Like many Salem Oregon real estate agents, my transactions all seem to be from hell. Not because I don’t have amazing clients; not because I don’t have a great loan officer involved; and not because I don’t have a great escrow officer around me. It is hard to find a post that says anything positive about banks, loan officers, appraisers, lenders…well let’s just throw real estate agents into that mix as well. Rant this…rant that. Everyone sucks, except of course the person writing the rant. If my child told me today that he wanted to be an underwriter when he grew up, I’d be thinking I need to start those electric shock treatments NOW because clearly, he isn’t right in his head. I have spent many a sleepless night wondering what incredible minuscule detail the underwriter will use to derail my clients that are attorneys, journalists, doctors, teachers…you know, the people we generally consider stable home buyers, from getting a loan. I’ve never seen such scrutiny to the point of ridiculousness. I’d laugh if my clients weren’t so stressed out.
A couple of months ago, I had a client in distress. The good news…I got them an offer AND we could clear title. This situation seemed an anomaly to the bank who requested my short sale packet.
“This is NOT a short sale…we can clear title,” I said.
“Huh?” was the reply. Clearly the concept of being able to clear title was something they hadn’t heard in a while.
“I just need to verify that you got my authorization form to talk to you?”
“No, you’re not in the system.”
“I’ve faxed it over three times now. I NEED to talk to someone, right now.”
“Can’t do it without the authorization form.”
“I understand that. Can I have a supervisor?”
House under contract. Inspections done. Appraisal done. Title report done. DOCS at escrow. Buyer has signed. What’s the problem? The bank wouldn’t give the escrow company a payoff balance. I’ve never heard of a bank not wanting to get their money back, but okay…there is a first for everything. As I worked my way up the supervisor chain, I found a supervisor to just listen to me. The conversation pretty much went this way…
“Hey, legally you can’t talk to me without the authorization form that your company can’t seem to input into the system, so I’ll talk and you listen. Here is what I need you to do…”
After saying what I needed to say, I hung up and Ted, the supervisor from the bank who just listened, took care of things. The transaction closed 48 hours later. I called Ted back and left a message saying thank you for not talking to me and just listening. I called the buyer agent and gave her a big thank you for keeping her client in the real estate transaction as we worked through the mess. I called the escrow offer and said thank you for hustling once we got what we needed. I called and said thank you because they aren’t all the enemy…well maybe with the exception of underwriters. They are still on my crap list.