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Your Personal Short Sale Experiences

Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives

Okay fellow agents out there, I am just curious to see what your personal experience with short sales has been? 

  • Have they been successful?
  • What banks have been good to work with?
  • Which banks will look at your work out package and give you a "pre-approved" list price?
  • What banks have been horrible?
  • What banks pay you the full or reduced commission?
  • How long did it take for you to get a response, yea or ney, back from the bank?
  • What about properties where the owner owned more than one property but wasn't necessarily an "investor"?
  • What hardships were accepted? Which ones were not?
  • Any special nightmare stories?
  • Any special success stories?
  • What about working with buyers on the short sale end?

An agent in my office was just telling about how great EMC has been for her to work with on her short sale.  I personally am working with Citibank and ASC who neither one will accept our work out package without an offer.  Another agent in our company got a short sale through in 30 days - unbelieveable! 

Thanks for taking a minute to share your experiences!! 

Posted by

Susan Manning


Anna Boyd
Re/Max Gold - El Dorado Hills, CA
CDPE, El Dorado Sacramento

Hi Stephan,

Actually Citi has been pretty good.  Just got another approval from them.  It's when it goes to

Citi Recovery, that you end up negotiating (not!) with people that have no soul.  And no, I won't

take that back.

Dec 17, 2009 11:26 AM
stephan sabbah

I would like to say that Citi is one of the bank that has most improved in the last few years.


I currently have 9 short sale with them that are moving extremely fast.


Good luck all....


Stephan Sabbah

360 Realty

Jan 07, 2010 03:08 AM
George Stan


I currently have an offer on a house that has Citimortgage 1st, Citibank 2nd loan.  It's been about 7 days since I submitted the offer.  The selling agent said at the time we submitted the offer, that we can close in 45 days.  I am assuming that means Citi should approve the sale in 2 weeks, then close a month later?  I don't have any details about the any status of the approval.  I am willing to wait up to a month for an approval before moving on to another house.   In your professional opinion, with the information provided, does it seem possible for me to have an answer within 30 days?  Is there any way (my) buying agent can check on the status via citi?  


Jan 26, 2010 01:10 AM

I just placed an offer on a shortsale where the lienholder is citi. I submitted a strong offer for the home. I'm only willing to wait a few weeks as i'm trying to meet the tax credit deadline.  The selling parties relator kept calling my realtor to see if i'm interested and to let him know that there were no offers on the property,  I thought this was a good sign, and a good shot to get this property as it really is a steal.  Whats the time limit that you would give Citi for a response??? Just curious as i dont want to spend my wheels with this company

Feb 04, 2010 05:39 PM
Anna Boyd
Re/Max Gold - El Dorado Hills, CA
CDPE, El Dorado Sacramento

The one we closed recently took a little over 30 days to get approval.  Of course, Citi, was the only lender - and our offer was strong - at market value.  They only lost a few thousand on the deal.

Don't know if the above facts play in to it.  Anna

Feb 05, 2010 02:48 AM
George Stan

Of course the first two weeks of my offer were lost due to carelessness of the selling agent.  My getting fed up with waiting and prodding my (buyers) agent to keep calling the selling agent got her to admit that she never submitted the offer.  She just "forgot".  So it has been one week since the offer was "really" submitted (supposedly).  I have told my agent that I will not wait longer than 2 weeks without some proof of progress, before moving on to bid on other homes.  I think that the selling agent should have some news by then.  (I hear the negotiator steps in within a week of the offer.)   Please tell me this is not asking too much.  I need to be closed by June 1st, and need to plan for the worst (not getting approved and looking for other homes). 

Can someone tell me when progress in the offer approval is made.. ie, when the negotiator steps in... how can I know what step of the process we are in?  Again, the house has Citimortgage 1st, Citibank 2nd loan.  I am assuming that the loans being from the same lender will work in my favor.

Feb 05, 2010 04:50 AM
Susan Manning
Realty Executives - Temecula, CA

George, I am really sorry to hear that the listing agent "forgot" to submit the offer.  That's a little scarey.  The agent is responsible for staying on top of the process unless they are having someone else handle the negotiation.  That's a red flag in itself. 

