Mr. Seller, didn't I mention not to Modify while we are Short Selling?

Real Estate Agent with Future Home Realty

I love my career, I really do! In life, we know that something of value is learned every day, so long as we keep our eyes and ears wide open. Other days, you can simply pick up the phone with a cup of coffee in your hand, following up on a short sale offer in process and hear utterly, shocking words...."Your client is not in our short sale template...Click, Click, Click...Well, it looks like he modified his loan."

This is a first and a second with Bank of America. I worked very diligently to make sure we had all the proper documentation, on their forms. It was stacked neatly with a full priced offer and pre-approval (from a direct lender), loan number on all the pages, the uptodate CMA, listing get the point.

As we called in to get a status update, we have confirmation that the packet has been "received" and is being "reviewed". During the second follow up- there was some trouble? "We don't seem to have anything in our record". How could this be? "I am sorry, but we don't seem to have it in our file, if you want you can re-fax." It's a bank, it's a short sale- things happen and so that's why my first reaction was not to call my seller but rather, get everything re-submitted ASAP. Unfortunatley, and I don't blame them, the buyer moved on. We signed the release. We must start again. I was so baffeled- I mean, I know there is nothing short about a short sale...but seriously, it was just so off whack?

I didn't call BofA and say 'Hey- the buyers walked, forget the offer"..No, I let it stay, hoping that by the time we can get another good offer in, the bank would have done a BPO and come in with an acceptance.  I still hadn't had a BPO after all this time- are you kidding me, they couldn't even verify the packet anymore?  Well, here it is dear seller decided that he was going to modify his loan while we were working on the short sale. He decided that he was tired of the letters and calls and just wanted to make them stop until the house was sold. His credit was being so damaged...there may have been more to his conversation, but the heat in my face must have been drowning it out . My moms words..."If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" in front of my eyes....I engaged in the 24 hour rule, which I think is one of the best techniques- just need 24 hours before moving forward on a current situation.

Word of advice, at least for Bank of America- they have templates- like one for short sales and one for loan modifications. When Mr. Seller applied for the loan mod.-he didn't tell them that his home was for sale, that it currently had an offer- and they didn't ask. So, they took his loan and set it up for loan modification. It bumped me out of the short sale template. Why, they couldn't see that he was in review, I do not know? If anyone has light to shed- by all means. Maybe he never really was in review?

Needless to say, he has to move because of health issues so there is no way around selling this home and being that it is worth half of what he owes, he is going to have to try to get an approval for a short sale. I have too much time and energy into this to let it go into the hands of another agent, although the thought did cross my mind. More importantly though, I go over the listing presentation and our entire conversation and wonder. "Where did I go wrong?" In my heart, I don't think I did. I believe that he was just trying to make his life easier and figured he won't tell his agent and that everything will be just fine. I think he figured that he won't tell his agent because deep down he knew that I would advise against that for very important reasons.

Ah...Lessons Learned:

1. Make sure that moving is their true and only motivation. If they desire a loan modification, they should attempt that first. (Which by the way I did, however, now I know that I must further include #2)

2. If they should get a phone call from their lender telling them that they can modify their loan and reduce the payments, tell your lender that the home is currently on the market for sale. If there is an offer on the property, please let them know that too. (Which by the way I did, however, now I know that I must further include #3)

3. If you do not disclose that you are active on the market and/or active with a contract and modify your loan- this will negate the entire offer- including our agreement and that will be considered breach of contract.

We are not in the business to sue our clients, but at least by adding this last statement in writing, it will make them more aware and educated than my Seller was on this particular situation. I must take fault on this first time, as it is a new one to me. However, I believe as the loan modifications start to develop as the short sales have over the last year and half, we might see an increase of this "misunderstanding" on the Sellers side.

Any thoughts or feedback is much appreciated!


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