Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with banks

Really, I'm 110% over the bank owned REO thing. I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with banks and their stupid requirements.

I swear that lately the big banks and Fannie Mae, and especially the Realtors who work for them, are trying to make it hard to buy their properties.

Here’s a mere sampling of what I mean.


Please email documents to this email: [actual email address removed to protect the stupid]. Do not email the Realtor personally. Emails to the Realtor will not be accepted! Do not fax! Faxes will not be accepted.  After emailing, please note that originals of all documents must be delivered to the Realtor’s office.

Really? You won’t respond to my buyer’s offer documents unless I email them to your super-special address? And you wouldn’t like a chance to look at the offer if I faxed it to you?  And then after all that I have to “deliver” the original documents to your office, which is 1 hour away from mine? What do you mean “deliver”? Is US postal mail OK? Or do I have to hire a bicycle messenger? Or should I hire a guy in a gorilla suit to hand deliver the documents? Why?

Or this one…


(seller’s Realtor’s email to me) Buyer’s Earnest deposit will immediately become non-refundable if an extension to Close of Escrow is requested. ** BE AWARE that the Seller has been known to cancel a Contract if any deadline is not met or if extensions are requested. **

Um, yeah.  This is a Fannie Mae contract. It was written by federal government attorneys. Every single Fannie Mae home sold in Arizona – and possibly in the whole country – is sold using the exact same form of contract documents. They do not say this.

The seller’s Realtor cannot change the terms of the contract with something written to the Buyer’s Realtor in an email. Any first-year law school student would tell you that written contracts trump emailed threats.

More idiocy…


Seller requires a Lead Based Paint Addendum on all contracts regardless of age.

I assume you mean the age of the home, not my buyer’s age. Regardless, you are aware that lead based paint forms are a federal government requirement, and are only required on homes built prior to 1978? So you’re adding a layer of bureaucracy on top of the federal government’s bureaucracy? Great.  Because we all know how much everybody loves bureaucratic red tape.

Another…


You MUST provide a REVISED PURCHASE CONTRACT/OFFER that matches the REO As Is Purchase Addendum IN ITS ENTIRETY (if applicable due to counter-offer). Seller will not sign the Contract unless ALL TERMS in the Contract and Addendum MATCH!

Really? I mean, come on, really? The legal purpose of an Addendum is to override some of the terms of the original contract. Your lawyers created the Addendum, you should know that! By design, an offer and an REO Addendum will not match in their entirety. But because your clerks can’t be bothered to communicate with your corporate lawyers, I have to revise the 9-page contract buyers already signed, have them sign it again, and then send the entire shebang to your super-secret email address. Great.  I had nothing else planned for today.

Oh but wait, there’s more…


(received at 9:03am on Wednesday) . . . .You must return all documents with original ink signatures to our office by 5:00pm Central Standard Time today. If we do not receive your signed documents by that time, Seller will cancel your offer and accept offers from any other interested buyers.

Ok, let me get this straight. I emailed my buyer’s offer to your super secret email address 11 calendar days ago. I called to confirm you received it. After sitting on buyer’s offer for 11 days, now you’re demanding that my buyer sign and return your As Is Addendums in less than 8 hours?! What were you doing for 11 days? And why do you get 11 days but Buyers only get 7 hours?

And yet more…


You MUST provide a copy of the certified check in the amount of the earnest deposit as stated on the Addendum.

Me: OK, fine. Which title company do you require we use?

Bank’s Realtor: We don’t know yet. Bank will assign that later.

Me: How in the name of all that’s holy is my buyer supposed to get a cashier’s check from his bank made out to “we don’t know yet”? Head’s up, smartypants. Banks don’t like making out cashier’s checks to no one.

This is maybe my all-time favorite…


I submitted our buyer’s offer on a condo. I got an auto-responder email confirming the seller’s Realtor received it. Nothing happened for 5 business days.
Day 6, Me:  “I’m calling to see if the selling bank made a decision on our buyer’s offer that we sent to you 6 days ago?”

Seller’s Realtor’s Assistant: (clicking computer keys) “Hmmmm.  We don’t seem to have that offer. Could you re-send it?”

Me: “Do you have any other offers at this time?”

Assistant: “No, we don’t.”

I re-send the buyer’s offer. Within 4 hours, I get an email that goes like this:
"We now have multiple offers on this property. Please submit your buyer’s ‘highest and best’ offer within the next 2 hours in order for it to be considered. Please include original ink signatures, as the bank no longer accepts electronic signatures.

Please also include your buyers’ blood type and a sample, a stool sample and social security number, as well as his birth date and pictures of his first born child which may be used as collateral against the property at the seller’s discretion.”

OK. I admit it. That last bit about bodily fluids and children I made up. But sometimes I need a little comic relief from the exciting adventure of trying to help people buy REO foreclosure homes. And sometimes the bank’s requirements are nearly that ridiculous.

But really, the important thing is this: I sent you an offer that you sat on and did nothing with for 5 business days. Within 4 hours of me re-sending that offer, you mysteriously have multiple offers?! Do you think I just fell off the turnip truck yesterday?

I have had this happen three times in the past 2 or 3 years. Twice, my buyers called the banks’ bluff, held firm at the original offer price, and won the so-called multiple offer bidding war anyway.  Once, my buyer called their bluff and lost out to the phantom ‘other’ buyer. Five days after that, the property is still showing as Active, For Sale in the local MLS.

<I am now banging head against my computer keyboard.
Hard. And repeatedly.>


Oh, banks. You’re just so silly! When will you go away and leave us all alone?