AMAZING Short Sale Story!!

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max PowerPro Realty

Okay. You guys have inspired me to share my latest Short Sale experience.

This was as clear cut a hardship case as you have ever seen.


  • Wife is in the military .. was sent overseas
  • Husband's mother became ill (no insurance) - they had to help out
  • Husband lost his job
  • ALL of this was documented.
  • Countrywide was the only lender involved.

We received 3 offers ($340K, $310K and $295K) which we submitted. I went through 7 weeks of calling to their loss mitigation dept every Monday and Thursday. During each call I had to listen to the same prerecorded message and go through a lengthy interrogation to explain who I was, after which they would ask "would you mind if I put you on hold for 2-5 minutes while I read through the notes?"

  • At first my file was "not urgent enough" - the sale date is too far off.
  • When the sale date approached ... I ended up having them "postpone the sale date to consider the offers".
  • They assigned me a negotiator, who held it for a couple more weeks
  • The negotiator finally called to inform me that "Investors" wanted $339K (the $340K offer had walked away from the deal just 10 days prior). I don't blame them, they held on for 13 weeks - much longer than I would have held out in a market flooded with opportunities.
  • When I let the negotiator know that we had it sold if they would have just come back 2 weeks sooner ... her response was "yeah okay, who do you have interested in the property now?"
  • I offered it to the $310K and the $295K but neither budged.
  • It sat a month until the next offer and when I submiited it, I learned that we were back in the general sea of files... and we were no longer assigned the negotiator and we had a new sale date.
  • I got 2 new offers at $300K and one at $290K (which all seemed good to me - given the new comps we had to go with).
  • Extremely long story short ... I went through more of the same including: calls and more calls, another negotiator - who transferred me to a third negotiator ...
  • We finally got both sides to agree to a $300 k price.
  • When they did the inspection, they found a hole in the roof.
  • The buyer said they would take the house for $295K (considering the roof situation).
  • The bank responded - $300k is the bottom line
  • Buyer walked
  • Property foreclosed
  • Bank had to go in and fix the roof
  • If all of that was not enough... HERE IS WHERE I WAS BLOWN AWAY ...
    • They have now relisted at $279K with a repaired rook and paying full comission.

Maybe I'm missing something, but something is not right with this picture.

In this Reader's Digest version of an VERY long and grueling story there are at least 8 buyers who were made to wait for several weeks (or months) and an equal number of frustrated realtors (plus 1, myself) and a devastated seller whose credit is gone thanks to a terrible short sale system that needs attention and repair.

Michael Hernandez, Realtor
RE/MAX PowerPro Realty 


Comments (2)

Hal Elliott
Real Estate Broker, Lic. #01784034 - San Dimas, CA

That's CW!  Sad, but it is widely known that their escrows on both short sales and REO's are notoriously SLOW!  I've had 8 buyers in the last couple of months who were interested in properties either owned by CW or where they were the note holders in a shortsale and I was fearful of having to present an offer!  I have a broker friend who has had an offer out for 3 months.  He knows that they're entaining it only because TS date has been postponed twice, but no other word.  Again, sadly agents are picking up on that issue and not much attention is given.  In fact, it's near to impossible to get a listing agent to call back when it comes to CW short sales properties; I've had to go to their respective brokers to get a response.

To compound the issue, CW (as well as American Home Loans) have adopted a policy that all other attempts to save the property from TDS or shortsale must be sought prior to entertianing those prospective offers.  Buyers, as you point out, have many other options and are afraid to enter into a contract no matter what out clause you point out when they get a hint that negotiations might cost them the opportunity to pick up a deal.  I don't see CW and a few others getting the hint anytime soon.

It's like we're being forced to "create" offers to get those guys off their collective duffs! 



Oct 26, 2008 05:33 PM
Richard Riley
RE/MAX Properties SW - Orlando, FL

Michael, you have told well a terrible story.  My experience with Countrywide is similar.  Central Florida has loads of short sales, especially in Poinciana.  If you were to change the offer amounts and some time periods you would have a generic story of the short sale market.  It's almost a "fill in the blanks" form which any Realtor could use to document his/her own experience.  It's a pity that the powers that be don't get the message and change the internal administrative procedures at the lenders.  I doubt even a shareholder rebellion at CW or others would make a difference.  It's too entrenched.

Oct 27, 2008 05:41 AM