The Short Sale Dilemma

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ERA Atlantic Realty

I have a Short Sale Dilemma.  I am attending the Atlanta training for CDPE (Certified Default Property Short Sale Yard SignExpert) this week and pondering whether the money spent for this course is a good investment or throwing good money after bad.

I learned the art of the short sale 6 years ago from a Ron LeGrand course and did several dozen Atlanta short sales before I realized teaching others how to do them was far more lucrative than doing them myself.

While it is true that Short Sale is the new buzz-word for many struggling real estate agents desperate to survive the stagnant housing market, most agents doing them agree they are difficult, time-consuming and far from a slam dunk.  

Since all the evidence points to short sales becoming the NEW Holy Grail for real estate agents, I too am ready to jump back in and crank up my short sale machine.  If short sales are going to be big, we as real estate agents should educate ourselves for the approaching opportunity and re-position some or even all of our business to exploit this niche right? => Click here for full post.Success or Failure Street Sign

Do You think ramping up your short sale business will lead to success or failure?  I would love your perspective.

Comments (8)

The Villages Florida Real Estate
RE/MAX Premier Realty - The Villages, FL
Living and Loving Florida!

I just took the SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure certification course). I am so glad that I did. Realtors really need to learn how to successfully complete a short sale. Taking this course was well worth the money and time.

Mar 07, 2010 02:26 PM
Greg Kurzner

Thanks for your comment.  I agree the more educated and trained agents will reap the rewards of short sales if there is any to reap.  My worry is that there isn't.  I have 16 separate short sales going and realistically only expect 3 or 4 to actually work.  I often wonder if it is worth it.

Mar 07, 2010 02:39 PM
Johnny Sabic - North Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Real Estate

I don't like short sales and I don't recommend them to my buyers clients


Atlanta Real Estate Listings and Homes for Sale

Mar 07, 2010 02:52 PM
Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin
M3 Realty - Brookfield, WI


I read your full post. Some agents are successfully completing short sales en masse - so does that make them successful real estate agents? Some hire "negotiators" to do the hardest part - battling it out with the lender or servicer, leaving the agent to spend time lead generating and marketing. The lenders and servicers seem overwhelmed by the volume so they can't process large volumes in reasonable amounts of time. They need to hire and train more people, but seems they're backlogged on that too. Government throws in some "guidelines" (every-other week) and the constantly changing rules or procedures keep everybody in confusion. The LEFT hand hasn't been introduced to the RIGHT hand yet. Designation courses costing hundreds of dollars are popping up - but who certifies the certifiers? How does a two or three day course make one an "expert" at anything? It's one thing to market a property and get it to a closing, but quite another to initiate, manage and take responsibility for the outcome when the transaction is as legally complex as a short sale. I think we are edging dangerously close (designations or not) to the unlicensed practice of law when we "negotiate" with a lender on behalf of a seller (and quite literally their future)in a short sale. If the dust from all of this ever settles, I believe there will be years of lawsuits following. Then these negotiation firms will scatter and disappear like the cockroach mortgage brokers of the boom years did. I also think that there may be cases where a servicing company is compensated better for handling a foreclosure than a short sale, therefore the short sale drags on til it dies and becomes a foreclosure.

Mar 07, 2010 03:00 PM
Greg Kurzner

You are right that agents representing buyers have just as much to lose by helping their clients contract for a short sale as the agent listing the home for the distressed seller if the lender doesn't allow a sale.  We are in real estate to serve our clients but also to earn a living.  Waiting on a sale to close whether listing agent or buyer agent isn't fun and if a buyer's agent can help the buyer find a house to buy without the wait, why wouldn't you right?

My experience with short sales has been almost exclusively on the listing side and you are right that more and more of my contracts flame out because the buyers aren't willing to wait.  Even when they are willing to, many times the seller's lender will come back with a NO, or want to counter the accepted contract with a ridiculous price.  I imagine the only reason buyers stay in short sale deals extended amounts of time is because of the deal they are getting.  With so many REO's out there, the "deal" on a short sale isn't as dramatic often and can even in some cases be non-existent.  Thanks for your perspective.


Mar 07, 2010 03:02 PM
Greg Kurzner

Pat and Ben:

I am using a negotiation firm for my short sales so I can leverage my time but they are also folding because of the amount of work it costs versus what they were charging me.  I am going back to an employee or agent to assist me with these and you are right, the legal component often keeps me up at night.  Of course I obtain disclosures and document everything I can but the harder these become to do whether it is temporary due to volume, or permanent due to the process or the combatants, it becomes more of a target for those disgruntled with the outcome to look for scapegoats.  Thanks for your observations!

Mar 07, 2010 03:08 PM
Stephen Arnold
HomeSmart Elite Group - Scottsdale, AZ

Hey Greg!  I think that you can get plenty of education on AR and Short Sale superstars!  I have chosen not to take the various courses due to the amount of research I have done over the past 18 months!  Nothing seems to replace time in the trenches!

Mar 07, 2010 03:11 PM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Greg, I too took the CDPE Course.  I think one of the most critical things was the pre-listing checklist and dialogue.  Too many agents aren't preparing their sellers for the comittment necessary from the seller to submit a full and complete packet.  They just take the listing, slap a too-low price on it and then wait.  I learned some key information, helping me ask better questions when representing a buyer.  How those answers come back often helps me encourage or discourage a buyer from a particular short sale. After all, the knowledge and communication of the listing agent can make or break the deal, just as much as the bank can.

Mar 09, 2010 03:28 AM