On Real Estate

Jim Valentine: More tales from the trenches

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Real estate is a very fluid industry with many personal stories involving agents, buyers and sellers and their transactions. Some are lifetime highlights, some troubling and many are just plain miracles to always be remembered. We like to share some of these from time to time to let buyers and sellers know that what they are experiencing is not really that unusual.

Dealing with underwriters is always an adventure as one isn’t quite sure what will happen along the way until you get to the end, the close of escrow. Lending underwriters seem to have created a sense of self-importance since the poor-lending-practices-induced recession of 2008. Their creativity in finding ways to light the hoops on fire that they make the borrower jump through can be amazing, We recently experienced a doozy where everything was approved and at the last minute the underwriter asked for proof of acquisition of the gold bullion that the buyer sold for the down payment.

The buyer bought it from the same company that she later sold it back to and had a bill of sale for the resale. She also had the cancelled check with “bullion” in the subject line from when she purchased it, but the underwriter said that was insufficient documentation. We questioned who would think she bought $22,000 worth of soup bouillon? Our great lender went over the underwriter directly to Freddie Mac where the representative said that was personal property and the documentation was sufficient. Instead of the transaction getting blown up over idiocy, we closed it thanks to a seasoned lender. Don’t experiment with lenders.

When money gets tight, or expensive, there are ways to bring equity to the table in the right situation. Sellers don’t always need cash to make things work. Find out what makes them tick and see what you have. Some of the non-cash supplements we’ve done to make a transaction include: a purebred Australian Shepard puppy whose grandfather was the world Frisbee champion, a 1964 GS 400 automobile, 1937 Ford Pickup, a Rainbow vacuum, 10 pair (cow/calf), 1957 Chevy pickup with engine and transmission upgrades, penny stock and more.

Lenders and escrow officers are people too. When we get to the holidays often times buyers, sellers and agents focus too much on their desire to accomplish their goal and want those fine folks to forego their time with family to tend to their loan and escrow. Some folks work extra hard to create the joy of closing this time of year, but not always. One pleasant year end, however, we received an acceptance of an offer from a lender for their bank-owned property at five minutes to five on New Year’s Eve. Nice way to end the year and start a new one! That was a very conscientious lender.

Deal with seasoned people, whether a lender, escrow officer, agent, etc., for they have seen a lot of things and can adjust quickly and efficiently when the anomaly situation enters your transaction to keep things moving forward correctly. As the market tightens more things will happen so be ready for them and don’t overreact, act. You have a goal of a closed escrow. The path to that end isn’t always straight and the flight isn’t always without bumps, but remember that the objective is to get there safely with a smooth landing.

The essence of a real estate professional is to be a problem solver. If it was easy they wouldn’t be needed. When things occur, and they will, is when agents “earn their keep.” Your agent should handle trouble easily with the mindset of “what’s a hurdle to a hurdler?” That’s how things get done regardless of the obstacles.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless!  Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, BS.3481, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com 


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