Why do buyers walk away from short sales?
The other day I obtained short sale approval from the first and second lien holders for a single family home in Riverside County, California. The home belongs to a relative of a local real estate agent who had hired me to process the short sale.
This was actually the second time that I got the approvals for this property; the first time the buyer lost his patience and walked away from the transaction. Last night, I learned that this second buyer had also walked away. And, (read: sarcasm) can you imagine this? When the listing agent contacted the buyer’s agent, he learned that the buyer had actually purchased a condominium and closed escrow.
Let’s review why this happened. Buyer’s walk away from short sale transactions because they lose patience. It sometimes takes two to three months to obtain short sale approval. If you are a buyer’s agent, it is extremely important for you to explain to your buyer the anticipated time frame. The buyer will get antsy because s/he is eager to get the property. But, this anxiety can be mitigated by frequent phone calls and emails explaining the status of the transaction. On our office website, we have an explanation of the short sale process that specifically targets buyers. This document reviews the entire process from start to finish. Any buyer who reads this document now understands what to expect when buying a short sale.
Now (read: sarcasm again), I wonder why the listing agent didn’t know that the buyer had purchased a condominium and closed escrow. I can only surmise that this listing agent was not following up with the buyer’s agent weekly to assure the buyer’s agent that the transaction was moving forward quickly and efficiently. It is vital for listing agents to keep in active communication with the buyer’s agents throughout the short sale process.
Here’s a tip (and it ain’t rocket science): If you do not call the buyer’s agent and the buyer’s agent does not call you for status for several weeks, it is probable that the buyer has moved on and will not be purchasing the short sale.
None of this is rocket science. These are just common sense tips about appropriate activities that will help to assure that your short sale closes with the very first buyer!