Why Short-Sales Are Not Fun

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois

When a Homeowner calls me and ask me to stop by to list their home as a Short-sale, the one thing I already know before they have made the call to me is, it has taken courage to get to the point of deciding it is time to release the home for now and move on with their lives.  My assignment becomes to help them understand how much more courage is required of them.

Before I meet in person with a potential Seller Client, I ask them to contact their Lender and inquire all of their options for being released of the mortgage obligation.  The reason I do this is because I want them to get familiar with all the routes out of their present financial hardship.  I ask them to also consult with a Bankruptcy Attorney, so they understand how selling their home could be effected by the decisions they make.

Before I start the process of placing their home on the market, I ask them to prepare their hardship package.  I tell them to think of the word insolvency and what it really means.  It means they must take a look at all living expenses and debt, and prove their income is not sufficient to survive day to day and pay their mortgage.  Their Lender can be a big help by sending them the initial forms needed to organize all of their hardship package requirements.

I help them to understand this is a time consuming detailed process, more involved than filing their annual income taxes.

The main reason I make this demand of them is because I need for the potential Seller Client to show me they are cooperative, willing to endure the entire process, and possess the courage needed to actually endure to the end, which could take several months and more paperwork documentation than they could imagine.

Today, I had a Seller Client to decide they no longer wanted to proceed with the process of selling their home.  This, after they cooperated with all the showings, procuring a Motivated, Well-Qualified, Very-Cooperative, Dream Buyer. 

Today, just happen to be the last straw day for the Seller.  Why?  Did I mention the word depression yet?

Imagine when you come to the decision it is time to release yourself of living in your home, not because you choose to, but because you have to, due to circumstances you are very sad about?  On top of all of the financial burden, you are required to re-visit all of the reasons why?  It is like being forced to walk out your front door, down your side walk, and into the middle of the street all the while naked for all of your neighbors to see your business! 

Today, this Seller Client decided it is all about her.  She no longer cared how much she had inconvenienced her Dream Buyer, their Agent, both Attorneys, Title Insurance company, her Lender, and of course all the time I've given her in coordinating this process since I initially listed her home in Homewood, Illinois back in May, 2012.

This Tuesday her Lender asked her to fill out about 14 pages of forms, requiring their submission by today Thursday.  Although, it could mean she might be eligible for some moving expenses, she decided she had enough of exposing her unfortunate present financial condition.

Indeed, it is emotional deciding to purchase a home.  It is even more emotional when deciding to sell a home, when you are not emotionally ready.  The hardest part for me is when the Short-Sale deal-pending process has been started, the process involves time sensitive deadlines.  The Short-Sale deal pending process is like a fast moving train rolling down the track, with the only thing stopping that train is a required deadline not being met.  It may take some time for the file to be reviewed by a Negotiator representing the Seller's Lender.  Once the Negotiator is working on the file, the process can move like a bullet train.

When the Seller looses their motivation to cooperate, because of all the parties involved, the end result is like a burning train wreck.  The one individual effected the most is the Cooperative, Very-Qualified, Motivated, and now Speechless Dream Buyer, who has done everything requested of them within the time deadline needed.

The Buyer has made a huge gamble of time and their emotions as well.  They have made the trip to the casino and left stripped naked, with not even empty pockets turned inside out to show for their effort.

Whenever transactions fail, I give myself time to reflect on why, and what I can do in the future to avoid this from happening again.  This why this blog is such a blessing to me.  It allows me to write about my experiences with the hope the right person will find valuable information helping them to prepare in case they may find themselves in a similar endeavor.

More importantly, I hope the information helps avoid another huge waste of time.  Plus, I get the opportunity to release my frustration in a positive way.  When I started writing I was very irritated.  Now, I am reingergized to re-focus on my other Valued Clients to genuinely value my investing my whole heart into serving them. 

Short-Sales are not fun because the Seller is forced to re-visit the choices they've made causing them to experience their present challenges.  If, they are not emotionally strong enough to endure the exposure, they will quit their involvement.  Until they can move from their emotional thinking to the realm of rational thinking, even the best motivational tools I have at my resources will not help to revive the transaction because of the time sensitive obligations. 

The late Edward Patton of Gladys Knight and The Pips fame once stated in an interview, "when Acts are struggling you can't split them with an axe, but when success comes all it takes is a butter-cutter."  When a Seller is not prepared or accepting of the uncomfortable exposure they must endure in a Short-Sale deal-pending process, all it will take is a butter-cutter to bring a transaction to an abrupt end!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa0yUrCkEzs


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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I've had similar cansellations, but it just seems to drive making best of what we're given it life and career as wel




Aug 09, 2012 01:38 PM #1
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist


All I can tell you is at Keller Williams we specialize in Short Sales and I have never lost a seller.  Sounds like you may benefit from a bit more training in all the short sale aspects but for this client you need to have a real estate attorney express to her that her buyer does have rights under teh contract and she should be STRONGLY encouraged to complete her contractual obligations.

Aug 09, 2012 01:44 PM #2
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Hi Dale great idea for them to contact their lender to get all their options.

Aug 09, 2012 02:02 PM #3
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

I appreciate all of your comments.  Kevin, 27 years in this business has taught me all things are possible.  All my real estate experience has taught me to always stay open to learning, to stay humble, and just when I think I've acquired enough patience, I discover there is more patience for me to acquire.  I have plenty of stories to tell where I revived deals.  For this one short-sale that is possibly failing, I have numerous other success stories.  Especially, the one's where there were two lenders and I got both to settle.  Your thoughts touched me the most because they remind me of a good friend who had numerous consecutive success years preceding two great years of earning over $250k in commissions.  I remember her communicating to me in your style of tone.  At the end of her boasting about her success, I reminded her to remember to stay humble.  I told her to consider preparing for the possibility this industry holds no certainty her past success is guaranteed in the future.  I told her to think of the possibility she may have to make a huge adjustment to what change could require of her in the future.  The next year, the bubble did eventually burst.  She barely earned $40k in commissions the next two consecutive years.  Imagine, the adjustments she had to make in her finances.  She eventually got the courage to share with me, after all the consistent years of success, she never imagined she could come so close to loosing every material possession meaningful to her.  She never imagined she would spend most of her savings.  She was so grateful she maintained her health through all of the stress she endured.  So, my answer to you is just keep serving enough clients, and you may eventually have a different set of uplifting words to share when you may have to step in my shoes and walk down my present path.  Some Clients can handle being threatened.  This Client is too fragile at this time for me to use the tool you suggested.  Again Kevin, your comments are valued!

Aug 09, 2012 03:01 PM #4
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Dale Taylor

Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos
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