Sometimes, you have to sell your house fast. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a woman whose house is in foreclosure. There is a trustee sale date for 3 weeks from today. She hired a real estate agent to list her house. I called the listing agent about the house 4 days ago. Then 2 days ago. And guess what? No response. Does that sound like a good agent to you? One that is doing his best when you need to sell your house fast?
Ironically, I had spoken to the owner about selling her house. This was almost two years ago. So, I still had her email address. I decided to send her an email. She called me the next day and told me that she did need to sell her house fast. She said that the agent was presenting 10 offers to her in the next day or so. I said that's great and told her that I was happy for her.
She called me back later to tell me that the agent presented only one offer and encouraged her to take it. Does that sound right to you? And by the way, I still have not received a phone call from the agent. And the owner told him to call me too. He never did. When you are selling your house fast, don't you want to get all the offers you can?
The "Sell Your House Fast" story keeps going. The potential buyer lowered his offer after seeing the house. Again, strange. And on top of that the listing agent is getting his full commission of 3%, the buyer's agent works for the listing agent and that buyer's agent is getting a full 3%. And to top it all off, I don't think that an earnest money deposit has been received. Why? No clue.
Let me explain what is wrong with this story. First, the owner doesn't seem to have been informed of her rights as a seller in foreclosure. And the State of California is very clear on owner's rights while in foreclosure. Second, the listing agent is not working in the owner's best interest. It seems to me that he is taking advantage of someone in a vulnerable state.
If you are going to sell your house, whether you are in foreclosure or not, please follow this checklist.
- Review the purchase agreement before signing. If you don't understand something, ask a professional for advice. But don't sign it until you have your answer. Don't let anyone pressure you.
- Ask for the escrow company's information. Check to see that the escrow company is licensed and insured in your state. Call the escrow company to confirm receipt of the earnest money deposit.
- As-Is means no repairs, no credits or any changes once the agreement is signed. Tell the buyer to do all his/her due diligence before signing the agreement.
- Only sign the Grant Deed at the escrow office. Never sign a Grant Deed and give it to someone other than the escrow officer. That is a legal document showing ownership of the property. It needs to stay in safe hands at all times.
There are so many other points to cover. Most of all, make sure you feel like you are being treated properly. I make it my job to inform sellers of their rights, the sale process and what to expect. I make sure that I hold up my end of the bargain. It's about integrity and doing the right thing.