Hopefully you love the property and then the agents do their job. Maybe you could request an email in writing from the listing agent that your agent could forward to you with a weekly update at the very minimum.  I do that for all my offers and even back up offers too.  Its important for all sides to communicate throughout the whole process.  If the buyer finds another property, its only fair to let the listing agent know right away. 

You may want to ask your agent if they know whether or not the listing agent is presenting other offers to the bank? That's a question I ask to prequalify whether or not I even show a listing.  If the listing agent is treating the short sale like an auction they are working for the bank and their own personal interests not the seller and buyer.  Honestly I feel those deals are a waste of time. 

I wish you luck in your home search.  Its a very competitive market right now and if you have a June 1 deadline its going to be important you are working with a professional who can get the job done for you.   

Feb 05, 2010 07:26 AM
Susan Manning
Realty Executives - Temecula, CA

Ryan, I would suggest making sure your agent requests a copy of the executed purchase agreement signed by the sellers for starters. 

If I was your agent I would have some sort of verbage in it that the property was not being "Actively" marketed.  The listing agent could put it into Backup or Contingent but with a guarantee that your offer was the only one being presented to the bank at the time. 

There are other things you can do to make an offer strong when you write it.  If you have a good agent they would know these things. 

I wish you luck with you offer!

Feb 05, 2010 07:35 AM
George Stan

My offer was submitted Feb 1st.  I received my 2 week update in just under 2 weeks... My (buyers) agent placed a call to the Vice President, Regional Mortgage Manager of the first leinholder.  He happened to know her, and she did him a favor by calling the person handling the shortsale and pushing the loan approval through.  The first leinholder has now (Feb 11th) approved the shortsale (verbally, I'm told).  We are just waiting on the second (Chase) for their approval.  What does this involve, and how long should it take, as I am on a limited time frame.  Is that part handled by the first leinholder or the selling agent?   I would like to know who would be responsible for this part of the process, and is there anything my agent can do to speed things up.  Any information is appreciated.

Feb 13, 2010 12:34 PM
George Stan

I have a verbal approval from the 1st lender on a short sale, they say we will have it in writing on 2/24.  I am now waiting on the second lender (Chase), who has not given any response yet.  They received the approval info from the 1st lender on 2/12 (over 10 days ago).  I am told that the 2nd lender's response usually takes 7-10 days.  Can someone tell me the turnaround time I can expect from Chase Bank?  I hear that tey are pretty good about short sales.  How long should the 2nd lender take to process their part after the 1st has already approved and accepted my offer.

Feb 22, 2010 10:31 PM

I entered into a shortsale contract on the 1st of the year and still nothing yet...  The home has 3 lenders, the first 2 will get all of their money and the 3rd will get about half.  The 3rd is Citibank. Reading through this blog I have noticed a trend that people dealing with Citi bank are having a hard time...  The bank told us 45 days then added 50 more at the 30 day mark, then said we would get approval paper work by the 1st week in March and then on the 29th of March but nothing has come of it.  The neweest development was the negociator telling our realator that we wore out our welcome with the bank and that the person who will make the final decision has 400 files on her desk and to basically leave them alone.  I am worried that we are wasting our time waiting for this deal to go through...  Any thoughts?

Apr 27, 2010 12:20 PM
Susan Manning
Realty Executives - Temecula, CA

Dear Jane, I can tell you that personally I would not want to deal with three lienholders on a short sale.  That is very difficult to say the least. 

I don't understand what the negotiator is saying about wearing out your welcome. Calling and emailing for updates on a regular basis is just a normal part of doing that job.  Usually you can find out general timeframes to expect for each step.  I do say that with the caveat that this can and will and does change without notice without reason.  Because there are so many outside variables involved it is very difficult to predict when an approval will come in. 

My personal advise to you is this: it seems you really like this property for one reason or another.  If you are so close to finding an answer, how hard is it to wait until you know rather than quitting at this point.  Of course I probably would have advised you not to offer on a property that had three liens on it in the first place though but that situation has already come to pass. 

I wish you luck on your process.  It pays to work with an agent who knows the right questions to ask before even going to look at the property and creating this whole emotional and time consuming process to begin. 

