Do you believe in miracles?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

Miracles do happen!.....that's what my seller asked me today. I had set an appointment to meet with my Sellers because they had just been served the "20 days to respond" foreclosure "thingie". We knew it was coming since they hadn't made mortgage payments in a long time. 

The reason for my appointment was to go over their options, discuss lowering the price and possibly attempt to get a short sale. I like these sellers a lot and have been trying to sell their property since January. We've actually had lots of showings and received, what I thought was a very good offer, within 30 days of placing the property on the market. But of the spouses was not in agreement and the buyer walked and bought another house. 

The property is now priced very near to being in a short sale situation, so, with the foreclosure looming, it is time to lower it on down and try to get a short sale approved. 

BUT......about a month ago, my Seller had to go to the emergency room, for the second time in about a month, due to stress related to this situation. They are elderly folks and their credit is already shot. After talking a bit today I started feeling that going through a short sale would be too much stress for them.  

After I had delivered my spiel, the Seller looked at me and asked, "Do you believe in miracles". Then he proceeded to tell me how they had decided to raise the price on the property by $40,000 and pray for a miracle!! Holy moly!!!!

My Seller has been praying about this and has been inspired to raise the price and hope for a miracle. They are fully aware of the fact that they may be losing their house. They are also not willing to go through the short sale process and, in my opinion, shouldn't. 

Fortunately, at my suggestion, they had moved out of the house a couple of weeks ago and into a rental. They needed to do this to at least ensure they had a place to live if the house didn't sell in time. a Broker, my options are: 

  • Tell them there isn't a chance in heck of their house selling for 15% more than it's listed right now and walk away from the listing.
  • Try to convince them that they are being foolish and that a "miracle" will not get their house sold.  
  • Agree to raise the price and pray for a miracle.

My question to you is....what would you do?

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 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Brett Noel
Keller Williams - Paso Robles, CA

The fast truth is always better than a slow lie

May 23, 2008 06:15 PM #68
Leslie Stewart
Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals - Stayton, OR
Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker

The short sale is a rough way to go, but there is no way I would raise the price.  Good luck with your listing and your clients.

May 23, 2008 06:18 PM #69
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Prayer is good, but sounds as though these people need to be realistic. Sounds as though they  just need to get on with things --- things that do not include hanging onto the house. It's tough for people to finally come to that realization.

May 23, 2008 06:49 PM #70
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

I just read your update and am delighted.  Please let us know how this turns out.

May 23, 2008 11:29 PM #71
Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission.
Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. - Cooper City, FL


Great post.

Many people need to dettach themselves from their homes and move on with their life!

Sad but very real...

May 23, 2008 11:48 PM #72
Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group

BB ... I remember the people burying stuff to sell their homes...the few that sold of course claimed victory, the others obviously didn't pray hard enough.....As a Catholic former altar Boy raised in Catholic School, taught by nuns and Priests, I feel I have earned the right to throw the first stone at the bury a statue in the yard theory.

I read the part that said the people had not been making payments for a while. Maybe the people in the bank had more people praying to get them to move out. Reminds me of a painting I saw, a Rockwell type inspiration of soldiers in foxholes on either side of the battle lines....That painting had an impact on me as a young man that lasts to this day.

I am not overly Religious. I believe in God, but not in things to this effect. I too have had to walk away from Listings in the past where the sellers raised the price above market value and told me to let Gods will be done....WHen the houses did not sell, I wonder what they told another agent...cause I can't waste my time like that. Of course the three homes I am talking about did not sell. Two did get foreclosed on, one had a family member move in and help them catch up payments.

God is out there for the many things that God is needed for. Asing Him to sell your house for more than its worth after you have not fullfilled your own obligations is disrespectful of what the power of prayer might be used for...

Nice post BB...WIth all your inventory, I would get a release signed and move on.

May 24, 2008 12:27 AM #73
Amy Dawson, Vancouver, WA Realtor
Vancouver, WA

Somebody might take them up on that offer.  I guess you just never know.  If they know the consequences if it doesn't sell, and you're willing to work with them, I think it could work out.  Then again, it could just be a waste of your time.  You just need to do what you're comfortable with.

May 24, 2008 07:00 AM #74
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Based on youe commens about health related issues I would just let them do whatever helps reduce the stress of it all.

