Preconceived Notions About "Discount" Brokerages
I admit it, there's a little corner in my mind that was worrying when my clients wanted to submit an offer on a REO listing, listed by Help-U-Sell.
I've worked for Tierra Antigua Realty for over 6 years now, and I've been very happy with the rapport, feeling of team, education, and support my brokerage has shown me. I've worked enough transactions during those years to know that all brokerages are not equal, and not all agents put the same amount of effort into communication and follow-through.
So, like I said, starting out the transaction I was just a little bit nervous.
My clients submitted their offer on July 16, 2011. I gave them my usual spheel about needing a sense of humor when working with REO properties, being prepared to wait, highest and best offer scenarios, and all the other items I touch upon when working with these sorts of transactions. In my experience, some of them go off without a hitch...and then there are the truly memorable ones.
Little did I know that my clients and I were about to open our own long-version Memory Book with this particular contract.
First there was the highest and best scenario, which my clients happened to "win" based on area comps and knowledge of homes in the area. Then came the wait for the REO addenda and counter-signed contract. Escrow finally opened with the fully executed contract on August 6, 2011. You can bet that my emails got considerably less patient as I waited for documentation securing my clients as the buyers during this three-week period. I naturally assumed it had much to do with discount service brokerage hours.
Well, without writing a novella here, I'll skip to the ending, the closing, on October 26 2011. The jist of the situation was that the original transfer of ownership involved a Deed In Lieu back to the VA, which was incorrectly signed by a third party handler through Chase Bank. Without proper recording, Chase re-sold the property to my clients and AS THEY WERE SIGNING closing docs on September 8, we got the call that they needed a two week extension because the property wasn't clear to sell..
Here's where the broker of Help-U-Sell really came through. Veronica Scott, broker at Help-U-Sell in Rita Ranch, Tucson, AZ worked her butt off. Phone calls, emails, visits to Phoenix, more phone calls, more emails -- constantly and daily keeping the finance officer and myself in the loop. When she didn't get communication from one staffer at Chase, she went above their head to a higher authority. Each time she received emails mentioning another name, she emailed ALL to keep the information coming. In short, she lit a fire under Chase until the VP of Chase REO got involved.
Talk about diligence, customer relations, and communications. Veronica actually forward email trails between parties to show "transparency" in the transaction. On October 17 she sent an email hoping for a "miracle", and on the 19th, out of the blue, the transaction was cleared to close. She shared with us her personal interpretation of the words, "Help You Sell": " I want all to know that we are called HELP U SELL for a reason the emphasis is on the Help - we all want to work together to get this done for your client! "
My clients had chosen October 22 as the last possible day they would allow another time extension, as they had been without a permanent home since flying in from Germany on Fourth of July weekend, the wife was expecting TWINS, almost all of their belongings were in storage, their dogs were in temporary care and separated from them for all of this while, and the husband had taken the last "leave" in order to close and move, that the Airforce was willing to extend. (he took three)
Hal Timinsky, Senior Mortgage Advisor at Fairway Mortgage, also worked tireless hours, and managed to have closing docs within 48 hours of the surprise news from Chase.
More snafus ensued until the actual closing on October 26th, but the good news is, my military clients relocating from Germany are in their new home, unpacked and eagerly planning for their two little girls to join them early spring.
Good things come to those who wait, I guess. I can wait for another REO transaction like this one, but I will always remember the diligence of Veronica Scott at Help-U-Sell, and I'll not be generalizing brokerages ever again. This brokerage was simply priceless.