Why Didn't You Tell Me?

By
Real Estate Agent with Aspen Properties, Inc. BR511793000

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! Sounds like Gomer Pyle right? NOT! Here it is a nice peaceful Friday Evening and I am quietly reading our local paper and what do I find, a Notice of Trustees Sale scheduled for September 19, 2008 on one of my listings. Did I know anything about it? Of course not, the sellers have never mentioned that they were in financial trouble or that they weren't making their payments on their home. Heck, I talked to them the day before yesterday and they sounded just fine. How are we supposed to know this stuff and what do you do about it now? The answer is NOTHING! If we had known about it a little sooner perhaps we might have been able to work with their lender to refinance or work out a short sale. Now, it is just too late unless we get an offer in the next day or two and it closes in two weeks. Is that very likely, no. The house has been on the market for almost a year now with no offers. It is priced well for the area but it is a little dated inside. Not what people are looking for these days. I am just ticked off. Here I have worked my little doggies off for almost a year trying to sell this house and never once in all that time have the sellers indicated they were having financial problems. They told me they wanted to move to Mexico and had property down there but not once in all this time have them mentioned that they were having difficulties. I called my Broker when I read it tonight and he had no enlightenment to offer. Have any of you run in to this situation?  What did you do about it?

Posted by

Sandra J. Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR, REALTOR®

Pinetop, Arizona

(928) 242-0300

spaulow.realestate@gmail.com

 

If you are looking to Buy or Sell Property in the White Mountains of Arizona, give me a call.  I have been listing and selling in this area since 2002.  With over 16 years of experience I can assure you I know how to treat a client.  For Service you expect and deserve, call Sandra Paulow. 

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

 

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Rainer
203,010
Mary Warren
Las Vegas, NV

When we take listings we've made it a rule to order a NOD (notice of default) from the title comppany.  We do that ever month or so until closing.  If there's no NOD then the title company lets us know.

Aug 29, 2008 02:42 PM #1
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Never heard of it until today but great idea.

Aug 29, 2008 02:43 PM #2
Rainmaker
128,537
Kristina Pratt
St. Louis' Illinois Suburbs - RE/MAX Preferred Partners - Edwardsville, IL
REALTOR - SFR - GoshenRealtyGroup.com

Wow, Sandra.  Although I've never been in your particular situation, I can certainly sympathize. I've had sellers not tell me important information before, and it makes the whole process harder for everyone involved.

Aug 29, 2008 02:43 PM #3
Ambassador
1,002,367
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Sandra... I just learned today that one of my new listings has a foreclosure sale date set for Tuesday.  When I spoke tot he seller's they said: "Oh, were we supposed to tell you about that?"

Aug 29, 2008 02:45 PM #4
Rainmaker
68,674
Ann deVane
john greene, Realtor - Naperville, IL
Naperville Real Estate, GRI, CNC, CSC, ePRO

We require sellers to sign off on a "Seller's Net Sheet" to establish that they would have enough equity to close and pay commissions.  We revisit with each price reduction.

Aug 29, 2008 02:58 PM #5
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Steve, Absolutely amazing!  Don't they understand that if the house is going to foreclosure they have no say in it any longer?  At least I am not the only one who finds out this stuff too late to do anything to help them.  I am going to see my seller in person tomorrow and see if I can find out what is happening and why they didn't tell me sooner.  They are really nice people and I hate to see this happen to them. 

I am going to do what Mary is doing from now on. I don't want to get caught like this again. Actually this is the second time I have lost a listing because of this but at least the first time the Sellers told me the truth. Too late to do anything about it and second hand of course, after the neighbor called me to tell me they were stripping the house of anything saleable. 

I feel sorry for people who are in trouble, I've been there myself in the past, but I sure wish they would tell us the truth to start with instead of having us find out through other sources.

 

 

Aug 29, 2008 02:58 PM #6
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Ann, I have them sign off too but what good is a net sheet if they aren't making the payments?

Aug 29, 2008 02:59 PM #7
Rainmaker
552,167
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Sandra,

Yikes, you had absolutely no idea at all? Usually (yet not always) there are signs. Often times when people have financial problems they let the maintenance and upkeep slide too. As for Mary's comment about a NOD check, you bet. We can check directly through the tax records via our MLS. And I've had a few properties I'd check on every now and then.

