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Short sales and extortionist fees

Title Insurance with Key Title Corporation 63078

I have been working with a Realtor on a short sale transction for months now.  We were just about ready to close after having finally received the Short Sale Approval letter from the lender and then WHAM! out of nowhere comes an e-mail from the "short sale negotiatior" who claims to have been working on this file all along and who is up in arms because her fees are not on the lender approved HUD. I had never spoken to this short sale negotiator and had never received any other communication from her. 

So, I  ask her to send me her fees and advise that I will re-do the HUD for review and approval by the lender again.  She sends over her fee sheet and there are a total of almost $5000.00 dollars being charged to the seller by this short sale negotiatior. 

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A short sale is unlike any other transaction in that the lender who holds the note and who has agreed to take less than the full amount of the balance due as payment in full is the one controlling the transaction and from whom we ultimately need to get HUD approval.   So after receiving this new piece of information and reviewing the short sale approval letter I realize that in order for the lender to "net" what they have approved, the sales price has to be be raised.   So essentially this means that the buyer ends up paying these extortionist fees to the short sale negotiator because the seller is definately not going to pay them.

In the instant case, the buyer balked at rising the sales price to allow for these fees so we all had to go back to the drawing board to see how we could save the deal.   At the end of the day the short sale negotiator reduced her fees from close to $5000.00 to $1250.00.  We were able to get the buyer to agree to bump the sales price by $1250.00.

I don't have a problem with anyone getting paid for services rendered, but, I do expect some level of reasonableness. 

If you have never worked on a short sale transaction you cannot begin to imagine the level of frustration that these transactions can cause.  But, hopefully, with diligence and persistence you can get the deal to table without too much trauma. 


Posted by

Charlene Perry
Key Title, Inc. 
35 Fulford Avenue
Bel Air, MD 20104