May 24, 2008 08:36 AM #75
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi guys. Really great comments. I think my main reasoning behind keeping the listing at the higher price is that really don't have any thing to lose. The short sale is out of the questions due to their stress level and the loan modification will just not work since the reality is they just can't afford the house.

They also fully understand that they will more than likely be losing the house. By the way the 20 day notice means they probably have several months before a foreclosure happens. The 20 day is the first step in the process.

After they had made the decision and I agreed to keep the listing I could almost feel a massive weight leaving them. They were at piece and were laughing for the first time since I had met them in January. We actually sat there for about 30 minutes watching my stoopid videos!!!

Not only did we have a good showing today but I have already scheduled another one for tomorrow!!!! Interest in their property has increased.

Also I want to point out that even with the price increase they still have the best priced 6/3 pool home in all of Kissimmee!!! This just may work.

May 24, 2008 12:11 PM #76
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


You could extend the couple one more logical argument about the high price and if they still won't lower it, it's time to walk. Obviously they are unrealistic about how the marketplace works and it's your time.

May 24, 2008 12:33 PM #77
Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty - Lititz, PA
Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz!

Bryant: Believe with them then read this:


May 24, 2008 03:24 PM #78
Gregory Lohr
Freedom Foreclosure Prevention Services - West Columbia, SC

I'm in the business of helping people save their homes, and based on the information you have offered Bryant, it appears fairly obvious this home cannot be saved as they cannot make the payments.  This only leaves a handful of options, some good, some not so good. 

Foreclosure and bankruptcy are obviously last resort options, and should be avoided at all cost when possible.  I know they don't want to do a short sale, but if the bank allows for it, this is a much better option than foreclosure or bankruptcy.  Better to dump the home and start over than attempt to start over after foreclosure or bankruptcy.

If we can't help homeowners save the home, I suggest considering a short sale.  There are a lot of investors out there looking for good deals.  Also, I wonder why renting the home wasn't considered earlier in this scenario.  If they would have found a renter, early in the process, this mess could have been avoided.  I will do a bit of research and see if renting at this point is possible.  Depending on how far behind they are, the lender may consider working with them if a renter is found.  Obviously, you don't want to rent if the lender won't mitigate as this would put the renter on the street....unless the renter agreed to move in under such conditions...which would put some cash in the homeowners pockets.

For future reference, we don't usually suggest having a homeowner move out of the home until after the foreclosure notice.  There are a number of reasons for this and would take too much room here.  I may have to write a blog on this subject.  To be brief, the lender has the right to take possession of an empty home as they consider it vacated and may feel the need to protect their interests.

As for burying a statue and praying over it...why does this rub me wrong?  Doesn't the OT define things like this as Idolatry?  Why the Statue...just pray.  Just asking.

I know the rules state we aren't supposed to promote ourselves in replies...but...saving homes from foreclosure is what we do, and I see that a lot of people have no idea what to do in these situations.  I'm new here and have been carefully reading and watching this site for a few weeks to get a feel for things BEFORE jumping in head first. 

I will start blogging soon, but please, contact me to learn more about how you can help homeowners in situations like this.  Since these homeowners can't afford the mortgage, different solutions must be carefully considered.  Selling the home is one option, but a back up plan should be considered to help avoid foreclosure. 

Part of my job will be to educate eveyone about our services, and how you as a Realtor or Mrg. Broker can help homeowners outside of your own box.  I can even show you how to make $$$ helping them with alternatives.  Please call me.  The only time I take off is Saturdays, & major holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Even then, if a homeowner is desperate, I'll return the call as soon as I can.  Saving homes is too important.  My office is in my home as I work nationwide.  If I'm awake, and not playing with my soon to be 5 yr. old, I'll answer if I'm home.  I check my messages frequently and get notified of new messages when away.

May 25, 2008 02:04 AM #79
Aaron Williamson
WestUSA Realty - Phoenix, AZ

I was raised to be a christian and that is who I turn to in time of need.  That is also who I give thanks to for the many blessings in my life; even when I sometimes forget to give thanks.  There have been a couple of times I turned my problems over to the powers that be and I can't explain it, but truly felt everything would work out just fine (it did)  Whether the house sells or is foreclosed, it will be as it will be.  I will pray for peace in their hearts and for their children to learn a life lesson to find something deep inside of themselves and help the parents survive, even possibly enjoy their remaining years.  If the children who caused this nightmare actually learned from it, maybe it would ease the parents hearts for having to go through such an experience.  Or would that be asking for too much?

