Puppets on String

Services for Real Estate Pros with S.P.O.C.H. a 501c3 Charitable NP

In recent months I've brought a handful of short sale transactions to the closing table for agents, had two 11th hour implosions where the buyers breached their contract and walked away, and still have about a dozen potential shorts mired in servicer confusion and incompetency.

 - Last week I had a junior lender call with its approval for an application submitted months earlier....

 Lender: " You'll be happy to know we have approved your short sale request.  Can you close by the end of the month?"

Me:  " I submitted that request almost 5 months ago.  I sent you repeated FAX updates, left telephone messages and sent emails.  I even sent a certified letter to your CEO advising, no, begging for a timley response.  You are too late. The home was sold at Sheriff's Sale last month."

Lender:  "Oh, OK. (click)."

Sellers who have committed to selling short are like puppets on string, helpless, in a morass of uncertainty, reliant on their real estate brokers whose initial optimism, hollow promises and premature predictions can eventually fade, and morph into stark reality. So, too, to some degree, are the short sale choreographers who are at the mercy of overworked, underpaid, and ill-prepared loss mit workers.... whose own jobs likely hang in the balance.

Tip for brokers who are engaged in preforeclosure short sales or cramdown refis:

Don't put all your eggs into one basket.  Make certain your distressed sellers are aware of all their non-foreclosure options and have a viable Plan B if/when the foreclosure clock runs out of time before successfully completing a preforeclosure short sale transaction.  

The Purchasers must remain engaged and motivated. (They deserve to be truthfully, and respectfully informed) Like a firefighter reacting to an alarm, they have to be ready to act quickly after being 'ignored' for months.  Have some 'deal saving' incentives ready to keep them prepared for action. Like what? 

Purchaser: " We put in our offer more than 2-3-4 months ago.  What in the hell is going on?"  

Broker: " The lender is still considering whether to accept the offer.  I know you are anxious. The sellers are counting on you, too.  You know, I was thinking how nice a flower garden would look under the window.... so I am giving you a $250 gift certificate to The Local Landscape Nursery to buy tulip bulbs which will bloom every year..."

Purchaser: "Oh, and maybe some crocuses...."

Have a back-up offer ready, too. 

Ethical ShortSales

Fight Foreclosure!

Comments (5)

Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate
I have started looking up CEO information on short sales and taking good, strong offers up the chain of command.  I have even requested to speak with the banks legal council and it has pushed things up the chain of command twice so far.  It actually made one that was dragging its feet get to closing so we didn't lose that offer from another agent and their client.
Jan 21, 2008 01:05 AM
David Petrovich
S.P.O.C.H. a 501c3 Charitable NP - Oakhurst, NJ

That's good SOP.  Do you contact the CEO by name, by title, or both?  I've had a few named CEOs who were fired, or gracefully 'retired' with their golden parachutes.....



Jan 21, 2008 01:08 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK
David, Enjoyed the post and the tips.  Keep up the good work.
Jan 21, 2008 11:01 PM
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team
David good post, some information I will take away and apply to my short sale situations.  Thanks, bookmarked.
Jan 25, 2008 12:43 PM
Matthew Heavener
ERA Heavener Realty Co. - Jacksonville, FL

Enjoyed the post.  Sounds like you are going the extra mile.  Good work.

Mar 05, 2008 12:48 AM