Recently, I was very pleasantly surprised to receive a call from Countrywide (now known as Bank of America since the acquisition) regarding one of my Las Vegas Short Sale files. Usually, the communications goes in one direction, with me doing all the calling. The bank negotiator needed some updated information on the file, namely, a 2008 tax return and an updated worksheet detailing the monthly financial obligations of the sellers. The negotiator gave me a deadline of 6 days to get her the information.
I left a voicemail and emailed my sellers about the information the bank needed and if they could fax it to me as soon as possible. It so happens that my sellers have moved out of State, so communication is anything but immediate. Knowing this might be a problem, I emailed the negotiator that I would do my best to get the info but we might need a couple more days to get them everything as a weekend was going to fall within the 6 day period. As a show of good faith, I emailed all the information I had on hand to the bank and explained I was working on the balance.
On the following Monday, my assistant received an email from the negotiator stating she was missing some items. It was obvious that she did not read my previous email, so we fired off another message stating we were working on getting the info and would need a couple of more days. We also sought clarification of one item in particular, and asked her to explain it, and of course, help gain a delay in the deadline.
The next day, we get an email stating she cancelled the file and we would now have to start all over. Luckily, I complained to a supervisor that is was ridiculous to cancel the file when we were actively working to get the requested info. Sure, that negotiator gets a file off her desk, but now it goes on to someone else’s, only this time, a lot of work which was previously done will have to be needlessly repeated.
I could rant all day about this bank and person (the negotiator) who should have employed some common sense when evaluating a deadline, but this simply illustrates the challenges Las Vegas short sale agents have to overcome on a daily basis. I will not let this setback stop me, but it is a very stark reminder that we cannot get these deals closed without the cooperation of our sellers. The banks make us wait around for weeks and than out of the blue we have gather time sensitive information. Failure to do say may have significant consequences. As this situation demonstrated, sellers must stay in contact with us at all times and be ready to produce information as needed.
Paul Rowe is five year veteran of the Las Vegas real estate market, having seen both the incredible highs and now the lows of 2008 and 2009. He is the primary short sale listing agent for Sena and Associates.