Don't Hold Your Breath On A Short Sale

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Havelock-Adams, LLc BR520783000

As agents the only way we make money is how well we utilize our time. We are now learning that Short Sales require additional time to consummate often a lot of additional time.

As a seller the documentation and decision time line will seem endless. You will be frustrated that you can't move forward with your life. As a buyer, don't wait until the last minute and don't fall in love with one house.

I had a listing that I "sold" three times over a 12 month period. The first problem was a bank in second position wouldn't release the lien unless the seller came up with twenty thousand dollars. It fell through the second time because the buyer got tired of the delays and bailed. By the third offer the market had fallen even more and the value had decreased but the lender wouldn't come off their original number. The seller after more than two years is still in the home and is now going through the foreclosure process.

We have a buyer situation in which a short sale offer was made in July. We were just now informed by Wells Fargo that they are assigning it to a new negotiator, the third one. We have encouraged the buyer to explore other options but he really wants this home and is willing to wait them out.

This represents only two out of a multitude of short sales in which we have been involved both on the listing side and the buyer side. The point is that there are two rules when dealing with short sales. Rule number one is that there are no rules and rule number two is that sometimes rule number one doesn't apply. The only hard and fast requirement is patience, patience with your agent (believe me they are not having fun), patience with the process (it seems ridiculous and wasteful at times) and unfortunately, patience with the lender (they are so overwhelmed generally, they don't have a clue).

Even those of you who are not in trouble with your mortgage may have to face the reality of short selling if you have to move or relocate because the value of your home is may be less than what is owed. So it's 2011, hit the restart button and if you have to sell for what ever reason, check with an accountant and a knowledgable realtor or attorney. If you are a buyer, just fasten your seat belt and be prepared for an emotional roller coaster.


Comments (3)

Michael Ford
Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes - Marion, AR
Matching Families with Homes

Short Sales are so hard and yes they take a lot of time.  However with the proper education of your buyer and seller they are a part of today's business!!

Dec 31, 2010 06:27 AM
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

I feel your pain and can truly relate. I always remind my buyers that it takes time but not to fall in love with the house that you can't move on, if you need too! - David

Dec 31, 2010 06:28 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

If there are 2 mortgages (or more) you run into this every time. The first wont take less if teh 2nd gets any and the 2nd wont let go unless they get something

Dec 31, 2010 07:27 AM