Words: Jan Ryan
NSDCAR Director at Large
My client was going through an ugly divorce and could no longer make payments on her home. Marriage break-ups are typically tense. The tell-tale signs of a divorce are when whole rooms in the home are missing furniture and closets are filled with only male or female clothing.
In my client’s case, she was desperate. She owed more than the house was worth. It was decided a short sale would be the best course of action. Fortunately, I had a qualified buyer who was ready to proceed. However, unfortunately, the credit union handling the financing wasn’t.
So, what should you do when a financial institution leaves you hanging and refuses to respond after several weeks? Even after submission of documents, including bank statements and tax returns, and no employee in the short-sale department will return your phone calls? Maybe they’re thinking there’s not enough profit in the deal. Maybe they’re disgruntled employees who are merely order takers and don’t care. What’s your best course of action?
Here’s how I saved the deal: I searched Google and found e-mail addresses of the credit union’s CEO and board members. I e-mailed every one of them and told them my story and shared about their employees’ lack of professionalism and how no one was responding. I noted how much time and expense the credit union would lose by taking back the property rather than selling it to my buyer, who was losing interest in every passing day.
Guess what happened? The next day I got a phone call from the CEO. In a week’s time, the deal closed. I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Sometimes, it’s better to quit wasting time and go straight to the top. Take up the issue with the boss or superior rather than continuing to deal with unresponsive people. Go over their heads and take your complaints directly to the president of a company.
A similar incident happened when someone who showed up at my office and said the foreclosure sale on their property would be held one week later and “can you help me,” they said. Just like before, I had a qualified buyer who was ready to proceed as well as a bank that would not respond.
Here’s how I saved that deal: I was persistent and continued the phone calls. After each call to an unresponsive person, I called back and talked to somebody different. Several times I was told, “It’s too late, the foreclosure already has occurred.” Eventually, I made my way up the ladder to the highest supervisor and pled my case.
Guess what happened? The foreclosure was reversed and cancelled and the short sale was accepted.
The best advice I can give to any REALTOR® who wants to save a deal in situations like this is to never quit, work hard and keep trying. If you believe in yourself and in your client, then failure is not an option. Success in life comes at the end of your comfort zone, when you refuse to give up and that’s when the tide will turn in your favor. When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember that you haven’t. It always seems impossible until it’s done. Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who keep on trying.