Every so often, real estate agents encounter real estate hurdles. This usually consists of the bank slowing the offer acceptance process to a crawl, a buyer suddenly losing financing, or other situations that require feats of Real Estate heroism to get their client the home they desire. We would like to run a regular feature that showcases these stories and their positive outcomes entitled: Buyer Tales. If you have a similar, personal tale of Real Estate heroism, share it with us! Or shoot me an email and tell me about it – we may feature your story!
Carla Muss-Jacobs is the Principal Broker/Owner of EBA Portland, LLC, an Exclusive Buyers Agency, as well as a Movoto Partner Agent. Carla has been representing Buyers in the Metro Portland real estate market since 1999. Areas Served: Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Portland, Gresham, Happy Valley . . . the Tri-Counties of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington.
My office is an Exclusive Buyers Agency. We represent buyers exclusively and as a result I can get quite busy on the phones. When the market starts to heat up and buyers are out in the Portland Metro Market I feel it . . . the phone calls and emails come in.
With one such call I received from a first time buyer I asked the cardinal rule of my office: “Are you pre-approved for a loan?”
The caller replied, “Yes,” and we moved the conversation on from there. But, I broke my own office protocol. Oopise. I failed to ask the first time buyer the all important question: How much is your pre-approval?
We scheduled an office consultation and I set the time aside to go over the buying process with Jeff for the following day. And then, at 3:00 a.m. in the morning I get my “enlightenment” — which is the time most of my DUH moments occur. I realized I didn’t know his price points.
Keeping the appointment I met Jeff the following day. First question asked: How much was your pre-approval?
He responded, $95,000.
“Is that with a down payment?” I inquired. Because I know the local market and there is not much of anything at all in that price range that doesn’t require TLC. Oh, heck . . . A LOT OF TLC!
Nope . . . he was pre-approved for $95,000. GULP. In my local market, that doesn’t get a buyer much. But, Jeff didn’t really want much. Just a home to call his own, within his budget, something affordable and to get him out of being a renter.
True to my calling, I pulled up listings in the locations he was interested in. Out of the fifty-four properties that came up <$100,000, they were all CASH ONLY deals. I explained how a listing agent would accept the first born male child if they could . . . so when they write CASH ONLY in the listing sheet under “TERMS” what they are telling us is: it’s a doozy and the property will not qualify for a loan. It just won’t pass appraisal. Period.
When I saw the look of disappointment in Jeff’s eyes, I put on my thinking cap. I really wanted to assist him and I like the challenge of finding viable options. Although our pickings were slim, I recalled the Fannie Mae Home Path Program might be an option. On Fannie Mae foreclosed properties, through Home Path, they do not order an appraisal. That means, as I explained to Jeff, if we could find a property under this program, it won’t have an appraisal, Fannie Mae will loan on their property. Because Jeff was aware of the TLC involved in most — oh, heck ALL – of these types of properties, he was happy to provide his own sweat equity.
Now . . . to find a property under Fannie Mae’s Home Path.
I did my search term magic . . . and low and behold . . . one house showed up. Long story short, we toured it and wrote up the offer.
We’re still in escrow, but I’m telling you . . . my client Jeff is very happy that he called me.