One year ago I took a short sale listing in a very targeted neighborhood; a 55+ community. I knew it wouldn't be easy to find a buyer. It wasn't. Many price reductions (we were competing with the on-going new construction), we finally got a buyer to submit a very reasonable offer in late May of this year.
That same contract has been with Countrywide and their investor, Fannie Mae, since then. Countrywide has ordered a total of 4 appraisals and 2 BPOs (Broker Price Opinion). The problem is that Fannie Mae, the investors on this loan, has a completely unrealistic idea of the worth of the property.
The buyers submitted their own appraisal (if you are counting, that's #5) for reconciliation with Fannie Mae, as an answer to Fannie's unreasonable counter offer ($30K above the buyers own appraisal that will secure their loan). That was July. August was the last we heard from our negotiator.
There is a foreclosure sale date set for early December. I can't believe that this listing will have been on the market for over one year by the time we get to that date. I also can't believe that Countrywide and Fannie Mae will have had a market value offer for over 6 months only to have this property bought back by the bank on the sale date.
What a tremendous waste! When I think of the government bailing out these companies, I want to scream. I have put in one solid year on this listing, and got the bank the best result I can: A MARKET VALUE OFFER. Countrywide and Fannie Mae may as well have waded it up and threw the contract in the trash.
I would not have done anything differently. I was hired by a wonderful couple that fell on the most challenging time of their lives. I did the best I could to get the optium result from a bad situation. While that didn't happen, I did make friends for life who will never forget the hard work I put into this. They know, there are many Realtors who wouldn't have stuck it out this long.
We could still (hypotheically) get an approval from Countrywide and Fannie Mae to close this deal, but at this point, I think it's more likely that pigs will fly, or Ralph Nader will be elected President next Tuesday.
If you are experiencing the prospect of foreclosure, a short sale is soemthing that you have nothing to lose by trying. But make sure you find a Realtor that is willing to stick out the fight with you. As you can see, this is a trying process, but can get a better result in terms of the hit your credit rating will take.