.

I am going on record right here to say that if, in 72 hours, they do not acknowledge that I am authorized and then confirm receipt of THE COMPLETE PACKET, and let my offer FINALLY take a number to BEGIN the 60 to 90 business day wait for a response, I am tracking down the CEO and members of the Board of Directors of First Horizon.

You can take THAT to the bank!

Meanwhile, an anxious buyer awaits a response to their good offer. And a struggling seller falls deeper into despair.  THIS IS NUTS!

P.S.  In spite of this maddening experience with First Horizon, I have been having GREAT short sale transaction experiences with other lenders, and I truly do appreciate them, and tell them so. 

Currently Chase Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo, GMAC and Aurora Loan Services are Hall of Fame in my book!

UPDATE 12/30/2012:  It took us 30 long months but we eventually got to a successful closing on this short sale.  In the end, it DID take dealing closely over several months with Darrel Madden, Assistant to the President of First Horizon.  Without his intervention and assistance we would never have got it done.  THANK YOU, Darrel!

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Janna Rankin Scharf provides a superior level of real estate service to home buyers and sellers in Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County, Idaho. Visit for area information and to search for all homes in the Coeur d'Alene Multiple Listing Service. 

No matter how grand or modest your real estate dreams may be, you can turn to me in confidence.  Give me a call today so I can  be of service to you!

Janna Rankin Scharf AB, GRI, CLHMS, PMN, SFR  208.651.9700

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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Janna, do you belong to Short Sale Superstars? Not that I have done a short sale, but they have tons of info over there.

This is nutz for sure. Glad you kept your "religion" ... well... sorta, LOL.

Feb 16, 2010 06:33 AM #1
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Andrea - I do belong to Short Sale Superstars, and you're right, good information and support there.  And yes indeed, I did keep my religion, but if I get the run around again on Friday, we are going to have a serious COME TO JESUS meeting!

Feb 16, 2010 06:43 AM #2
Dan Tabit
Northstone Real Estate Inc. - Sammamish, WA

Hi Janna, Sounds familiar, just use Bank of America instead of First Horizons.  I'm looking at another one right now and saying ugh!

Feb 16, 2010 08:18 AM #3
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Janna - I feel your pain.  I haven't had a short sale yet that I didn't have to tug along the road to closing.  Argghhh.

Feb 18, 2010 09:45 AM #4
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