For the purpose of protecting the privacy of the parties involved in this transaction, Jennifer will not disclose the address of this property, and the names of the characters involved have been changed. The story behind “123 Anywhere St” has to be told, because it is not merely a story, but a novel– a series of sales, in fact, that FINALLY found a conclusion with a closing in late August that Jennifer, honestly, thought would never come. This closing was a testament to Jennifer’s stubborn persistence in getting a property sold NO MATTER WHAT happens along the way, and this story will never fit on a postcard!
Jennifer listed this property in April 2009. It was beautiful at that time; professionally decorated, priced well, and she was confident that it would be sold in a matter of weeks at the list price of $425,000. Very shortly after it was listed, both Mr and Mrs Seller lost their jobs unexpectedly. The spring of ’09 was the height of the recession and probably the peak of unemployment in our market. Job loss is hard on families, and it was not long before they filed for divorce. He moved to California, she tried to maintain the house, but inevitably, a short sale application with two lenders commenced, and the troubles began. The first offer received that summer was at $349,000. Bank of America (BOA) was not shorted, and Wells Fargo (WF) was offered 60% of the outstanding balance on the 2nd, which they declined to accept. The two banks’ fighting caused that sale to fall apart. Some months later, a second offer was received for less money, which now shorted BOA, and WF was offered about $6,000 as a settlement (because first mortgages are always in control in a short sale situation), which was declined. Three months were wasted with WF fighting for more money, so buyer #2 grew impatient and moved on to an easier purchase.
Buyer #3 was happy to fund a larger settlement to WF in their purchase terms, but BOA wouldn’t allow it. Any money over and above the $6000 belonged to BOA, and something like that just can’t be hidden in a purchase loan these days, so that sale in the $280,000s fell apart, too. Meanwhile, the house was vacated, and it began to deteriorate from neglect. The pool cover collapsed, the roof started leaking, the cedar siding began to rot out, the furnace failed and vandals partied in the house. To complicate matters, at some point, WF sold the bad second mortgage to a loan shark, who now demanded $13,150 as his settlement to release the lien. What?
Enter buyer #4 – a cash buyer who was willing to pay the higher settlement to the second lien holder, in exchange for a lower purchase price to BOA. No loan was involved, so that could be finagled. After a few months, BOA approved the terms of the sale in the mid $200s, and a closing was set for September, 2011. It was almost over, Jennifer thought. WRONG. Buyer #4 flaked out and never showed up to closing! Really? Yes! Good grief. Enter buyer #5 in January, 2012. Purchase price was to be $210,000. With the second lien resolved, Jennifer got to start over with BOA for a new approval, which she got, a couple months later and they were, once again, ready to set a closing date for mid June, as soon as the buyer’s lender was ready to close the loan. Fifth times a charm? NO! That deal failed in the appraisal because it was rejected as collateral due to the condition of the house at that point. Now Jennifer needed another cash buyer to close quickly. At a couple points along the way, she nearly gave up. But after a mental rest between fall-throughs, she’d muster the energy to go again.
By the time buyer #6 came along in early July, it was a matter of sheer stubbornness that made her resubmit that offer to BOA and go through it all over again. This time it worked, and the deal was closed on August 29th. The closing was actually comical for a variety of reasons. It lasted over two hours. One of the parties came to the table with alcohol on the breath. The other was a first-class piece of work. But nobody was leaving that table until that deal was done. Period.
In the end, Mr Seller sent Jennifer a purple feather boa as a thank you gift. At first, the irony was lost on her, though she is well-known for her love of purple, but a few hours with it in hand, Jennifer realized the boa stood for BANK OF AMERICA. It was an award for taking on BOA and winning! HA! That is a gift she will always treasure, and heavenknows she has a story in this one for all-time’s sake. The lesson here is never give up, and enter into short sales with multiple liens very, very carefully!