Monday, June 15, 2009

Short Sale Update … Are They Working … Worth It?

The Short Sale has gone from something that few practitioners had ever heard of to a commonly used real estate term. When they first became popular they were nearly impossible to implement. Lenders were so hard to work with that most Short Sale efforts were for naught. Things have changed considerably to a point where they are feasible though not for the faint of heart.

The Seller must provide substantial information to prove need including a Hardship Letter, Financial Statement, bank statements, paycheck stubs, tax returns, etc. The Lender wants to know what changed the borrower’s repayment ability, and if there are other assets that could be used to repay, i.e.- cash, stock holdings, other real property assets. This takes work, but is required and worth it.

We’ve learned a lot in the past eighteen months about doing Short Sales. It used to be frustrating when the lender would say that we weren’t authorized to talk to them even though we had submitted the correct paperwork. It was frustrating when they said they had not received our FAX transmission of the documents. This was common, and done repeatedly – we would send each package, all 60-plus pages, three times. It didn’t matter who the lender was, this is what the agent encountered. We now know that they are taught how to get agents off the phone as quickly as possible and those were two of their best techniques. With this knowledge we know to stay the course on the phone, ask for a supervisor and ultimately they will find everything to be in order and we can proceed with the business that needs to be done. It is one way that agents have achieved a higher level of success in implementing Short Sales.

There are scavengers hovering over distressed property owners so be careful who you agree to work with and what services you agree to pay for. There are those that are trying to tie your property up with an option at a low price while they try to flip it in a double escrow. No, it isn’t legal, but it is a predatory practice that is presently occurring. Other services are being offered with the understanding that the lender will pay for them. The problem is that the lender won’t pay for them and the already cash-strapped Seller has to pay. Yet another scammer offered to tell the Seller how to cure her loan that was in default for $5,000. She paid – the advice, “Pay your loan current.” True story.

Our advice: Sellers can realize great benefits and Buyers can get a very good price with a Short Sale transaction if you stick it out and allow it to work. Make sure the Listing agent is Short Sale savvy. Short Sales have become an area of special expertise just like dealing with industrial properties or ranch properties. Realtors aren’t to work outside of their area of knowledge and we believe the Short Sale has become an area that the inexperienced shouldn’t indulge without a mentor. Allow enough time, and be patient. There are significant steps to each SS transaction that you want to look for to assure progress: a. The package was received. b. The BPO was received, c. A negotiator has been assigned. d. A decision to accept or Counter is reached. Short Sales are closing much to the benefit of Buyers, Sellers and Lenders.

The latest lender technique we’ve encountered – telling us the Mortgage Insurance company requires them to get a specific minimum amount on their loan. The problem it’s a second and there is no PMI. The first won’t pay more and they will be wiped out if they don’t take the payment the first authorized. They continue to play these games to get more money. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs …
Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472.,

1 comment:

CoachingByPeter said...

Buyers must do thorough research on some info about short sale for lenders may not disclose all necessary details. There maybe some delay on the approval process due to the condition of the documents.