JS: He just thanked me so much and he couldn’t believe it. He had pretty much given up and I kept pushing him. What a weight off his shoulders! He couldn’t believe that it was actually over.
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Here is Soto’s contest-winning story in full.
Short Sale with a Coast Guard Family
“In August of 2011, our office listed a home owned by a young Coast Guard family that got transferred from North Carolina to Florida. In May of 2013, we finally went to settlement. This was by far the most difficult transaction I have ever had during my career as a REALTOR®.
Mr. Coast Guard listed the property with our office and at the time I was not the listing agent. An offer was not received by April of 2012 and the family left the property at the end of 2011. It went to a short sale. In the middle of Feb 2012 an offer was received by the listing agent and the transaction was under way. The agent that had listed the property left the company in the beginning of June and the transaction had fallen apart, as the bank had not received proper updates from the seller or the agent. The short sale process had expired and the agent advised the seller to just walk away. I called the seller and talked with him, advising him otherwise. I made a promise to myself that I was going to help this family that had no power over the bank.
We received three more offers, two of which walked away due to waiting so long to get an approval. The third one was accepted by the seller in the beginning of January 2013 and sent off to the bank. From January to April, I contacted the bank on a weekly basis, sometimes two or three times a week. Sometimes I would be on the phone for two hours just trying to get an answer from someone. The buyers were very frustrated, their agent was frustrated, and of course, so were the sellers!
I spent more hours on the phone just trying to find out a status on the file, as the property was now going into foreclosure and I was trying to beat that clock. The relationship manager told me she was working with 350 files, and that the system was set up for her to go by whatever the email or file of the day would be, which rotated around. This was so unbelievable to me. I would say that the employees at this bank are overworked and cannot give good service to anyone.
I spoke to their customer service area so many times and was given a run around most of the time, as they were just there to answer the phone, due to the changes that our congress had put into place. We were still waiting on approval in March. Towards the beginning of April we received a rejection on the price due to an appraisal that had been ordered. I thought I was going to lose it with the bank. I got in touch with a manager after being on the phone for three hours, and submitted documents that supported the sales price, along with current MLS information. In 72 hours, I had the bank approval for the price; however, it still took 15 more days to get an approval letter. The bank then gave the purchaser 30 days to close and to receive the funds.
The purchasers were happy, but irritated.