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As a Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent, I loved this post by my friend Elizabeth Weintraub, a Sacramento Short Sale Agent. The five stages of the Short Sale process that she outlines will have Short Sale Sellers shaking their heads in agreement.
There is a lot of anger in short sales. Sellers can get stuck in any one of the 5 stages of a short sale, but I see a lot of them who struggle to push past the anger stage. It festers and churns, like a supervolcano underground, and it might never erupt. Unresolved anger can eat away at a seller's inner core. That anger needs to be released, and hopefully not directed at their Sacramento short sale agent. Sometimes, I gotta duck to move out of the way of that flying fry pan.
The anger manifests itself in subtle ways that is apparent to me when I walk through their homes. I spot it in the ripped out speakers from the ceiling, the missing light pendants over the kitchen counter, the big hole in the front yard where a tree once stood. People who are not angry do not remove fixtures from a home. Fixtures don't belong to the homeowner, they are part of the lender's security for the loan. I also see anger in the dirt and debris left behind. Some sellers don't even vacuum.
Why are short sale sellers so mad? They are mad because they have to do a short sale. Unfortunately, people who are this angry come to a short sale often as a last resort and not as their first option. They are mad at their boss for letting them go. They are mad at their spouse and children because they are there. They are mad at their new employer for not paying them a higher salary. They are mad at politicians, the newscasters on TV, and Chevron, Safeway, VISA and Wall Street. But most of all, they are mad at their bank.
The 5 Stages of a short sale are the same as the 5 stages of grief:
Denial: They don't open mail from the bank, and they ignore the late notices.
Anger: They don't want to live in the home anymore, just hearing their bank's name makes them cringe.
Negotiation: They write a hardship letter to the bank, asking for a short sale.
Depression: They feel hopeless and helpless and out of control while waiting for short sale approval.
Acceptance: They find a place to move into, and begin to heal after the short sale is granted.
The sellers who never move past the anger stage are often the sellers the banks reject for a short sale. They are the sellers who blame the bank for the mess they are in. If the bank never made them the loan, they wouldn't be underwater, so it must be the fault of the bank. (It IS certainly the bank's fault for not granting a loan modification and taking forever to eventually reject them.) If the bank requests a seller contribution, they absolutely will not do it, even if it means the home will go to foreclosure, and their credit rating will tank for the next 10 years.
These are not really homeowners who should be applying for a short sale. These are homeowners who are simply stretching out the inevitable. Which is foreclosure. Deep down, they know it. And that makes them even madder.
Photo: Big Stock Photo
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying columnist for The New York Times-owned About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout Sacramento. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. DRE License # 00697006.
Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.
The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate.
Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice. It could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker- Licensed in Virginia, GRI, SFR, Northern Virginia Short Sale Specialist. Affiliated with Long & Foster, 7526 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155. To contact Chris Ann, call 703-402-0037 or email chrisann@LNF.com. Or you can visit her website: www.nvarealestate.net.
Header photos taken by Chris Ann Cleland.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.