I have this short sale listing I’ve been readying myself for battle over. I’ve been gathering up my big-girl yelling pants and breaking out my cute military-style jacket with all the buttons up the front (military jackets are totally in this winter; you knew that, right?). I’ve amassed an arsenal of real estate logic (market data, comparable property information) to combat lender idiocy. I am prepared for a fight.
I originally listed this property at $250K. We didn’t get any showings. No phone calls. We felt like an 8th grade girl who didn’t get asked to the dance, waiting by the clear plastic phone her parents finally let her have in her room, wondering if it’s that her hair is too frizzy or that she can’t apply mascara without sneezing and getting it all over her face that makes the boys not call.
But no matter; we dropped the price $10K. Still no calls, but we tried to refrain from cutting ourselves, binging and purging or any other teenage-girl acting out techniques. Instead, we steadily and regularly dropped the price until we hit a number where we were actually getting showings and finally, offers! You love us! You accept us! Wait… is that pigs’ blood in that bucket up there over our heads?
We submitted this offer of $220K to the bank. We submitted entire redwood tree’s worth of paperwork and financial information on my clients. We waited. And waited. And had the entire file get arbitrarily rejected from the system. My clients drank heavily and reconsidered Emo cutting. I started over and resubmitted everything. We waited some more.
Finally I got an email from the system saying we had received a counter offer!! Woo! Yay, party time… wait… they want WHAT?!
Yeah. The bank had counter-offered back at the original starting point (the price where we were the ugly girl with food in her braces who no one wanted to sit with at lunch), $250K AND wanted a $5K cash contribution from the seller AND a $10K promissory note.
Once I busted out my smelling salts and revived my sellers they assured me there is no way in gosh dern heck they have the money to give to the bank. I also went back to the buyer’s agent and he assured me there was no way in gosh dern heck his clients were going to pay in excess of 10% over market value for this property.
At this point I did the only thing I could do: I countered back with exactly the same offer as we had submitted earlier.
Just to recap:
We said, ‘Here is a reasonable offer for this property.’
The bank said, ‘That’s lovely, but we would like the moon and the stars and the heavens and our own personal unicorn butler who can pee ice cold imported draft beer, thank you very much.’
So we said, ‘Um, right. But here’s our original offer again. We’re now considering subtracting $5, so quit messing around.’ And this is where I got ready for battle. They obviously weren’t going to be reasonable or logical, so I was going to need to make them see the light. I was ready to shed my normal ‘sweet as pie, please and thank you’ routine and start screaming as soon as I needed to. I was prepared to kick and scratch and do that thing where you sit on someone, hold them down and drool on their face (Sibling Spit Torture). I was going to fight dirty and get shit done. But first, I had to wait for their response.
Someone please guess what the bank said to this. Just guess. You’ll never get it because it’s so weird and insane. Stop guessing, you’re totally wrong.
The bank then said, ‘OK, I guess we’ll take that. You left the $5 in, right? Because that’s a deal breaker for us.’
Apparently sometimes all you have to do is ask. Twice. Or three times.