Apr 28, 2010 10:51 AM
Alicia Mendoza

My recent experience with CitiMortgage has been superb.  I live and work in Southern California and was representing a couple that was divorcing, which ultimately put them into financial hardship.  I was able to complete the short sale of their home unbelievably fast.  Upon submitting the entire short sale package to CitiMortgage, it was approved in 8 business days.  Yes, 8 BUSINESS DAYS!  Both liens were with Citi, not sure who the investor was.  We opened escrow immediately and even were granted an extension to close escrow an extra couple of weeks later (though we only needed a couple of days extra).  My clients ended up only being delinquent on their mortgages for 4 months total, so the "hit" to their credit, while still somewhat severe, wasn't prolonged in terms of missing payments.

I must've been lucky. The three people I ended up working with at CitiMortgage were absolutely awesome, helpful, and quick to respond.  They did most everything over email, so I never had to deal with missed calls or having to fax anything.  I still have a relationship with a couple of the people there that can help me push paperwork through now a bit faster, which is great.


Jun 11, 2010 02:26 PM

I'm selling my house as a short sale and am approved by my lender. The buyer's lender has postponed the closing date 4 times and going into the 2nd month. As a result, my lender doing the short sale is going to charge me 10% of what I owe if I need to extend the closing date again.

Is this legal? Can my lender doing the short sale charge me a 10% fee to extend the closing date?

They say the computer generates the 10% every 2 weeks i'm guessing. Are they BS'ing me on this and can they reject the short sale, which is already approved, if I refuse to pay?


Jun 23, 2011 05:54 AM
Susan Manning
Realty Executives - Temecula, CA

Chad, yep, its possible your bank could demand this.  10% does seem steep but each lender and situation is different.  I would say that this increased demand is not your responsibility.  If the buyer wants the house, they or the buyer's lender need to come up with the money if another extension is requested.  Honestly, you are lucky that the lender has extended the short sale approval three or possibly four times.  A lot of banks are trending to proceed through foreclosure if the short sale does not close on time the first go around.  I hope your buyer is qualified!!  I would have your agent request to have the buyer cross qualified with a lender of their choosing before wasting any more time.  This deal may not even go through on the fourth time around!  Best of luck to you Chad!! 

Jun 23, 2011 07:42 AM

Thanks Susan... The buyer's and parents of the husband were approved last week by U/W. We close tomorrow but today the buyer's lender or the buyer wants to remove the mother from the loan. Trying to figure out why? If her credit was bad the lender would have known last week and not put her on the loan so why do they want her off? Is it a cover story to delay for another reason? Anyone know why else this is being requested 2 days before closing, I mean they were already APPROVED!!! Ahhhh

Jun 23, 2011 08:05 AM
Susan Manning
Realty Executives - Temecula, CA

If the loan was approved with the mother and then their trying to "jack you around" then I'd say see ya.  Buh bye, and thanks for wasting our time.  That's a bunch of monkey business. 

Jun 23, 2011 08:12 AM
Joseph Alfe
Short Sale Processing Inc. - Chicago, IL

It is entirely legal for the lender to charge whatever they want, but it is also within your power to negotiate. On my deals, if the buyer is delaying the closing, I make them pay the fees.  This is why I am so picky about buyers and also why I demand that they have their mortgage in place well before we close.



Jun 23, 2011 08:59 AM

It's apparent this lender, a senior loan officer, has no idea of what he's doing. Thursday the buyer's lender said all paperwork was in and that a HUD-1 was needed Friday morning to close. Friday came and went, apparently the lender doesn't have his stuff together and is providing incorrect information. He either had errors or missing paperwork and isn't telling anyone the whole truth. We're demanding a firm closing date on Monday as all we ever had was a conditional commitment signed last tuesday.

I also found out from my lender that they were charging me 10% on the net owed, not the loan amount. A huge difference, $550 rather than $5,540. 

Jun 26, 2011 11:52 AM
Susan Manning
Realty Executives - Temecula, CA

Chad, $550 is still a lot of money.  How is your transaction going today?  I'm hoping the best for all involved!

Jun 27, 2011 11:33 AM