And no, I've never had this be a problem that I was not aware of. Almost all of my business is repeat and referral, I've usually known them for years. Every now and then I'm surprised when I hear of a couple who is divorcing and then needs to sell. It can happen to anyone.

Aug 29, 2008 03:02 PM #8
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Lynda,  No I had no idea at all.  They have kept everything looking nice and I talk to my sellers on a regular basis. I absolutely did not have any idea that this was happening.  I knew they were anxious to sell because his wife has family in Mexico and they wanted to return there but no....there was never any indication that they were having financial difficulties.

Aug 29, 2008 03:06 PM #9
Rainmaker
606,283
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Can you get it out of the seller if they have faced hardship? We managed change a listing to a  short sale and got a quick offer in AND postponed the foreclosure sale on one of our listings. We ended up successfully closing it too. It sucks thought, we also heard the "we were supposed to tell you that?" line. Good luck.

Aug 29, 2008 03:10 PM #10
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

I am going to try.  If I can get them to tell me the truth about things and contact their lender, maybe we can do the same. I have a feeling though it is too late and at this point they probably don't care one way or the other. They can still go to Mexico and maybe credit worthiness doesn't matter where they are going.

Aug 29, 2008 03:15 PM #11
Rainmaker
273,670
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

That's a tough situation Sandra. I always ask if they have a prepayment penalty, are having trouble making the payments, etc. And then I make a note of it in their file. Look at it from their side. They may have been embarrassed and they are going to loose their home. You have only lost some advertising money. They could use a friend now.

We see all kinds of unexpected stuff in this business!

Aug 29, 2008 03:54 PM #12
Rainer
139,927
Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

We not only prepare a net sheet, but we now have an equity questionnaire we attach to the net sheet that we make the sellers fill out and sign/date...asking questions about mortgage balances, if they are current with all payments, have they receivved any correspondence from their lender regarding payments, if their lender has told them they must approve any sale, are they involved in any bankruptcy, are taxes current and paid up to date, any liens, have permits been pulled for all work...etc.

It certainly won't help us when sellers lie to us, but it will help us with sellers who just don't understand what is going on and that they should tell you these things. I think they are usually just ashamed and unsure of what to do.

I won't list a short sale so I would need to refer it, but I have had clients who have wanted to avoid short sale and needed to come to closing with substantial sums of money that they borrowed from their 401k to close. I made them show me proof of where this money would come from before listing their property.

Aug 30, 2008 01:24 AM #13
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Kelly,  I like the idea of a questionairre for potential sellers.  I also liked the earlier idea of checking for defaults with the Title Company monthly on listings.  All great ideas from everyone.  This is kind of a new situation in our area, foreclosures and short sales haven't been common in our area ever.  It is just now that we are starting to see that type of activity escalate and even some of our brokers are at a loss on how to handle them.  In this case I am afraid there isn't much we can do to help these folks, it has gone to far. I am going to try and meet with them today to talk about it.  I didn't sleep well last night thinking about it.  Thoughts kept running through my head on how to keep from getting caught again but I really do appreciate everyone's responses.  That was why I posted this, you AR folks are the best.

 

 

Aug 30, 2008 02:42 AM #14
Rainmaker
2,190,577
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Did you not know it was a short sale? Did you not pull title company records? I don't take a listing these days without asking that question and getting that documentation. Some sellers are embarrassed. But, they, that's what we are here for. I'm sorry this happened to you.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Aug 30, 2008 02:22 PM #15
Rainmaker
262,773
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Elizabeth,  It wasn't a short sale and it still isn't.  It is just that the sellers have not been making their payments and I didn't know that until I saw the notice of the Trustees Sale in the newspaper. Plus, we have had the home on the market for quite some time now.  Our market has been really difficult this year and although this home has had a lot of showings during the course of the listing, we have not had any offers.  And yes, I always pull a listing package on every property I list.  Because this hasn't been an issue in our area until just the last few months, we are all rethinking the way we do business.  Short sales and foreclosures are just now becoming prevalent in our market. 

Aug 30, 2008 02:31 PM #16
Rainmaker
321,010
Sherry Scales
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Leander, TX
Realtor, for Austin, TX and surrounding areas

It is my understanding that the owners have up until the day of the sale to get right with the bank. They can make their payments and get current, and it will not be sold at the auction, or if sold, the person buying it will be refunded their monies. 

Aug 30, 2008 03:57 PM #17
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Sandra Paulow

REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR
Find your perfect place in Pinetop, Arizona. Call Sandra today.
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