Agent2Agent in Orlando>Question Details

Lisa Foster, Real Estate Pro in Orlando, FL

How successful have you been with Short Sale negotiations? While some negotiations are a smooth process, others seem to be longer than expected.

Asked by Lisa Foster, Orlando, FL Fri Nov 16, 2012

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I am SFR certified and knowledgeable about the process. My experience is that it all depends on the lein holder and the work ethics of the Asset Manager. I have done everything required, but it may sit for sometime due the work load of the Asset Manager. Then once approved it moves to another department which can also take 30 days. Recently I recieved a verbal approval with all documents in to the lender , but it still took over 30 days before the appraisal was complete. I do enjoy negotiations so the Short Sale process is not a hassle for me.
It is most important that you educate your sellers of the process and make sure the buyers agent is also knowledgable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
After handling about 5 transactions myself (all successful) I learned what I needed to know and I decided that the short sale negotiation process was too time consuming. I now work with a professional negotiation company who handles all interaction with the bank and we are also 100% successful to date.

I think the bad reputation short sales receive is due in part to too many inexperienced agents, hungry for listings, taking any property listing without really pre-qualifying the seller for a hardship. And of course the bank or banks involved play a big role as well. BOA seem to finally have their act together but many of the smaller banks just don't have the resources to move like them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
In my experience, it all depends on the negotiator assigned by the BANK! I have one right now with Bank of America, homeowner completed all the information, BPO was done within 10 days and things were moving along well until the negotiator quit and a new negotiator was assigned. It's been two months now and we JUST got her to submit the paper work to the Phase I team for approval of the short sale. It's
HAFA and the client was turned down 3 times for a modification before he decided to well. B of A says the problem is with their system. LOL! I fully expect the BPO will no longer be valid by the time we get approval early next week. Sad part is, we have an offer, one we can work with and I can't even submit it!

It takes persistence and patience and, yes, like Jennifer, I used to be a paralegal so I know how to put the paperwork together the way the Bank wants it. I have even prepared a 'CMA' that was more like a legal brief for one of my files, complete with market trends, inventory levels, and a CMA. You just have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the deal done. I have lost short sale clients because they got tired of waiting, had one where the BUYER couldn't get a mortgage and stringing us along, but I have never failed to get one closed as long as we had a legitimate offer and buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
Hi Lisa, I am astounded by the answers of some of the realtors on this site. There is no negotiations with short sales? Just write offer and throw at the bank? Sorry, but this is pretty bad. I wonder if they tell the seller this when they take the listings. I am very successful with short sales and the last 5 home listings I took had the BPO completed within 10 days of going under contract. It is a matter of assisting the seller to complete ALL the paperwork prior to putting the home on the market. It is always wise to submit for HAFA (if client eligible) prior to getting a contract and knowning the guidelines for the various lenders. I am a former paralegal and while I am not saying that you need prior legal experience in dealing with loss mitigation, it certainly helps. I always suggest to other agents asking me for advice that if you are not familiar with short sales, hire a negotiator or law firm that is. Then you can be left to do your job marketing the home and the professionals can negotiate and assist the seller in positioning themselves for success. The worst thing that could happen to a poor seller that is underwater and in financial distress is a non-experienced agent that is too unprofessional to admit this to their sellers.

