Athletes speak of a "good tired" and a "bad tired" after a game, good after a win and bad after a loss. Tonight I am the good kind of tired. 13 months ago I met with a very nice lady in White Plains who called me after a Realtor she was interviewing proposed that since she was a short sale, she should deposit an amount equal to the commission in escrow with the broker to ensure their fee payment. That didn't strike her as terribly kosher, she got on the Internet to research short sales in Westchester County, and she found me.
I got the listing; Ms. Escrowed Commission didn't. The condo market was slow at that time, and we went the first 6 months with only one aborted offer. However, I earned her trust in the process and got an extention. We determined that in order to secure a buyer, we should clean up the overgrown outside patio. I put on jeans one afternoon and trimmed, raked and perspired the area to an appealing level. It worked. This past June we got our buyer, and in perhaps some of the best work I have ever seen from our team, the approval came through on August 2nd.
You read that right. It took us under 60 days to get the short sale approved (with two lenders!), but we didn't close for another 4 months. When the buyer was unable to close at the end of August for what was then an unknown reason, we got a rare 30-day extension from the two lenders-yes, two lenders. When the second deadline approached, the buyer was again not ready. For the first time in my career, we got a second extension from both lenders. As the 3rd deadline approached, we discovered the buyer's problem: They didn't tell us this, but to raise their downpayment they were refinancing another property. This was a very unsettling revelation. Had we known that their mortgage hinged on such a dubious condition (a financed down payment), we might never have engaged them.
As you might imagine, the stress on my client, an Ivy League graduate, a cancer survivor and a single mother, was mammoth. As you might not have imagined, we actually had to negotiate a THIRD extension with both lenders, and were told that no further extensions would be granted. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, their refinance closed. Today, we closed our tranaction one day before our final deadline. My client, a hardworking soul, hugged me after the closing was buttoned up and returned to her job to finish her day.
Sometimes, you can do a great job and have it squandered because the people on the other side of the table aren't on point themselves. Among the crosses we had to bear were a frustratingly uncommunicative attorney on the other side, and a weak and not terribly forthcoming buyer. I truly believe the agent on the other side was not at fault and frankly aghast at events on their side. My seller and her attorney, two consummate professionals and people of high character, did voice their feelings-professionally and calmly- at the closing table and left complete.
There are very few easy deals, and that is especially the case on this deal. Tonight, I will sleep soundly. And so will my client.
Originally posted on the New York Short Sale Blog