Interestingly, the very same day that Craig wrote his post on assisting a buyer with a bank-owned purchase, I was closing on a very similar transaction.
One difference…mine closed. 🙂
It was even the same servicing company (so possibly and even probably the same bank-owner-seller), and also an FHA loan like Craig’s transaction. Two hurdles that Craig’s transaction may or may not have had was there were multiple offers (hard to win multiple offers if you are the only FHA buyer in the room) and the buyer’s lender at the last minute required that a new roof be put on the house, prior to closing, on a house that was only 14 years old.
I have to agree with Craig, it was absolutely grueling. It’s like being Ray Allen playing against the Lakers, but there is no one else on the Court except Ray!There were too many cooks in the kitchen on the seller side, and it was almost as if they wanted you to be late and wanted the transaction to fail. At the point where the buyer’s lender wanted a new roof on the house prior to closing, I honestly think the seller wanted to move to the back up buyer AND keep my client’s Earnest Money AND collect a $100 per day per diem for as many days as possible running through the Memorial Day weekend and beyond. This is why the SELLER should NEVER be ALLOWED to choose escrow! Somebody wise up and make a law about that!
Think about it. If escrow doesn’t close on time on a bank-owned…who suffers? Buyer can lose their Earnest Money. Buyer can pay $100 per day for every day that it is late (to the seller). So how can the seller be the one who chooses escrow, when the buyer is the one with so much at stake, and the seller with everything to gain if the buyer is late?
Of course my buyer clients did close. My buyer did not close on time BUT he also paid ZERO in per diem costs because I forced the seller’s hand to the point that they were in breach. This is not the first time I have done this with a bank owned, but it takes every ounce of my time and energy for days on end. You have to have your wits about you, stay on your toes, and play every single second, day after day, with the devotion of a Ray Allen or Rondo watching every single move and being always on top of your game. One false move…one split second of incorrect decision, is the difference between the client’s success and failure.
In this corner…the seller side…we have:
Agent for seller…Assistant for agent for seller…off-site transaction coordinator for agent for seller – Escrow Company chosen by seller with TWO closing agents, one working only on the seller side and one working only for the buyer side. FIVE layers before you even get near who the seller is, and the seller has at least a few people in between all those people and the actual selling entity/bank.
…and in this corner we have…ARDELL LOL! Kim and Amy helped do a few end runs on what the buyer was doing AT the house, like choosing new hardwood and getting estimates from painters, etc. I handled the contractual and escrow problems and the buyer’s lender issues…including lender wanting a roof ON the house prior to closing. Trust me, it is no easy feat to put a quality roof on quickly on someone else’s house without their permission. …and of course…then the rain came… If we were not ready to close the buyer would have lost his $10,000 Earnest Money and/or all those many days over the very long holiday weekend in per diem fees.
Like Craig, I can’t give a true blow by blow…but it closed and my buyer clients got the house at roughly $50,000 less than the house around the corner in the same neighborhood, that closed at roughly the same time. It was imperative that THIS be the house, as they maxed out at a price just short of what it would cost for all the things they wanted in a home, school and neighborhood. So a bank-owned was likely the ONLY way for them to get all of those things because of the bank-owned discount.
So yes…for many clients, buying a bank-owned is not only best…but sometimes the ONLY way for them to achieve their goal. The number one thing to remember to be successful in a bank owned transaction is The Ball Is ALWAYS In YOUR Court! You cannot wait ONE SECOND for the other side to do what they are supposed to do. You must do their work…yes they were the ones who needed an extension, but if I did not keep writing the addendums, because it was “their job” and not mine, it never would have closed! I had to do that three times. Banks NEVER answer…they never signed the extensions until it closed…pretty much at the same time.
You cannot ask…you cannot wait for them to answer…you cannot expect them to do what they are supposed to do. You have to run that ball across the Court like you are the only one in the room with the power to make it happen! You can’t worry about what’s fair and not fair…you just have to get it done and do everyone’s work , and figure out who has the authority to move it forward and who does not.
In my case the buyer also had all kinds of things besides dealing with the seller side that made it many times harder, even if it were not a bank-owned transaction. That was a bit distracting. But at the end of the day…it was all worth it, because I truly believe I could not easily find a replacement property for those clients in their price range. THAT is why you do a bank owned…because the discounted price makes it the BEST house for that client…and possibly the only one they can afford that fits their parameters. …and, of course, they also got the $8,000 tax credit on top of that. A grueling work load and struggle…but well worth it.
You don’t do it ONLY for the “bargain” of it…you do it because it is the very BEST house for them.
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