Short Sales and Relocation Assistance Money for Sellers

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

short salesA call came in the other day from a gentleman with a really great question.

 “I have a Notice of Default on my property and my mortgage is with Chase Bank. I really need relocation expenses paid in order to be able to afford to move, and I want to know if I qualify for the additional Chase Bank relocation assistance. How can I find out now?”

This is such a great question, and it seems to be one of the great mysteries in short sale processing and negotiation. In fact, you hear so many horror stories about short sale sellers who think they are getting relocation assistance and then learn at the last minute that they get nothing—often because the agent or short sale processor did not correctly do what was necessary. 

The answer to the question about Chase relocation assistance is this: With the help of a qualified Realtor® who knows his or her way around a short sale, you can find out very quickly whether you qualify for the HAFA program, which offers $3000 in relocation assistance to qualified borrowers. The additional money (the big bucks sometimes offered by Chase and even Bank of America)—learning about that takes a little bit longer. Often times, you do now know until you are able to speak directly with the short sale negotiator in the midst of the short sale process after the package has been submitted to the bank.

The reason that obtaining the information often takes awhile is because the amount of relocation assistance varies depending upon the investor that owns your note. Remember that often times the lender where you pay your mortgage does not own your note (your loan). This company could just be servicing it for someone else or some other entity. And, in this case, the negotiator’s work is based upon the guidelines of the owner of the note, and not the guidelines of the servicer.

Sounds a little confusing? It can be! That’s why you need to make sure that you are working with a qualified Realtor® that knows how to get the job done. And, if you need assistance, feel free to contact the agents at Broadpoint Properties.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 10/15/2012 08:00 AM
  2. Kim & Kristine Halverson 10/15/2012 12:11 PM
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Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

You know so much about short sales! I don't know of anyone in Texas who knows as much as or more than you!

Oct 15, 2012 10:14 AM #4
Chuck Mixon
The Keyes Company - Cutler Bay, FL
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR

The problem is that most owner wait until they receive notice of eviction and then call and ask for assistance. If they would only contact us earlier.

Oct 15, 2012 10:18 AM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

With some of my sellers, I can tell right away if they qualify for a cash incentive. I might not know how much they will get, but I can tell if they are eligible. I have sellers in Sacrameto who are receiving double compensation from Bank of America -- getting the coop incentive plus the HIN incentive. Last week I had a seller get angry when I told them to get the Freddie Mac HAFA they needed to initiate the process, and they were so ticked off because they didn't want to do anything at all and could not understand why I couldn't wave my magic wand and do it for them.

Oct 15, 2012 10:20 AM #6
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

There are banks with different programs as well.  I am working on a weird short sale right now that guarantees the seller 4% of the bank's net for relocation...nothing in writing supposedly so we shall see.  This is great information though!

Oct 15, 2012 10:37 AM #7
Reba Haas
Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside - Bellevue, WA
Team Reba, CDPE

I've seen so few people qualify for moving costs but have had it happen a couple of times. It's often a crap shoot and the lender's will frequently hold off unless there is a major hardship.

Oct 15, 2012 11:04 AM #8
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Sussie: Texas is a big state. I'm sure there must be someone there that has a wealth of short sale information.

Oct 15, 2012 11:09 AM #9
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

You are an incredible resource for those thinking of short-selling their homes ih California.  You really know the process.

Oct 15, 2012 11:23 AM #10
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Melissa, it does make a difference who the negotiating team is and how well they process...some lawyers here are doing the negotiations and the short sales go on for over 8 months...not fair to buyers or sellers...North San Diego short sale sellers should be reaching to've got the tic tock!

Oct 15, 2012 11:29 AM #11
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Melissa, the general amount has been $3,000 for occupied sellers and $2,500 for non occupied sellers. Although Chase has been more generous with some of their loans depending on the amount of the outstanding mortgage. Working with a short sales specialist is key, however, and there's no question you know your stuff

Oct 15, 2012 11:55 AM #12
Goran Utvic
606 Homes LLC | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656 - Chicago, IL
We Buy & Sell Chicago Houses Fast

Great explanation Melissa...short sale sellers could really benefit with relocation assistance

Oct 15, 2012 12:00 PM #13
Kim & Kristine Halverson, Santa Monica Real Estate :) - Santa Monica, CA

Melissa, you are spot on, just did a reblog

Thank you!  Kristine :)
Oct 15, 2012 12:12 PM #14
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This whole short sale world is still very complex, slow and difficult to navigate. 

Oct 15, 2012 01:01 PM #15
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Melissa so often you have demonstrated your expertise in the short sale market.  Seller finding themselves needing to go the short sale routine in North San Diego CA should seek your assistance.

Oct 15, 2012 02:44 PM #16
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Melissa, it is always good to work with professional - they know what's going on in the market and in the field of short sales.

Oct 15, 2012 03:18 PM #17
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

We can tell right away on our first discussion with a seller if they qualify for HAFA $3000 relocation funds or not. We can also call the bank to find out if the loan number is one of the bank's incentive files for the big bucks. The big bucks are determined by the amount of the deficiency. The higher the loan amount versus the value the more incentive money there is. That is what the executive department at Chase explained to us the formula they use. 

We just had one where the sellers had an attorney negotiating for them and the attorney did not put their short sale through the HAFA program so of course, the approval letter came back with no HAFA relocation funds. We asked the attorney why the sellers did not get HAFA approved and they said they forgot to put the short sale through as a HAFA. We recommded to the sellers to start the process again, apply for HAFA, they did, they got the approval for HAFA. 

So many times it is the attorney or the agent that does not know how to process a short sale for the benefit of the seller to get incentive monies. 

Oct 15, 2012 09:44 PM #18
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes

Nice to see a short sale relocation assistance article that explains it out instead of making promises and giving distressed homeowners false hope.

Oct 15, 2012 09:53 PM #19
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Going through this now.....thank you for the extra awareness

Oct 15, 2012 11:27 PM #20
Shane Barker
Amerifirst Financial, INC. - Salt Lake City, UT

This is still hard for a lot of people to figure out, thanks for the great info.

Oct 16, 2012 02:41 AM #21
Nevin Williams
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Mortgage Pro

Melissa - Well said!  There are so many things people and agents not experienced in these matters DON'T KNOW that causes them to struggle or even not perform the short sale.  This is why I refer agents needing short sale assistance to you.  You have been focusing on this niche in all of the years I have known you and I cannot think of anyone better to handle short sales.

Oct 16, 2012 03:53 AM #22
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

Love the post and those who shared their experience and thoughts on incentives/relocation fees.  It is so hard to predict how lenders find out: how much they would pay to the seller. These days it is 3-30k, right? How they come up with the number for a particular short sale seller? Every situation is different...

May 30, 2013 04:39 PM #23
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Melissa Zavala

Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
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