It seems everywhere you look there is sobering news. For example, ZipRealty lost more than 1/4 of its agents this year as it reported a $4 million fourth-quarter loss, according to Inman News. I like working with ZipRealty agents as a Sacramento short sale agent, because they are generally fast on the turnaround and get me the documents I need from their buyers when I needed that paperwork yesterday. Not every buyer's agent in Sacramento offers that kind of service. So, I think it's sad that ZipRealty is shedding agents.
I also read that CoreLogic released a report yesterday that shows 43% of all homes in the Sacramento area are underwater homes. That's huge. The percentage statewide is 32%, meaning that one out of 3 homeowners in California owe more than their homes are worth. But don't feel so awful for Californians. In Nevada, that number is 65%. Short sales are pushing norms for the market.
Not a day goes by when somebody doesn't call me about doing a Sacramento short sale. Some of these calls are from sellers who are very unhappy with their existing short sale agent and want to know if they could list with me. Much of the time I send them right back to their agent. Because these are people who probably should not be trying to do a short sale as they either don't qualify or they refuse to comply.
What does it take to comply? In this market, it means probably making a seller contribution. Paying to close a short sale is becoming the norm in Sacramento short sales. I can say that because I close a lot of them, and that's what I see. The seller's financial situation is often immaterial. The bank might want $500 or $1,000, or more. Sellers who don't want to comply might not make a good candidate for a Sacramento short sale. That's the truth, plain and simple.
In essence, the way I see it, the banks are beginning to hold a seller's credit report hostage. They want sellers to pay. Something. Anything they can squeeze. It stinks, quite frankly. But that's the way it is. So, if you want to do a short sale and the bank settles on $500, that's what it will cost you. If keeping a foreclosure off your record isn't worth $500, then let your home go to foreclosure. In some circles, this is known as cutting off your nose to spite your face. But it's every sellers' choice to make.
Just don't shoot the messenger. I don't make the rules, and I'm not on the bank's side, for heaven's sake. I just report what's going on in Sacramento. If your Sacramento short sale agent isn't telling you to expect a bank demand, shame on that person. There's only one way to get around it: HAFA short sale. And, sadly, many sellers don't qualify for that program. See? Sobering news everywhere.
But the good news is short sales are closing. I closed a short sale in Natomas yesterday. I am closing a short sale in Rancho Cordova on Friday, and a Sacramento short sale is scheduled for Monday. And temperatures in Sacramento just might break 70 today!