A Wells Fargo Short Sale and the Three IRS Tax Liens Make a Nice Bedtime Story

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

bedtime storyNot all of the time, of course, but every so often in one of my Sacramento short sales, I get stuck with a negotiator who has a bug up her butt. I use the feminine sense because it's generally a woman who is underpaid, undervalued and overworked at the bank, but it could just as well be a man, too. Although, English may be his second language. Because it's no secret that women and minorities often get the short end of the stick. But I digress.

The point is sometimes a Sacramento short sale agent may find that it's best to let go to win. Bank negotiators are famous for uttering those scary words: If you don't do X by X deadline, I will close the file. If I were in their shoes, I'd probably say the same thing. Who wouldn't want to reduce that pile of 500 files down to 499?

It's difficult to juggle a short sale file when you've got one or more sellers, a buyer's agent, one or more buyers and, if it involves fees or financing, an escrow officer who needs to prepare a new HUD. If one of those parties is computer deficient or unavailable for some reason, you're hosed. You might not get 4-hour turnaround for an addendum or other newly signed document.

I have an active contingent short sale at the moment that had 3 IRS liens filed against it. We managed to get 2 of the liens released. The third IRS lien needs a release so we can get approval from Wells Fargo. We sent the appraisal completed by Wells Fargo to the IRS. However, the IRS wants the signature page of the appraisal. Wells Fargo won't give it to them. It won't release the document the IRS requires to give Wells Fargo the document it wants. It's a Catch-22. On top of that, Wells Fargo is insisting that we produce the release in two days or it will close the file.

The icing on the cake is the IRS won't issue an opinion. The seller and title both have called the IRS. The response received from the IRS is it will look at the file when it's good and ready to look at it. There is no priority at the IRS. Well, you expect that kind of attitude from a government with a mind-boggling budget deficit that has spun out of control but not from a struggling banking institution that is accountable to stockholders like Wells Fargo.

Go ahead. We'll open a new file and the seller will pay for an independent appraisal, which will contain a signature page for the IRS. And we'll get a new negotiator assigned at Wells Fargo who will work with us to get this short sale closed.

Photo: Big Stock Photo

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elizabeth weintraub



Weintraub and Wallace Realtors



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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

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 RE/MAX Gold. 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 elizabethweintraub.com.


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Bryan Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group - Mesa, AZ

Ha! nice post. We better never try to pull a power trip on a negotiator. I can't see how we will win. nice post and good luck.

Jul 31, 2010 03:50 AM #1
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbeck Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Elizabeth - And we only thought that it was the lenders dragging their feet. Now the IRS is standing in the way. At least you got two liens released. I hope you get some satisfaction soon.

Jul 31, 2010 04:01 AM #2
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

 I hope when you do the independent appraisal that it's on target with what Wells Fargo has as value and not over it.  That would another kettle of fish to deal with. 

Jul 31, 2010 06:10 AM #3
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I know you seem to have an easy time with Wells Fargo on the East Coast, Chris Ann, but that certainly has not been my experience in Sacramento. They've been almost the worst at out at least 90 days. Among the short sales that have gone to foreclosure in the middle of negotiations -- they are all Wells Fargo. In fact, Wells Fargo just drilled out the locks on another short sale that's in progress.

Aug 01, 2010 02:03 AM #4
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK

And this is why I've stayed out of the whole world of short sales. I can bang my head aginst the wall in my office safe if I need a headache. You, however, are a powerhouse :)

Aug 01, 2010 10:36 PM #5
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