Who Else Wants to Buy a Short Sale?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

buying short salesAt my office meeting this morning, an REO agent said Countrywide's stats are showing 1 out of every 5 short sales are successful. Then, other agents expressed concerns over closing a short sale, and some mentioned that they deliberately eliminate short-sale listings from their buyer's daily emails of new listings.

In part, I understand why some Sacramento agents don't like to work short sales, but the thing is unless a buyer's circumstances dictate a solid reason why a short sale is not suitable for that particular buyer -- for example, maybe they need to close within 30 days or so -- buyers are going to find the short sale listings whether agents send them or not.

Hiding short sale listings from buyers could be considered sort of sneaky, and that practice may constitute a breach of fiduciary responsibility, especially if the parties have signed a buyer's broker agreement.

Because fewer and fewer agents want to pursue short sales, it means there is less competition among buyers who write offers on short sales. Certainly much less than many REO homes.

If you want to buy a short sale, you should find an agent who can help you to figure out which short sales are worth pursing. Not all short sale listings qualify for a short sale, and some listing agents have zero negotiation skills nor patience to work with the lenders.  But there are some pretty terrific deals out there in short sale territory. Call me, I'll work with you. I enjoy a 100% success rate with buyers in Sacramento and haven't lost one yet!

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Photo: Big Stock Photo

The Short Sale, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming from Archer Ellison January 2009.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Rainer
171,475
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

I would bet Elizabeth, that you are not one of those agents with ZERO negotiating skills. It is also very apparent you have the patience to work through these short sales. Great advice.

Oct 22, 2008 08:38 AM #1
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Elizabeth, I don't know how many agents "hide" short sales from their clients although that would be an interesting fact to find out, but their difficulty in bringing them to fruition would make one at least "pause" before working them. I agree with Fred, agents with patience are better with this category.

Oct 22, 2008 10:29 AM #2
Rainmaker
2,536,894
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - I haven't hidden a "short-sale" listing from a buyer.  However, I would certainly be quick to "educate" them about that 1 in 5 stat you quote.  I have certainly heard of the last minute fall outs after 8 and 9 months of negotiation, where the bank has tried to shake down a buyer or someone else for extra thousands.  In a short sale a buyer ends up negotiating with several of entities - the bank, the seller, maybe even the PMI/MIP carrier, etc.  It gets to be a little game.  With an REO property, at least some of those players are removed from the process.  Short sales are anything but short in actuality.

I will say this however, Elizabeth. . .After getting to know you these last few months, if anyone COULD put a short sale together well, it WOULD be you!  You can have my share of them, and I will wish you the greatest of luck.

Oct 22, 2008 01:36 PM #3
Rainmaker
268,274
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

You are amazing... and I can't wait to read your new book on this. Talk about changing the matket... Good for you girl!

Oct 22, 2008 01:47 PM #4
Ambassador
628,186
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Elizabeth....spot on.....so many aspects of our business of late involves full disclosure from Realtors....not just sellers. Nice post!

Oct 22, 2008 03:11 PM #5
Rainmaker
167,750
Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley

Short sales are nearly always a waste of time. I really doubt that as many as 20% of short sales close. The national average is 10%.

I don't "hide" short sales from my clients, but I do tell them WHY they are a total waste of time. I sold short sales in the early 90s and it was fine. But today, it's a great way to spin your wheels and never get paid because the banks seldom respond within even 3 weeks, or maybe never.

Oct 22, 2008 04:05 PM #6
Rainmaker
2,189,769
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Fred, Gary, Lori, Jeanean and Mary: I don't know about some of your MLS, but in Sacramento, when we set up automatic listings to be emailed to buyers, we can "uncheck" the active short sale status so the buyers don't receive them. That's a practice many agents follow.

