Yesterday I ranted about a scenario I was experiencing where I, representing the sellers, got a phone call from the buyer's lender who had gotten a hold of the Seller's Negotiator. These two got their heads together and discussed lowering the sales price by $10,000 as a result of the appraisal being low.....and that was my seller's appraisal!! There seemed to be no discussion of having the buyer conduct a separate appraisal. I was upset, but I learned something after I got to speak with the negotiator directly myself.
Let me begin by saying both the selling side's negotiator and the busyer's lender, were working for COUNTRYWIDE. When the buyer's lender called the negotiator, the negotiator was obligated to call that lender back within a very small time frame. It is internal, mandatory etiquette between COUNTRYWIDE EMPLOYEES. I called this negotiator every day for 10 days. And the buyer's lender, within the same company got her the same day as she placed her first call.
In addition to explaining why she had to do that, the negotiator told me she had to disclose the first appraisal price...again...because it was Countrywide to Countrywide. I suggested a that the buyer's lender conduct an appraisal, just like they would in any normal transaction. I explained that because the comps were there in the first appraisal, I was sure the buyers appraiser could get the extra $10K. She asked, "WHY?" I answered very simply, "To save your company $10K. To save my sellers the burden of claiming an additional $10K as income."
Here's the deal: A Countrywide appraisal, even if conducted by the seller's negotiator, is still a COUNTRYWIDE appraisal. So it stands for the buyer as well. I suspect this is a cost cutting measure.
Finally, the negotiator, based on this criteria within the company hadn't violated my seller's position, she had simply stated facts to the buyer's lender, who, knowing I wouldn't hear from her as quickly, passed the information along, minus the reasoning behind it.
So the helpful hint today in working with COUNTRYWIDE, who are holding so many of the loans on these properties in pre-foreclosure, if you are bringing a buyer it does FAST TRACK you if you use COUNTRYWIDE as for the buyer's new loan. If you are attempting one of these frustrating sales from a listing side, explain all this to the buyer's agent so that you can possibly get the buyer to qualify with COUNTRYWIDE. It will most certainly help when the BUYER'S LENDER within COUNTRYWIDE, gets yoru file to the top of the stack thanks to internal protocol.
I hope this is not too confusing and ends up helping some of you who are ripping your hair out trying to get a short sale contract to closing, but stuck in the dead zone waiting for word from your negotiators.