Short Sale 'Expert', really?!

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker WEST 01358953

I am in the process of closing yet another short sale. It has taken a very long 8+ months with an agent who claimed to be a 'short sale expert' and uses a 'short sale' negotiating team that my buyer had to pay an additional $2,500 for.

First off, I don't think I would ever tout myself as an 'expert' in short sales, because as soon as you do, banks are bought and sold, you now have brand new negotiators you have to deal with, and when you tell the buyers agent, "we should have approval by ( fill in the blank ) days/months",  something will happen that makes you out a liar. Do we really blame the buyers for packing their deposit check and moving on after it has dragged out for so many months that frustration levels are ridiculously high?

I do think it is far better to under promise and over deliver when it comes to short sales, but if we are going to start asking the clients to pay for these so called 'experts' in short sales that still drag on for 7,8,9 or months or more, is it really fair to charge the clients for a service they never really got? Agents clearly use these people to stay on top of the banks so they don't have to, but when it fails, shouldn't we have some sort of clause in the contract that says, "if it takes you longer than (fill in the blank) with a date, our cost goes down by X $ per month ?

Just curious, AR members, how many of you have had similar experiences, or possibly dare I say it, good experiences with the short sale 'experts' when your clients paid for it?

Comments (13)

Kim Dove
Watson Realty Corp - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville FL

Wow ! You have brought up a very good point. I often wonder about these "experts" myself sometimes when the short sale goes horribly wrong.

On the flip side I had a LA tell me that "I am no short sale expert, I have never had to deal with one of these and I don't know what my sellers are doing with the bank".


Jan 05, 2010 04:39 AM
Anthony Moretz
Moretz Realty Partners - Hickory, NC

You are right Carol, an expert is a drip fifty miles from home. It must have been an expert who coined the term short sale.

Jan 05, 2010 04:39 AM
Barbara Le Pine
ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

We have had very few short sales actually close in the Newport area, the ones that do close have taken months.

Jan 05, 2010 04:45 AM
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Well, you can be an expert in the process, but still a bit of luck in who you get at the bank that takes care of things!  not to mention, the seller, You need a cooperative seller for a short sale to work... it is not always the banks fault if the seller doesnt fill out the paperwork (financial disclosures) often it is the seller that holds things up.

I have seen most take 4-5 months, with the occasional one that seems to fly in just a few months.

and Anthony, they are called "short sales" because the bank is taking it in the shorts!

Jan 05, 2010 04:45 AM
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

I don't know why people pay third parties to negotiate their short sales.  If I was your buyer I'd be pretty upset about that fee.  If you don't want to handle short sales don't take the listings, just refer them to someone set up to do it. 

Jan 05, 2010 04:47 AM
Richard Porzio
Denny Grimes & Company Inc. - Fort Myers, FL

The goal of some banks is to let the home owner get a short sale pre-approval directly from the bank before they go their Realtor. For example if the Loan Mods don't work-out it converts to a short sale approval. That sounds good, doesn't it?

Jan 07, 2010 05:32 AM
Kim Bartells
TC Business Management, LLC - - Perkasie, PA
Result Driven Real Estat - Marketing Expert

I actually process short sales for realtors and investors, and the buyer never pays my fee.  Sometimes we can get the bank to pay it and other times the listing agent pays it.

A lot of times, it is the banks that kill short sales.  Especially if there is a first and second and the second decides they want 10%.  Consider that deal dead!  I've seen more seconds kill deals than anything else.  Processors, sellers and agents can't do anything about that and they don't know that it's going to happen until the very end.

Buyers are willing to wait so long b/c they are getting their home for a great price,  but sometimes, the buyers back out 3 months into it with no regard for all the work that has already been put into the deal.  Buyers agents need to better prepare their clients for the long process.

Jan 07, 2010 12:05 PM
Chris Morris
RealtySource Inc., brokerage - Kingston, ON

I'm curious about 'short sales' - it's not a phrase used in Ontario that I'm aware of.  What does it entail?

Jan 07, 2010 02:02 PM
carol Bostwick


I completely understand that no one works for free, and there are often circumstances that are not in control. I have come across some great short sale negotiators, and it is the LISTING AGENT that askes the buyer to pay the fee. It is a service for the listing agent, and my feeling is, if the buyer is having to foot the bill, then they should get some sort of break on price if it doesn't go as planned, because they don't reap any benefit had the listing agent done their job and worked with the bank themselves.


A short sale is a case where the bank is agreeing to take a pay off of  the loan that is less than the origonal loan amount  loaned because property prices have fallen. Thus, a 'short pay'.

Jan 07, 2010 02:21 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Carol, I am in one that has been resubmitted three times we are now in the 8th month a "Short Sale Expert Attorney is handling it" will keep you posted how it turns out.

Jan 09, 2010 06:04 PM
Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor/Broker Associate
Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor - San Pedro, CA
Getting you to your next with a zero failure rate!


The buyer should not have to pay for a service they never receive.  As far as I am concerned if a listing agent wants a negotiator then let them pay for it themselves.  That may not make me too popular but that is not fair to the buyer!



Jan 09, 2010 07:09 PM
Kim Bartells
TC Business Management, LLC - - Perkasie, PA
Result Driven Real Estat - Marketing Expert


I agree that the Listing Agent should pay for the service - entirely.  Not the buyers - ever.  I don't understand how they can justify charging the buyer for it.  The 'tips and tricks' to a successful short sale are limited.  It's really just follow up and more follow up. 

Good luck on any future SS!

Jan 24, 2010 07:00 AM
Carol Bostwick


The listing agent I worked with on this deal made it perfectly clear that she would not send my offer to the bank for approval unless my clients, in advance, signed a counter that said they would pay the $2,500. She claimed it was at the banks' insistence...Ya, right! But what can you do when presented with a situation such as this? The buyers had waited so long they were willing to do just about anything to close this deal. Between this and cutting our commissions, what's next?!

Jan 24, 2010 07:17 AM