May 25, 2008 02:55 AM #80
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Believe that they will get their price - my client did!   Property was originally priced in the high $650K range with another brokerage.  The husband was killed in an accident and his widow continued with the listing for 5 years!  The price kept dropping lower and lower with the house falling into a horrible state of disrepair.   This woman was basically living in 2 rooms with 13 pit bulls and every other room was filled with 'stuff'. I enter the picture with a Buyer who just happened to be a contracter who could make the necessary repairs at quite a bit less than someone who would need to hire out. The price at this time was down to $350K.  We provide her with a full price offer, a moving date of her choice and a team of his men with trucks to move her at no charge!   She turns us down saying she can't move anywhere at that price!!!

I get a phone call from her agent asking if I will take over the listing as he is now finally fed up!  Sure, I say . . .   what do I have to lose?   We put the price up $25000 and I get a new Buyer the same week at full asking price.  It closed 1 month later and my Seller is a happy woman living in a new home with her dogs.

Miracles do happen - I Believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

May 25, 2008 06:23 AM #81
Fiona Payne
Delano, MN

Bryant - best of luck with this potential buyer!  I have had your situation in the back of my mind since I first read your post, and I have been hoping that things would turn out well for them. 

May 25, 2008 10:36 AM #82
Lynn Pineda
eXp Realty - Boca Raton, FL
Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida

Bryant, sure I believe in miracles and miracles come in all shapes and sizes and having their home sold as a short sale would certainly count as a miracle saving them from foreclosure. They've already moved into a new home and with you handling the short sale their stresses should be reduced. Had they not found a new home to live in, then yes, their high level of stress would have continued. But to not and try to sell their home, I feel would be greater stress on any elderly couple as they would have to deal with knowing that they owned a home that was foreclosed on. At least with the Short Sale, they would see it as having taken care of some of their obligation. I'd go for the miracle of a Short Sale and hope it sells!

May 25, 2008 01:15 PM #83
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi guys. More great comments. Thanks!!!

As of miracle yet :) At least not the one they are looking for.

May 26, 2008 08:32 AM #84
Donna Grady
Keller Williams Realty - Wilmington, NC
Bringing Home Results

The power of prayer is not for us to fully understand.  KLOVE radio station mentioned a movement where some Christians are praying at the gas pumps while they are pumping their gas for Lower Gas Prices.  Didn't the barrel price of oil just get lower this week?  We probably will not feel it at the pumps yet but it did just go down.  And the internet posted today that not as many motorists drove Memorial Day as projected.  I worked at home today so I did not see if the prices in my area came down any. 

Surprisingly enough, when my radio is tuned to KLOVE, my real estate business improves as well as my personality and confidence.  I am not consistent but even when I fail God provides and lifts me up.

I'll be praying for your clients Bryant.  But if the miracle does not happen the way we all hope it does, at least they know that you stood by them all the way.  This could just be your test of faith.

May 28, 2008 01:00 PM #85
Laura Gray
RE/MAX Realty Group - Gaithersburg, MD

Broker Bryant


You have guided and tried to counsel them from the start , and they obviously haven't listened.  The house would be "Under Contract" by now from the previous offer if they were even paying the slightest bit of attention to you.. This couple (or spouse) has their own agenda and probably is the reason that the credit and finances are in such a disaray.

Does it actually surprise you that they want to raise the price by $40,000 ?

There is truly a fine line between being Stubborn and being Stuck on Stupid. Which side of the line are they on. You can still decide which side of the line you want to be on !



May 29, 2008 09:40 AM #86
Susan Zanzonico
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Morristown, NJ
Sellers/Buyers Agent, Morristown NJ Real Estate

Bryant, this tactic has worked for several realtors in New Jersey. We at first thought it crazy, but one seller who has had alot of experience said "trust me" I've done this before.  So we took the home off and put it back on at a higher price.  It sold.  I do believe in miracles, by the way, they happen all the time.  A little prayer doesn't hurt either.  Let us know what happens with this one.  I truly hope your client's health doesn't suffer more.

Jun 10, 2008 04:29 PM #87
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