Monday, October 25, 2010

Short Sales. Short, NO. Sales. Possibly.

As I write this post, I think back to the wonderful seminar Bank of America gave at the beginning of the year about how great and easy their Equator system would be - transparency, efficiency, etc. to get Short Sales Processed. Cut to April. I find a friend that has a true need to sell - he's relocating, out of the country, no less, and because he bought at the height of the market, will have to sell short.

So, backed with my new knowledge of the fabulous process in place at BofA, we move forward. We get a buyer. We start uploading docs. A month or so goes by. We are contacted by the bank to arrange for their appraisal. The condo appraises above the offer, and the buyer backs out. The Bank says we must start over.

We market the property - and because I respect the Seller and his concerns of the other residents of the building, don't put the unit on lock box - preferring to provide a service to the Seller as promised. Another offer comes in it's early August now - at the price the Bank approved for the first buyer. The market has softened, and the other units in the building for sale are pulled from the market if they are regular sales, and one short sale goes back to the bank. Values in the building are down.

Alas, Bank of America calls for another independent appraisal. This time, the "value" of the unit is 10k HIGHER than the prior appraisal. Negotiations happen, the buyer steps up. The Bank continues to ask for the same documents to be uploaded in to their "efficient-transparent-fabulous" online system, and proceed with a series of ridiculous asks for all involved in the transaction. Time goes by....

We are now TWO BANKING QUARTERS in to this process, and still don't have the bank's ok to go to escrow. The buyer is getting antsy, and who can blame her?

The banks and their CEO’s - who I didn't think were in the position of wanting to own property, sure seem to want to hold on to a lot of it....Here's hoping we can close by year end. There are lots of unknowns still to work out as we move ahead - the only thing that is for certain is the banks continue to screw with the very people that deposit money and enable them to reap their huge year end bonuses, and the ordinary folks who have life changes and needs continue to suffer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Beverly Hills and PRETTY WOMAN

So I'm spending the first day of my Labor Day weekend NOT laboring. Instead, I got caught up in the chickflick known as PRETTY WOMAN. Aside from the fact that Julia Roberts and Richard Gere look SO darn young, I am loving the scenes of LA. I also find it VERY amusing that the Beverly Wilshire Hotel rarely has traffic in front of it in the movie - unlike real life.

I'm very glad cell phones have progressed since 1990 - they were carrying bricks around with antennas. And, even though I knew where the story was going, I teared up. I'm a sap.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today I met a client in Koreatown adjacent/Echo Park to look at a house. It was a Craftsman, that still had some semblance of that style remaining, but had been "updated" by a prior owner. It struck me driving back how these unique neighborhoods had evolved over time in LA - how downtown grew and spread, and how each area has had its own celebrated, and sometimes infamous, past. Of course I came back and checked it out on Wikipedia...

It made me think back to one of the reasons I became a Realtor(R). I wanted to explore ALL that LA has to offer. I want to appreciate the history of this relatively new city - and really take advantage of the diversity of the city. So here's my pledge - I will try to do so regularly - and report back to the Blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

So here goes....

This blog started as a result of a lunch. A great lunch with a colleague, at a restaurant called Good on Sunset. About once a quarter (since we worked together on a deal), we've met for a bite and to talk shop. The end result of this meeting, besides getting backed into in a hit and run that was recorded by a kindly citizen who asked for money in exchange for the information, was this blog.

Doing a blog has been on the radar for some time, but it's one of those things I keep saying "I'll get to it" like organizing and scanning all the photos I took in high school or transferring my cassette tapes to digital. Now, however, I am accountable to my colleague, and I will do my darndest to keep from getting the guilt-ridden reminder emails.

So for you, Mr. Westerhout, here is post #1.