A Great Way to Sabotage Your Short Sale Listing
Yesterday, I was showing houses in Silver Spring, and many of them were foreclosures or short sales. And while I saw many things done in the presentations of some of these homes that I would do differently, there was one listing that stood out.
Before showing the house, I called the listing agent. His instructions were to just go and knock on the front door. The people who lived there would let us in.
So I pulled up, parked the car and knocked on the door. A very puzzled gentleman opened it to us suggesting that we must be at the wrong address. This house, he said, was not for sale. I double checked my MRIS print out, and sure enough, it showed his address and a picture of this very house.
It turned out to be tenant occupied, and the short sale specialist (supposedly there to help the sellers avoid financial disaster) forgot to tell the long-term tenants that their home was for sale. They were very accommodating, however. They were nice enough to show us around, pointing out all of the deferred maintenance, crackling electrical outlets and green fuzz growing on the walls of the wet basement - all of the other things likely to send buyers screaming from the property.
This is a part of the world where tenants have more than a few legal rights when their rental homes are being sold, as a short sale or otherwise. And their cooperation is crucial to making any deal work on a tenant occupied property.
And you know what? I think that agents like this are at least as responsible for the housing crisis and the big bad banks and politicians we like to point our fingers at.