Once upon a time, during my days as a stockbroker at Charles Schwab, I used to cringe at phone calls from traders looking for quotes from the Philadelphia Options Exchange. Any quote older than 15 minutes was considered “stale” and the quotes at the Philly usually were staler than a waiting room magazine.
It was easy to picture a floor trader half asleep at his console with a cheese steak in one hand and a Victoria’s Secret catalogue in the other (actually seen at the Chicago Board Options Exchange – the magazine, not the cheese steak), waking up to the beeping from the terminal when someone had the audacity to ask for a price.
Trading these options was like shooting in the dark because the price always seemed to “move away” – to be different from what you first saw, all within the rules, and there was almost no way to get an answer as to what the real price is.
These days, I feel like one of those folks struggling to find the real price.
My seller and I now are nearing the end of our second month of trying to get an answer on a short sale from Countrywide. A negotiator was assigned after six weeks (which could have been two, had the status been entered correctly and had any one of the several agents I spoke with noticed the error) and that’s where we stand.
I’ve been told the negotiator will get to the file as soon as she has a chance. That the file has been sitting there gathering dust for so long doesn’t matter. That there are people whose futures hang in the balance doesn’t matter. They’ll get to it when they get to it.
It’s a given that this process takes time. But you still would think the lenders would be a touch more motivated. As was detailed in an article (ironically) about Countrywide’s pilot program to expedite Fannie Mae approvals, lenders stand to lose far more if the home goes to foreclosure than they do with a short sale. The ability to gain a higher net ought to be motivation enough.
But it’s not.
Fortunately, we have a patient buyer who understands this is a process. But still, it’s a process that should be better than this. After all, even the Philly exchange eventually got its act together at the risk of becoming obsolete.[tags]Phoenix real estate, short sales[/tags]