Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Progress at Last? (Or: Could Real Estate Not Suck So Much?)

Yesterday evening, I got a call from my agent with an update on the home Beth and I want to buy (recall from a prior post the home is a "short sale," and thus can take a looooong time to even get approval to purchase). Tentatively, I'll chalk this up as "good news."

Gene told us that the listing agent had at last gotten feedback from the bank, and that the bank was likely to accept our offer and want a 30-day closing, and that the listing agent wanted to confirm we were still interested & ready to buy (as if getting weekly calls and needling from our agent didn't confirm that interest, eh?)

The closing date isn't unexpected, either, assuming the bank does approve the sale. Why? It's August 19th now, and the bank will want to complete the sale before the end of the quarter to get it off their books (carrying defaulted or endangered loans hurts the bank's quarterly reports, to make a long story short). Assuming it takes the bank another week to churn through the approval process, that would put closing right at the end of the quarter. And it works well for us, assuming the sale is approved soon, as it could mean we don't even have to extend our apartment lease at all (yay!) and might only have another month and change there.

Unfortunately, due to other offers having been made on the home, we had to include an escalation clause in our offer (a bidding war in a "buyer's market"--go figure, huh?), and the listing agent said he thought the bank was going to accept exactly the top figure of our escalation clause. Again, not really a surprise; I'm just hoping the bank doesn't say, "Well, they were willing to offer $10k more in escalation over their offered price; maybe they'll be willing to go a bit higher still?" and counter us, because we don't have time to get involved in extensive negotiations with them at this point--particularly if it meant going into the next quarter, as the bank might then take their time well into late November or early December waffling and waiting for more offers.

Our agent has suggested we go ahead with a home inspection even without the bank's ratification of the contract--a slight risk, as we could be out the $400 or so is the bank declines the sale. I agree with him, though; we had to remove the inspection contingency from our offer previously because banks tend not to allow them (after all, the bank is already losing money on the sale; they don't want to spend more money fixing problems found in an inspection). So if there are any problems to be found, now is the time to do so, before the bank agrees to the sale. (Technically, any bad problems would cause our loan to be declined by the FHA underwriters, so we'd be "safe" even without the contingency provisions, but we'd have to go through the whole loan process to get there first.)

Looks like things could be looking up for us, and that Didi and Chance may finally get a Chateau Papillon! I'll be cautiously optimistic for now...

1 comment:

John Nolley II said...

A quick update: things are still moving forward; we've got our home inspection scheduled (though no word yet if the listing agent has actually informed the sellers of that!) The listing agent has also claimed, counter to VA law, that the bank is going to require their settlement company be used; we've done some research on said settlement company and are okay with that, though we'll be having our own settlement staff pour over things just-in-case, too. Maybe the bank does require that, but I'm more of the mind the listing agent is enjoying cracking the whip and being a control freak over our agent.