Be Careful What You Wish For ?

Real Estate Agent with The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access

Recently, we have had 2 long, hard-fought short sale deals where we went to war per se to get the deals Be Careful What You Wish For !approved. With diligent follow-up and negotiation and up against a deadline on both deals, the great news is that we got both deals approved !  Woo hoo !!!  Wait, wait... the buyer is no longer interested ??  What ???  Thanks for telling me now buyer agent.   How long have you known this ??  This is 100 percent different from our conversation just one week ago.

One deal was approved within our contract time-line and the other deal was a few days after-wards.  So at least in one case the buyer is in default.  But more importantly than that, what about the time lost for each of these sellers ?  Each deal took approximately 3 months to get that short sale approval.  What are these buyers thinking ?

Is this a trend ?  Are others seeing this in their markets ?  I hope it is just an isolated case for us.

The good news for us is that our streak of every short sale listing we have taking on has received short sale approval.  We will continue to work hard to get new buyers for these properties to maintain our streak of having every short sale listing go to settlement too.

I guess it goes back to that saying for these "remorseful buyers".....  BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR !

Please share similar experiences or what your thoughts are in regards to this situation.



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John Thomas
E3 Green HOMES - Boulder, CO
EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA

I have had nothing but bad luck with short sales...Huge amount of work often going no where. Buyers get frustrated and walk. Sellers are strung out...I think I'll outsource any short sales that come my way to some of my colleagues that seem to have better luck than me. I probably just do not have the patience needed to push them over the finish line. I applaud your efforts. Seems like you have both the patience and the results on your side.

Nov 04, 2009 11:55 PM #1
June Piper-Brandon
Long & Foster Hampden - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

The last short sale we busted our tails on, and kept calling the bank asking about a negotiator to be assigned, they had received the contract, the cma, all the paperwork and documentation from the seller and no negotiator.  The bank said they held off the auction.  Then, the next thing we know the auction happened anyway despite assurances from the bank it wouldn't and we are all out in the cold. 

Nov 05, 2009 12:24 AM #2
Laura Sargent
Carolina One Real Estate - Mount Pleasant, SC

I'm starting to deal more and more with them but the patience all parties must have is impossible to explain to them upfront.  They say they want the home, they say they will wait, and wait, and wait...but in we all know the excitement of owning a home quickly turns into the fear of owning a home.  It really takes a mature educated buyer to stick it out and win in the end!

Nov 05, 2009 12:45 AM #3
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

What a learning experience - Congrats on your approval success. All this experience just helps us to educate clients and other professionals more upfront in hopes that we can avoid such situations!

Nov 05, 2009 01:06 AM #4
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Sorry to hear about that Chris. There are plenty of agents that frankly just don't give a dam! The sad part of this is that there was probably nothing you could do to avoid it.

Nov 05, 2009 03:04 AM #5
Laura Gray
RE/MAX Realty Group - Gaithersburg, MD

Just look at it this way at least you have approvals on the Short Sale properties and you can find another buyer know with terms that are acceptable and get the deal closed.

Nov 05, 2009 06:20 AM #6
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sounds like you have it down.  Maybe you should start teaching the seminars.

Nov 05, 2009 06:42 AM #7
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

What a bummer... I think you are right about  it being an isolated incident and not a trend in the market.. better days are coming...:0)


Nov 05, 2009 09:16 AM #8
Nyssa Smith
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - State College, PA
REALTOR, State College Area Real Estate

Ugh!  So frustrating!  You got approval...and now they don't want to buy!  Argh!  You guys work very hard and I know you will get new buyers very soon!  Keep up the great work!

Nov 05, 2009 11:24 PM #9
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA
Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate.

Steph Somers here. Call me a pessimist or call me a realist. Call me what you will but I never considered myself a particularly "lucky" person. In hindsight, perhaps I am.

I pretty much do a majority of the back end work on the short sales. I will call Chris to bring in the "big guns" when I have exhausted all of my charm with the negotiators of these deals. I see the "Back-out Buyers" being a growing phenomenon. As a matter of fact, from now on, I will assume that at least 1 buyer will back away from every short sale we do between the time we begin the process until we reach the end. I have started to tell our clients to expect needing to go through more than 1 buyers in an effort to prepare them for the possibility. If or when it happens, I want them to have considered the possibility ahead of time. The short sale process is difficult enough for the seller. Educating the consumer is part of the Real Estate profession.

Another little tid-bit to share relating to June's comment above... it is not uncommon for the customer service person at any given bank, not to know what they are talking about. The right hand typically does not know what the left hand is doing. In plain English, the customer service rep for the loss mitigation department or bank may not know how to read the notes, may not fully read the digital files, my not be familiar enough witht he terms used in the notes to feel comfortable reading them, and thus omit very important information. This is not true in all cases but it is sadly true n many cases. I mean no insult. It is just something you as a Realtor need to be aware of.

Just the other day I found that one of our short sale files was "closed-out". A close-out occurs when the bank is not getting a response from the client/Realtor and they just shut the file down and focus on another file. I do not blame them. They are beyond busy. BUT, they closed-out one of my short sales!!! because they claimed that they have been emailing me for a week or two and I had not returned their email. I called at least 2x per week and had to give all of my contact info to the representative including my email and phone number every time. Somehow they wrote down the wrong email once, then they used the wrong email address, and when I had called in, the customer  service reps I spoke to  NEVER communicated that they were trying to contact me. I was tipped off that something was wrong when I made my 3rd call that week and a new automated message revealed a clue that something was wrong: DO NOT CALL AGAIN FOR ANOTHER 30 DAYS. IF YOU DO, IT WILL JEOPARDIZE THE SHORT SALE PROCESS. (Bank of America) Nutty!

No logical explanation can make sense of what can sometimes transpire with Short Sales. Just have no expectations and prepare for an aggressive terrain when you gear up for some of these challenges.

Good luck out there!

Nov 06, 2009 12:19 AM #10
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Up here, if the buyers back out they lose their deposit. It is the only way to keep some of them in the deal.

Nov 18, 2009 03:27 AM #11
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