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What are the chances that we could clear all of these hurdles and actually close?

I first thought of titling this post, "Why you should send me all of your Austin-area referrals", and you will soon see why.  If this post doesn't serve as adequate evidence that we work hard for our clients, nothing will. 

I wrote a post that ended up getting featured a couple of weeks ago with regard to a home that had an appraisal review that came in $55,000 under the original third-party appraisal.  You might want to read that one first:

Sign of the Times? A new experience for this real estate veteran

I promised to provide an update on this particular deal back then, and I am happy to report that we CLOSED tonight! 

After the original post was written, the third review of the appraisal was completed, and the second bank simply requested more comps from the appraiser, who provided four additional sales to substantiate the original price, for a total of seven comparables.  I told my buyers that this was "the most appraised house in central Texas".

From the paperwork side, the new bank was VERY picky and even changed one loan condition after it was met.  Ridiculous!  My buyers got really skittish and didn't call or email me for almost five days, then wanted to meet and discuss everything, because they were concerned about the value.  After a two-hour evening meeting which frankly felt very much like I imagine building a court case must feel, we were back on track.

Last Thursday afternoon, I decided on a whim to catch a movie with a friend of mine from church.  During the second half of the movie, I received no less than twelve voice mails relating to this transaction.  I dreaded even listening to them, and I was justified in feeling this way, as several of them were about a water leak in the yard, and several others were about additional loan documentation required of the buyers. 

What are the chances?

I told my friend that I didn't have a lot of hope that it would close.  Actually, I think I said, "It ain't happening."  We said a quick prayer about it, and parted ways.

Earlier this week, the buyers had to provide a paper trail for their down payment funds, most of which came from his accounts in Germany.  The documents were submitted Tuesday - in GERMAN, and in EUROS!  Believe it or not, the loan officer minored in German in college, so he was able to translate the docs and provide a synopsis and "roadmap" for the underwriter using historical conversion rates from Euros to dollars. 


This week, I managed to get my title company to tentatively schedule the closing for 6pm today, which was a blessing in and of itself.  I have never had a title company do this for me after hours, but my buyers couldn't make it any earlier, so I was thankful to have a good friend who was willing to help.   

This was simply awesome.

This morning, my buyer brought up the sprinkler system, which was not working during our walkthrough, so they wanted to know if it had truly been repaired.  I went to the house and checked all 11 zones to make sure that it was in full working condition.  I didn't want to risk any problems on this one.

Lastly, as if anything else could possibly go wrong with this deal, my buyer called me today at 3:20pm, and said that she was going to try her best to get the cashier's check before the day ended, but it didn't sound very likely.  I spoke with my business partner, Frank, and he reminded me that he has some good friends at Wells-Fargo, where I knew at least some of the funds were.  He was able to get in contact with a branch manager friend, who agreed to give him the cashier's check on behalf of our buyer if they could speak with her and get her account number and verify her identity. 


I tried unsuccessfully to reach both of my buyers, then I got a frantic call from her at 4:56pm.  She was headed to her other bank to get the larger portion of the funds, then she had planned to go to Wells-Fargo.  Instead, I got her in touch with the guy we knew and my partner picked up the check and met me at the closing.


Overall, this was one of the most challenging deals that I have yet encountered, and it drew on all of my skills as a broker and salesperson, along with calling in some favors, and praying for a successful conclusion.  I mentally gave up at least three times, but I never stopped working, and I am relieved that it is over, especially since it is accompanied by a nice payday tomorrow.  I still feel that this is indicative of the tightening mortgage situation, since my buyers' credit scores are in the low 700's and they had 20% down, yet getting the financing in place was like pulling teeth.

The listing agent was simply terrific to work with (and I very rarely feel this way), and we are meeting tomorrow for lunch.  She wants to discuss the possiblity of me serving as the broker-of-record for a new venture that she is starting.  Bonus!  We really bonded over this deal, and we were forced to work together to get it resolved.  One of the more surprising elements was that neither of us had to give up a dime of our commission to get it done.

So, a mere two and a half months after we started (and 3.5 weeks after our original closing date), we are finished. 

Thanks for reading this post!

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