Southern New Hampshire Real Estate and Short Sales: FOUR HOURS IN THE LIFE OF A REAL ESTATE AGENT


My husband was playing solo piano at a fund raiser the other night for a Homeless Shelter.   It was for a good cause and it promised to be a fun evening so I had every intention of going.

However, this is how my day went from 4:00 on:

I contact my buyer client as I am wondering why he has not gotten back to me regarding the draft I sent him (at 1:00) of a suggested response regarding a home inspection issue.  He and I have been in constant communication aboGoogle Earthut this over the last several days, collecting information and obtaining estimates.  Today is our deadline to respond and when I spoke to him at 12:50, I told him I was just finishing up the draft and would send it right over.  He says he hasn’t received anything from me and he “didn’t want to bother me”. 

Okay, here’s a hint for all you prospective buyers out there…when your agent says that they are sending something important out to you MOMENTARILY and you have a deadline looming, it is not the time to decide not to bother her. 

She would much prefer that you decide not to bother her at 10:00 at night when the sole purpose of your call is to ask her to look at google maps to see if she can figure out what that is behind that house that you are probably never going to look at because it doesn’t meet any of your other criteria.  Just sayin….

While I am on the phone with him, I resend the document.  He does not get it.  He has me try his work email.  His work email, apparently, doesn’t like gmail so it kicks it back.  He says, “oh, right”.

While I am talking to him, my Bank of America contact beeps in.  I need to take the call as I have been rattling cages over at BOA over one of my short sale listings.  It is part of the HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) program which allegedly is a “pre-approved” short sale and promises distressed homeowners that they can sleep soundly at night secure in the knowledge that Sleep Soundlytheir lender has come up with a value and agrees to accept the net proceeds of the short sale as the total payoff for their loan and has waived their right to go after them for any deficiency.

The reality however, is that since the lender sets the list price, it is almost guaranteed to be significantly overpriced for the market and unless your agent knows enough to fight it, your house will languish on the market for the 120 days they give you while they “dual track” you right to foreclosure.

My cage rattling appears to be paying off; I got them to reduce another $15,000.  That’s a total of $30,000 in the last two and a half weeks.  We’re getting closer to a price this house might actually sell at.

I attempt to call my buyer client back.  Nothing happens when I dial his number.  No ringing…no anything…what the heck???

My phone rings again, it’s the listing agent on the other end of one of my other sales.  The “extended” deadline for financing is up today and although the lender has promised a commitment today and although I already sent a request for an extension (to protect my buyer client's earnest money deposit, just in case) she is calling to harangue remind me that her client will NOT sign another request for an extension.

Never mind that the reason for the delay is not my buyer, it is the fact that the FHA Certification for the Condominium Project had Angry Agentexpired and recertifying a condo project is not fast or easy.  The Certification was just, finally, obtained on Monday… then an FHA case number can finally be assigned to the loan…then the appraisal can be ordered, etc.  We discuss, once again, that it really makes no sense for the seller to refuse to extend as another buyer is not going to be able to close faster unless they waive home inspection and pay cash…in which case you can be sure they will want to pay less.  She complains that the loan originator has not returned her calls. Odd…this originator has always been very good about returning phone calls.   I promise that I will call the loan originator.

While I am on the phone with the listing agent, my phone beeps.  It is my original buyer client (the one with the home inspection issue) calling from his home number.  I let it go to voicemail and finish up my debate conversation with the listing agent.

I place a call to the loan originator and leave a message.

I call my buyer client back.  He has determined that the email problem is on his end.  We decide that I will read him my suggested response, we will discuss it, I will make any changes he wants and then I will send it to the listing agent signed on his behalf.

While I am talking to him, the loan originator beeps in.  I let it go to voice mail, finish up with the buyer, make the appropriate changes to the letter and send it off.

I call the originator back.  She has just sent over the commitment.  She also indicates that she does not understand the listing broker’s comment that she has not returned her calls as she spoke to her last night.  We discuss the conditions on the loan commitment and I tell her that I will contact the listing broker to confirm that she has received the commitment.

I call the listing agent back.  She first says she has not received anything.  When I offer to send it to her, she admits she hasn’t looked and then confirms that she did, in fact, receive it.  When I question her about whether she spoke to the loan originator last night, she abruptly informs me she is in the middle of a project and can’t talk.  WTH?   I send her the commitment anyway.  I also send it to her Team Leader (she is part of an REO Team).  I briefly consider sending it directly to the Asset Manager at Bank of America but decide that would be bad form.

While I am talking to the listing agent, the buyer broker on one of my short sale deals beeps in.  I call her back.  The vial that held the sample for the FHA water test was found to be cracked, can I call my client and see if someone is home to let the lab tech in to get another water sample.  I hang up and begin trying to track down my client.  By the time I connect with him, it is too late for tonight.  I begin making the phone calls to make arrangements for the next day.

While I am finishing up the phone calls to reschedule the water test, the phone rings again. 

I listen to the voicemail.  It is a very distressed seller who has been referred to me.  They have received the Notice of Foreclosure Losing HouseSale.  Is it too late for a short sale?  Can I help? 

I sigh…why do people so often wait until they are that close to the edge of the precipice to reach out for help?

I call back and listen to their story and ask questions.  They have a true hardship, and like so many others, they have been jerked around by their Servicer (Bank) for over a year before ultimately being rejected for a modification.  They are so far behind they will never catch up and they are done.  Yes, I think I can stop the foreclosure.  Yes, I think I can help them short sell their house.  We make an appointment and hang up.

I realize I’m starving.  I look at the clock and realize it is 8:00 p.m. and the last thing I ate was yogurt at noon.  My husband is long gone for his gig.

I hear it was a good show….

Comment balloon 4 commentsJoy Baker • March 18 2012 10:18AM


So when did you get busy (ha). There are days when we sit around and do nothing and then there are days of frantic work like you had. It makes this business intersting for sure. I enjoyed reading your post thanks

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( over 6 years ago

Thanks Charlie.  These days, every day is like this one for me.  It's an interesting business for sure.

Posted by Joy Baker, So NH RE & Short Sale Specialist (RE/MAX Insight) over 6 years ago

Wow, Joy am I impressed.  Did not realize you had this blog, clicked on it from Facebook.  What a great writer you are.  It was like reading a mesmerizing short story.  Curious how you became the short sale specialist, by accident or plan.  Seems like such a hard way to do real estate.  You have the patience of a saint and great persistence.  Also, great blog, it is set up so professionally. Proud to be part of the same agency with you.



Posted by Bette Marceau over 6 years ago
Steve was great and we missed you!
Posted by Karen Bowden over 6 years ago