A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Sacramento Short Sale Approval

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

Not every Sacramento short sale agent processes a file in the same manner. Heck, some of the agents in Sacramento who list a short sale have no idea what they're doing and have never negotiated a shorts sale before but, regardless, there are certain rules everybody must follow. One of those rules is when an agent receives a short sale approval letter, that agent must send the letter to the buyer's agent within 3 days.

More important, if the commission has been reduced from the compensation offered in MLS, the listing agent must also send page 1 of her listing agreement to the buyer's agent. If the listing agent doesn't follow this procedure, the buyer's agent is entitled to the full amount reflected in MLS, and the listing agent must eat the difference -- even if MLS says the agents will split the reduction. Not every agent realizes this. Still, I'm not taking any chances. I follow the rules.

Yesterday, I received an approval letter from the second lender on a Sacramento short sale. The approval letter spelled out the maximum commission. However, I don't yet have the approval letter from the first lender, even though both banks are the same lender. I read the letter a second time and pondered whether I should send it to the buyer's agent. Should I draw a CBC?

The following thought actually crossed my mind: What if the first lender lowers the commission for some reason and I've already sent the CBC to the buyer's agent?

Then it dawned on me. Duh! I'm the buyer's agent!

Well, that doesn't happen very often. See, I don't generally do dual agency, but somebody had to sell this house.

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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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Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Congratulations...you are absolutely right...someone had to sell the house...who better than you !!!

Mar 10, 2011 03:05 AM #1
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

The LISTING agent eating the difference in a lowered commission from the full commission. OUCH. Don't want that to happen. Lots of holes to fall into with short sales Elizabeth.

Mar 10, 2011 03:12 AM #2
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Nice twist at the end but still a good story for the newbies who don't know about procedures in a short sale. 

Mar 10, 2011 03:53 AM #3
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

HAHAHA...I forgot I was the buyer's agent?  Now that's funny.

Mar 10, 2011 04:31 AM #4
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

I've had TC's try to tell me what short sale rules are ... da nerve!! And one thing I never understood is why the 2nd can dictate what the agent payout will be. Shouldn't that only come from the 1st?

Mar 10, 2011 04:34 AM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Sarah: Well, we had 2 feeble attempts by other agents who brought buyers, went into escrow, but the buyers refused to conform, and the agents couldn't manage them. So, by the time we got to the third buyer, it just made sense for me to put it together because I knew what the bank would do. Sometimes, ya gotta do it yourself.

Hi Gary: Yes, if I offer the buyer's agent 63 apples and the bank reduces our commission to 52 apples, if I don't send the CBC and RLA with the approval letter, I could eat lemons.

Hi Bryan: It's possible for an agent to royally mess up a short sale. I suggest new agents get a mentor and team with a seasoned vet.

Hi Mary: I know it is funny. It made me laugh. So, I thought it would make you laugh, too. The truth is often funny.

Hi Cynthia: Well, the second wasn't dictating, it was just stating the maximum commission, which I hope the first matches. I don't know why the seconds care, either. They're getting $3,000 and that's all they're getting. In most deals.

Mar 10, 2011 05:28 AM #6
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Elizabeth, Did you give yourself notice? (LOL) Congratulations on the sale and approval.

Mar 10, 2011 12:58 PM #7
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

THAT was a great blog...I smiled when I read it and smiled even broader the second time!!  I guess that was the result of 5 hours of discussions tonight with a commercial investor

Mar 10, 2011 10:11 PM #8
Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

One of the questions I have for listing agents of short sales is how many have they done? I want to know if the know the drill. Funny post and thanks for the chuckle!

Mar 10, 2011 11:44 PM #9
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