How do we get the banks to get with the Short Sale Program??

Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives Platinum

Today is just one of those days that I wished I had just slept in and taken the day off work - so I am going to take a break and write for a moment so that the I do not bite off the head of the next person that walks through the door!  With that said - I am taking a moment to breathe deeply and count to ten.  :-)

I am not new to the business as I have been a full time Realtor in the Antelope Valley for over 6 years - but it has just been the past few months that I have started working short pays again.  When I first got my license I did one or two in Lancaster & Palmdale, but it seems like these days they are much harder to do - I don't know - maybe it is me because I am getting older and we live in the information age where we have 24/7 access to the Internet, Instant Messenger, 24 hour news channels and the list goes on and on .....  so this being the case why does it take the bank 4 weeks to tell us that they will not accept a short pay??? 

Now I know that the loss mitigators are very over worked and have huge case loads - so this is NOT a personal attack on them.  I am sure that their job really stinks because they are dealing with stressed & emotional homeowners (and agents) . I imagine that since the banks are taking losses on these loans they are probably not hiring an excess amount of staff to process these requests -but what is it going to take for the banks to wake up and smell the coffee that the current system they use is probably costing them much more money in the long run! 

I am not sure how the rest of you agents out there feel about this, but it drives me nuts to not be able to get any kind of an answer as to where our file is in the pile of hundreds on their desk.  I always try to ask how long to expect to wait before I get any kind of returned call. I do not want to call to much as I know their voice mails are full - and I do not want to wait to long as we are usually running up against an auction date.  I am only able to get e-mail address from about 1/2 of the banks I am trying to work with and even then I seldom get a reply.  But it seems to me that they would be able to run things much smoother if they used a system like transaction point so we can access 24/7 and see exactly where our file is - and what has been done.  Depending on which bank I am dealing with I am sometimes able to at least get a real person who can  usually not tell me much other then "yes they got the paperwork" or "it is in review". 

I guess the reason this is irritating me so much today is that I have been working on a deal with a lender - who bounces you from the loss mitigators to their attorneys.  The attorney I was dealing with was actually very nice and as helpful as she could be - but mostly they seem to be nothing more then the paper pushers and can not make any real decisions and they tell you to call back loss mitigation. When I told the attorney I had left several messages and had no phone calls in over 10 days she suggested to keep calling - hang up and call again over and over again until he answered.  First of all if I was on the receiving end of a phone that rang like that and I finally picked up the phone I would probably put what ever file was being called about back to the bottom of the stack.  So that was not an option I choose to do - instead I pushed different extensions until I finally got a live person and they were able to transfer me to a manager who looked up the file and told me it was still in review - after I pointed out to her it was going to auction the next business day  (Monday) her response was- well they are coming in this weekend to work on things. 

Now I do appreciate the fact that they are working late and coming in on the weekends - but how happy is that going to make that employee giving up family time to spend all weekend at work?? Do you think they are going to try to sit down and look close at the files to approve them.. no - they will take a peak and say "no" and move on - which is fine is you still have some time before the sale - but when they come in on Saturday and your sale is on Monday morning how are we supposed to go back and try to get the buyer to raise the price?? 

In the example I am referring to I do not think that we would have been able to work out the deal anyway because the attorney told me that the lender will only discount at the most 15% the total loan amount - which again makes no sense if the house was way over leveraged to begin with and the market has declined at least 15% in this particular market place.  I even sent a copy of the information from realtytrac showing that there were already 330 bank owned properties in that zip, 191 going to auction in the next 21 days and 631 in pre -foreclosure (and this zip code does not cover a very large area).

Anyway- I guess my whole point to this is that if we had known even on Sunday the offer was rejected then maybe we could have gotten a counter offer for a higher amount to the buyer.  I had the house listed over 60 days and $25,000 under market value. I told the buyer to make sure they gave me a best and final offer - although I still think he would have gone higher.  I only had 1 other agent show the house plus the offer I got.  How do the banks think that they will be able to net more money in the long run for a home that we already had priced below market and in a County with a huge amount of foreclosures??

This is not about the loss of a commission check to me (although a payday from all the time spent on the phone would have been nice) .There has just got to be a better way for the banks to keep us up to date on status. There are a lot of really good people out there who are just trying to salvage what they can of their dignity and walk away from their home with their head not dragging to the ground.


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Greg Wilson
1st Cornerstone Realty - Schaumburg, IL

There are some good companies out there that work just with short sales.  they work with the bank on behalf of the client.

Dec 06, 2008 01:56 AM #157
Greg Wilson
1st Cornerstone Realty - Schaumburg, IL

One thing I wish would happen with short sales is if the whole process was a lot simpler.  I don't think it should take over 2 weeks to get a reply back on an offer.