PS - there is an awesome short sale website designed for agents to network with eachother and help each other out with forms, guidance, etc. I'd be happy to share it with you. And if you need recommendations on really awesome negotiators/law firms, happy to share that with you too.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
What I have discovered is there is no negotiating with short sales. Write the offer, submit it, get the seller to accept it, and then hope the bank does too. Worse case, bank counters based on their BPO reports, which are fair market value. Remember, just because it's a short sale doesn't mean it's a "deal". Most short sales are fair market value in many cases because the BPO shows that price. The banks will take some loss, but it's in their best interest to let it go to foreclosure and then sell it for fair market or higher. At least that is what I see around here. When you go into a short sale, put your best offer out there that is fair market, ask for closing costs, etc. I find if we are reasonable the bank is too and it also depends on how much the seller owes on the mortgage, the risk mitigation aspects, loss by the lender, location, how that market is doing price wise (around here it's going up). I've closed them in 45 days and I've waited as long as 6 months and voided the offer as another property became available for the clients. Thats the big thing to tell the buyers, keep looking and if something else comes along, be prepared to move on that property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
Hi Lisa!
My office has been specializing in short sales since what seem like 'forever' !!!, and we've been very successful.Processed about 160 and have 20 or so on the go at any one time We have an experienced, full time, in-house staff that handles the processing and submission of the paperwork to lenders. Some short sales are MUCH smoother than others; it depends a lot on the lender, how many mortgages there are, and who the investor ho;ding the note is. We would love to take referrals if you do not wnat to mess with short sales

Please let me know if I can help you further
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Best wishes
Alan Martin
Lic. Real Estate and Business Broker
Accredited Luxury Home Specialist

8810 Commodity Circle
Unit 36
Orlando Fl

Telephone +1 407 832 4888 Fax + 1 877 833 7163
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
Hi Lisa:

We have an experienced in-house short sale negotiator free of charge who handles A to Z of our short sale listings. I have personally closed 100% of my short sales but of course have heard horror stories from my colleagues. About 50% of our listings are short sales so we have a really good handle of the process and have worked with virtually every single bank out there.

Hope this helps.

Abraham Bidhendi
Exit Realty Access, LLC
Direct: (407) 744-2533
Fax: (407) 444-9925
Website: Or
Kissimmee Office: 391 N. Main St., Kissimmee, FL 34741
Altamonte Springs Office: 660 Palm Springs Dr., Suite D, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
Hi Lisa!
My office has been specializing in short sales since 2008 or so, and we've been very successful. We have an experienced, full time, in-house staff that handles the processing and submission of the paperwork and negotiations with the lender. Some short sales are MUCH smoother than others; it seems to depend a lot upon the lender, how many mortgages there are, and who the investor on the loan is. Fannie Mae has been particularly difficult recently, as they've randomly started expecting contract price to be 35% to 55% higher than market value.
Although no short sale is "typical", we've been experiencing sale times of about 45 to 90 days. Again, this depends on so many variables that it's hard to pinpoint exactly, but that's a good estimate.
Good luck to you!

Warm Regards,
Michael Kara
RE/MAX Exclusive Collection
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012

I am in Vancouver, WA . I am an Exclusive Buyers Broker. There are more traditional sales coming into our inventory, even this time of year, plus a lot of new affordable builds. Two years ago I was completing one or two shorts per month with clients. Yes, they can be time consuming and have hiccups, but at that time it was really the only way a first time buyer could get into a home around here, and I actually had some very savy higher end buyers that were willing to wait through the process. Currently, my clients have so many choices that they are choosing to "opt out" of short sales on their auto replies. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 22, 2012
Hi Lisa, the last one I closed was with Bank of America and also a 2nd with another bank. Once we received a good offer I went through the Equater System. I kept on task, followed up with calls and we received an approval within 40 days and were able to close 30 days later. This one seemed faster than my last one, I think the banks are getting better to work with.
Lets hope so....
Best of luck, Marie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
Hi Lisa,

I agree with Judi, no two short sales are alike. One thing I have learned with short sales is to expect the unexpected. It seems unforeseen issues always seem to arise but luckily I have managed to close all my short sales thus far.

Best of Luck,

Barbara Grandolfo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
Hello Lisa:

In short, we have been very successful with negotiations involving short sales. We have our own short sale division within our company. They specialize in doing short sales and it is all they do. All of our agents receive free short sale negotiation so our staff is very busy with their transactions in addition agents from other companies have our staff do their negotiations as well.

The short sale negotiation cost is paid by the banks and there is no charge to buyers, sellers, or realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
They are definitely a mixed bag but seem to be improving lately with faster response times. As I have found no two are alike.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
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