Short Sale with Tall Expectations

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams

Recently, a foreclosing lender contacted me and asked me to do a short sale for them. They gave me the seller's contact info. The seller is in Puerto Rico and has no access to email or fax. All communication would be via phone and snail mail for all documents.

I asked the loss mitigator if they had a BPO. She said they did. I did a quick and dirty check of the market (not a BPO) but found two identical homes that recently sold nearby. I have a good estimate of the value of the property. It will be around $70,000.

I only asked for two things - some guidance on the price, and an idea of what the compensation would be. They absolutely will not give me any guidance on the price. I understand the philosophy behind this - the investor wants to get as much as they can. But at the same time, if they tell me upfront what they expect, and it is too high - I will not do it. If it is too low, I will advise them to expect more.

They said total compensation (both sides) would be fairly low. I would likely get mid three figures for doing this. The hassle is dealing with a seller that is far away with no technology. She also has trouble understanding English and my Spanish is not good enough to explain the intricacies of a real estate deal.

I handle nothing but REOs and short sales, so I can usually predict accurately what something is going to sell for and in what time frame. Some loss mitigators will give the numbers up front.

I do not want to go through this only to find out they have no clue what the property is worth and decide to pay me the equivalent of $3 per hour.

Am I expecting too much when a lead is being put in my lap? I need to make a decision soon and would like some opinions of others.



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Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Wow, that sounds like an extremely tough case.  You're bringing international finance and international real estate law, translating with no guidance, and getting paid $500 IF the transaction goes through? 

Jan 15, 2009 12:08 AM #1
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX


I would pass on this one.  You could be generating more business while you are working this one.

Jan 15, 2009 12:42 AM #2
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I agree about passing, unless you had some guarantee for either more business or some guarantee of a certain percentage of compensation.  Seems like a lot of headache to me and I don't know about you, but handling a transaction in my own backyard is enough for me.

Jan 15, 2009 01:47 AM #3
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

If the lender is someone who gives you REOs I would take my chances and do it. If they are not I would ask to speak with their default Supervisor and try and get their business for basically doing a freebie. Every once in a while you have to take the bad with the good IMHO.

Jan 15, 2009 10:54 AM #4
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


I would be asking all the same questions......if you don't ask now you don't know what to expect.

Jan 27, 2009 04:56 AM #5
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I think you did the right thing.  Short sales need to be heavily screened.  Otherwise they can be big time wasters.

Feb 07, 2009 12:08 AM #6
Patrick Schutte
Flex Realty - Prescott, AZ

Make sure you have the whole picture from the lender too...

Here's some tips from Wells Fargo:

How to Speed Up a Short Sale Tips

Good luck!...

:) PS

Mar 29, 2009 02:54 AM #7
Paul Andres
Family Realty Group, Inc. - Fair Oaks, CA

First off I'd like to congratulate you for the referral - great job! Make it clear to the asset manger that you are VERY busy as an REO specialists that you will do it as a special favor in return for some additional referrals and or REO listings. Since you are dealing with snail mail I suggest using free translator assist. It's been a great help for me with my Spanish speaking CFK recipients. Great luck to you!

Apr 03, 2009 10:25 AM #8
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