Today a mortgage loan originator said to me “Why don’t you just chill out and let this deal close?”
The “ deal” she was referring to is a home sale transaction in which I represent the seller as his listing agent. I had just read the settlement statement for our upcoming closing, and noted that the seller was being charged more in closing costs than he agreed to pay in the sales contract.
When I notified the closing attorney’s office of the error, I was told that the lender had instructed those costs to be charged to my client, so I wrote the loan originator asking her to fix the error.
I will admit in fairness that getting to this point in the transaction had been a strenuous task for everyone; the buyer and their agent, the lender, myself, and more importantly to me, my client the seller.
The buyers were obtaining a VA loan, and a couple weeks ago the VA appraisal came in several thousand dollars less than the sale price.
All the parties to the transaction believed that the property was worth more than the VA appraiser thought it was, as proven by the contractual agreement.
Although the buyer’s broker and loan originator had asked me to convince the seller to accept the lower price, he and I felt like it was worth trying to prove to the appraiser that the value was there.
I am not a licensed appraiser (although I used to be) but I succeeded in finding several comparable sold properties which the seller and I thought would justify the original sale price. The appraiser refused to look at the detailed report I had prepared and presented to him. With my client’s encouragement I contacted the VA regional loan processing center and forwarded them the comparable sales data. After waiting for over a week, we found out that the first VA appraiser has the final say, and he had again refused to budge on his valuation.
The next step would have been to request and pay for a review appraisal. By this time the buyers were understandably getting concerned about where they would live and were starting to look at other properties. Reluctantly my seller client decided to accept the losses of the lower price, close the sale and move on with his life.
I would have supported the seller’s decision to cancel the sale and put the house back on the market, had he done so. There is a good chance we could have resold the property at his asking price and gotten a better appraisal- as long as we didn’t accept a contract conditioned on a VA loan (because that appraisal stays in the system)
So… no, I will not “chill out and let the deal close”. Whether I am representing the buyer or the seller in a transaction, I will work for my client.
If he(or she) decides that closing the deal is in their best interest, than that’s what we will do.