Here's an interesting short sale story for you. Bank of America short sales have gotten a bad rap in the industry, much of it deserved. However, I am happy to report that Bank of America is working to turn around that reputation and succeeding. My last 3 approvals arrived in fewer than 30 days.
On the other hand, I have a Sacramento short sale closing today, which I listed a year ago. The list price was a bit below market to attract multiple short sale offers at $175,000. We immediately received 6 offers, and the winning offer was $190,000.
Submitted that offer to the bank, called every week for 4 months. That buyer grew tired of waiting for short sale approval from Bank of America and canceled. Enter buyer #2. The second buyer submitted an offer, it was accepted, and that buyer eventually canceled. Enter buyer #3. This buyer really wanted the home and was committed to waiting. We went into escrow in August of 2009 at $185,000. By November, we received approval from Bank of America and set closing for the end of December.
I left for Viet Nam. While on vacation in early December, I received an email on my BlackBerry saying Sacramento had experienced a freeze and, as a result, the pipes in the ceiling of this home had burst. It was vacant, and the home flooded. Insurance would not cover the damage because the heat wasn't on.
Believe it or not, the buyer still wanted to buy the home. My associate immediately notified Bank of America. The bank promised to send a preservation team to assess the damage. If the bank would agree to fix the damage, the buyer would still close escrow. By January, mold was developing. Bank of America never sent a representative to look at the property. The buyer reluctantly canceled.
We slashed the price to $120,000 and put the home back on the market as a contractor's special. By now, mold was the size of basketballs. Sadly, the sellers separated. From January to March, buyers came and left. One buyer finally stuck around and agreed to pay $130,000. Bank of America agreed and we received the short sale approval letter. Upon receipt, the buyer canceled. Eureka -- one of the former contractors elected to step up to the plate at this point and take the bank's offer of $130,000. Another 45 days went by.
All the bank had to do was approve the new cash buyer. The terms were identical to the previous approval letter. The neighbors called to say the back door was open, people were sleeping inside, dogs were crapping on the floors. We secured the home and then someone broke in again.
Out of the blue, an angel dropped into my email. Matt is an executive in the short sale department at Bank of America. He wrote to thank me for writing the blog about my 24-day short sale approval in Equator on another transaction. He mentioned he was available to help if I ever needed anything.
Let's see. I have another short sale with Bank of America that I've been working on even longer than this one. That short sale is in escrow at more than $400,000, and I listed it 16 months ago. Which should I contact him about? A sale where I'll make a big fat commission or the flooded home for $130,000. That was a no-brainer. I emailed Matt about the flooded home.
Two days later, short sale approval arrived. We are closing today. Thank. You. Matt. There are eight million short sale stories in California. This has been one of them.
Please do not write, call or beg me for Matt's phone or email. Photo: Big Stock Photo