Hey, Myrl, send me your short sale buyers -- I'll take them. And short sale sellers, too. I'll see you are compensated. Over the past 3 years, I have lost 3 short sale listings. One because the seller refused to cooperate at the last minute. Another because the offer arrived within 2 days of the trustee's sale and the third because the bank was stupid. All the rest have closed. So, one stupid bank out of three years' of work isn't bad odds. But then, I am also selective of which short sales I take on. :)

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

 

Oct 23, 2008 06:39 AM #7
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  Clients just need to educated....once we are done educating the Realtors.  You're right.  Short sales can work for some clients, but not those working with tight time frames.   And, quite frankly, I'm sad to see so many Realtors thumb their nose at these listings, from taking them and from taking their buyers to them.

Oct 23, 2008 07:39 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,189,769
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Chris Ann: Well, you and I know they do it, and it is too bad because buyers are going to find those listings and ask to see them. Some agents try to do one or two short sales, get frustrated and discouraged and lament, "Oh, none of them close," when in actuality, the true short sales do close. It's weeding through the fake ones that makes a difference.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land parkelizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 23, 2008 08:08 AM #9
Rainer
51,554
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Elizabeth - Wow that 's a terrible thing for agents to do.  I show all the potential listings that fit my buyer's need and I just educate them on the differences between REOs(bank owned properties), Short Sales and regular listings.  I do explain that there is some risk with short sales, ie: no guarantee it will close and if it doesn't buyer risks losing money for inspections (if the lender doesn't accept the offer price, etc, depends on how well listing agent can negotiate and work the system).  And if this deal goes through it takes much longer to close than your standard transaction. However there are some decent wholesale deals out there and as long as the buyer understands the situation I think it's best for all parties involved.

Oct 23, 2008 09:37 AM #10
Rainmaker
2,536,894
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - I'm convinced you are a little short-sale miracle worker :-) 

Oct 23, 2008 10:53 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,189,769
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Jessica: I do the same thing. But I also let my buyers submit a multitude of offers on short sales (all with separate checks, of course), to decrease those odds.

Hi Myrl: I'm a bull dog. And if the deal doesn't go through, it's not like my cats are going to be deprived of cat food. Some agents need that deal, and they need it NOW, so they refuse to work short sales.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 23, 2008 01:13 PM #12
Rainmaker
219,988
Michael Wayne Jackson
Coldwell Banker - Novato, CA
Realtor - Senior Real Estate Specialist

Short sales tend to not have that much competition because of the process that tends to be slow but it's tru the right buyer will close on a short sale.

Oct 24, 2008 07:13 AM #13
Rainmaker
2,189,769
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Mike: If the short sale is truly worth pursuing and if the buyer has patience, they tend to work out. :)

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 26, 2008 01:15 PM #14
Rainmaker
132,643
Lanette Branch
RE/MAX Components - Fallston, MD
Bel Air, MD REALTOR

Elizabeth, I wish my stats were like the ones you're quoting! I seem to pick the wrong ones, I guess...

More power to you and keep on knocking 'em out!

Oct 26, 2008 03:07 PM #15
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Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

It is a deal.....if you have all the time in the world and you don't have a time agenda. Short sales are painful.

Oct 26, 2008 03:15 PM #16
Rainer
6,007
Bob Dalsimer
Inspira Group, Inc. - Irvine, CA
Your Irvine Real Estate and Lending Professional

Elizabeth -

You say you dont take all short sales - what criteria do you us when selecting a short sale. I too, will work short sales on a buy and sell side and am a bulldog. Right now we are still batting 100% and my goal is to keep over 80%, yet, I havent been using any selection process.

Let me know.

Thanks,

BOB

Oct 26, 2008 06:13 PM #17
Rainmaker
2,189,769
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Lanette and Bob: I look for educated and experienced listing agents with a track record, agreeable lenders and comparable sales. If comparable sales don't substantiate the price (or at least the price my buyers want), it's not worth pursuing.

Hi Ellie: You can always farm out the lender hammering to a person who enjoys it.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 27, 2008 04:24 AM #18
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