Dec 16, 2008 11:59 PM #158
Mark Vela
ERA All Texas Realty - San Marcos, TX

Hi Donna,

First Preston has a new pre-approved short sale program they are rolling out within th next few months which will make your job alot easier. The program is called HomeTelos & they are still accepting listing agents for this program in some areas.


Dec 18, 2008 01:40 AM #159
Keith Pound
Realtor, Auctioneer - Louisville, KY - 502-645-5950

Donna, I am working on some short sales right now, I sumbit the offers and wait and grow old. LOL

Jan 02, 2009 05:59 PM #160
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Don't you get it.  This is why they need Congress to give them the full $700 Billion.  That way they can hire more staff to help homeowners.  Seriously though, I feel your frustration.  Short sales are a true pain in the rear.  It is just a numbers game.  Some will and some won't.  You just have to screen out the ones with the least chance of succeeding.

Jan 02, 2009 11:28 PM #161
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

Keith, that sounds about right;-)

Jan 03, 2009 01:21 AM #162
Tracy Royce
Short Sale Arizona, Arizona Short Sale Realtor - Phoenix, AZ
Royce of Real Estate - Short Sale Arizona

Donna, thanks for sharing your frustratoin, but hang in there! The banks are unreasonable, illogical, and insane to not accept our offers, I know, I know.

Our office phrase to banks tends to be "We'll lose you less" we're not discounting the fact that they are going to still have to forgive some of the debt, but we show them, time and time again, that by working with us, they will lose (typically) much less than they will if they let a full foreclosure go through, and have to accrue those costs, plus holdling costs, resale fees, and any fix up.

You'd think they'd be JUMPING on these, but OVER and OVER they simply are refusing to agree on the logic of this, and guess what happens.....they sell the property months later at usually 10's of thousands of dollars less than what we were offering them in the first place.

Please keep in mind banks take time to catch up with is whatever going on the market, so this mindset will probably not be quick to change.

It's going to take a collective effort on our part as RE professionals to keep giving them "in the field" feedback....but we CAN make a difference.

Just keep doing what you can.....we are still closing 1-2 deals every day, and we have over a dozen negotiators working for us that do nothing more than hammer the banks every day in, east coast to west coast time.

Hope this helps - hang in there!

Tracy Venezia-Royce

Live Free Investment Group


Jan 28, 2009 06:31 AM #163
Lisa Long
Heather Roda Broker - Paso Robles, CA

I wish I knew. The man on the news last night who refused to leave his foreclosed house grabbed a lot of attention. It showed the desperation of a lot of Americans.

Feb 11, 2009 06:24 AM #164
Jay-Paul Lowry
Riverside, CA



I feel for your situation. I may have something that can help you speed up the approval of short sales from lenders. i will send you an email. I hope it helps.


JP Lowry--President--Preferred Financial Funding

Mar 14, 2009 10:23 AM #165
Michael-Edward Cruz
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty - Newport Coast, CA
Michael-Edward Cruz - Newport Coast & Bay Front

I really appreciate the information in this post. I has helped me and so I wanted to give back with a tip that has helped me.

Sometimes, after  you send your packet, there is a period in which you need to wait. Wait for them to process assign or whatever they are supposably doing. One thing that has worked for me if I can't get anywhere with the bank agent I am dealing with is to simply say goodbye and call back, call back until I find someone that is willing to help me. I find called and called and have really met some great people that care and are willing to work with you. I mean simple little things like where is the file? is it complete? are sometimes impossible to get an answer for. So i've hung up and called back. Until someone actually cared enough to check and help push my file through.


Michael-Edward Cruz

May 10, 2009 11:01 AM #166
Sean Goodwin


Great posts with lots of good insight. I'd like to share a bit of my own. As a private investor/hard money lender, note and REO buyer and seller, and real estate investor, I have been on both sides of these frustrating transactions. I'd like to share my perspective and some tips that I hope will help many of you. First, banks don't want real estate, but they do want, like all of us, to minimize losses and maximize returns. Also, many banks are not the actual owners of mortgages but only the servicers. Investors, banks and servicers alike were not and are still not prepared to handle the huge increase in defaulting mortgages, foreclosures, REOs. The originating system has run it's huge volume on automation for years. The resolution system needs an individual decisionning process and this is the bottleneck. It was designed to be the exception not the rule, now it's the new normal, and we are still in triage. The banks are shifting towards short sales and moving away from foreclosing and selling REOs. So get your short sale file prep skills down and 2010 will be a great year for you.

If you want to help the existing homeowner find out who their investor actually is. Send in a QWR (Qualified Written Request) to the servicer asking for the info and then contact them. Servicers make commissions on collected back payments and late fees, so they have a conflicting interest in finding real solutions. Often times that's why when you call them you get an off shore call center with people who know nothing and are going off a script. Get to the investor, they are much more likely to help you or put you in contact with someone from servicing further up the food chain who can make a decision and actually help. 

If you want to increase your volume of closed short sales, go to the banks prior to having a contract. Go to their websites and download their requirements, their entire package and add some additional information. Provide your own BPO of the property, perhaps even just listing the values listed from all the online sites like zillow, realtytrac, trulia etc. Many professionals forget the servicers are supposed to, by law and contract get the investors the most they can. So knowing the NPV (Net Present Value) as determined by comps will support the purchase price, and the banks booking the loss. This will help for a short refi, helping the existing owner or a new buyer get on the fast track to closing. 

"A rolling loan, gathers no loss." The government is really not helping either, in fact I would say they are not only the culprits but they are making it worse. Their bailouts to wall street have encouraged banks to put their head in the sand for as long as possible. So if you want to help in the long run, vote all your congressmen and representatives out. In the short term, know the system and use it to help people, you will find in doing so you will also be helping your self. I hope this helps.

Sean Goodwin - TD Investment Funding, Inc.

LinkedIn Group/Private Money



Jan 02, 2010 08:41 AM #167
Ellen Farrell
The Mortgage Maven - Cardiff by the Sea, CA

It just so happens that I am a Short Sale negotiator who takes all the stress away from you.  You'll be freed up to spen time with clients and prospects instead of banks.  I can do this for FREE.  There's no cost to you or your client.  Our attorney and negotiators make sure the best interest of your client is represented.  We keep all parties notified of all activity and give weekly reports.  We are now accepting a limited number of files at NO COST!!!!  We've done hundreds of loan modification and short-sale negotiations with great results.  We don't submit fake purchase agreements or have clients put their house in a Trust.  Check out my profile for more info.  Ellen

The Mortgage Maven


Jun 10, 2010 01:17 PM #168
Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Donna, only after reading ALL of the posts did I look at the dates to see you wrote this over three years ago.  Three years.......and I don't see that much has changed.  Wow.  Great posts and great comments.  I guess I will have more empathy for the agents who are pushing for answers...your job doesn't sound much more fun than mine.

Jul 09, 2010 10:09 AM #169
Lisa Long
Heather Roda Broker - Paso Robles, CA

In California we have just as many difficulties getting the short sales approved. All the agents and brokers I work with are hard working and in my opinion go far above and beyond what I have seen some agents do to get a sale closed. That being said, In the end it is usually the banks that put a stop to the sale either by taking so long the buyers walk or by refusal to remove deficiency wording from the approval letter. I do take pride in knowing that whatever happens I treat all my clients with dignaty and respect and do my job to best of my ability and see it through to the very end.

Sep 13, 2010 09:59 AM #170
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

We recently had a loss mitigation person from the bank tell us they collect more money from the mortgage insurer if they go to foreclosure instead of a short sale.

Oct 31, 2010 06:56 AM #171
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

I came back to see there are any updated comments to help with this situation.

Jul 04, 2011 08:47 PM #172
Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN
HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578 - La Quinta, CA
I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!

That's it Dave.  Not rocket science.  Follow the money.  They make servicing fees on original note values, and the Fed matches funds when they foreclose.  Short Sales get approved when the Lender is READY to write off the loan values.  They keep their books cooked as long as they possibly can so their Investors think they are worth more than they are..


The Banksters are running things and you cannot put the words Bank and Logic in the same sentence!

Jul 29, 2011 10:48 AM #173
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast


I was surfing and found your post. I'm hoping you are now finding the process more organized that it was in 2007, which was a crazy unorganized year for short sales. If you are not already, I encourage you to join us on Short Sale Realtors Group on AR: Great place to vent and discuss short sales. Hope all is well!

Sep 07, 2011 02:44 AM #174
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Donna come join us on Short Sale Realtors Group on Active Rain:

I hope you are finding pre-foreclosures more organized in 2011 than 2007, that was a messy process back then. My first short sale in 2006 closed 2.5 years later. Since then my record is 77 days. Have you gotten your CDPE or any other training to ease the process? Happy to help, I perform many pre-foreclosure sales.

Sep 07, 2011 02:48 AM #175
Teresa Tims
TDR Mortgage & Real Estate Group - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Teresa Tims

Short sale is like a property is sold for less than the balance of the mortgage.

Sep 04, 2013 03:05 AM #176
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