Make sure to have your agent finds out from the listing agent, how they are handling their Short Sale Listings.
Here is how we handle our Short Sale Listings...We price Short Sale listings at what the bank can "Realistically" expect to get for the property. We accept offers until we have Short Sale Approval from the bank. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART...we encourage agents to NOT have their client submit an offer over the list price (I will touch on why in a moment).
For purposes of this example I will use one of our Short Sale listing located in the Southwest that is currently listed at $208,000. We have 18 offers on the property, but again I have encouraged agents not to submit offers over list price. (by the way the bank had an appraisal conducted, which is standard on a short sale, and the appraisal came back at $208,250). The fact is that no matter what the home sells for, the Seller will not get any funds from the sale. So our obligation to our seller is to help save them from foreclosure. If one person offers $225,000 for the property and the remaining 17 buyers all offer the $208,000 list price, once the bank obtains a $225,000 offer this is what they will want for the property, as obviously they want to minimize their losses. Now letâ€™s fast forward (for the purposes of this example) to 45 days from now when we get the Short Sale Approval back from the bank. If the buyer that submitted the $225,000 offer NO LONGER WANTS THE HOUSE OR HAS PURCHASED ANOTHER HOME, we now have to go back to the other 17 buyers with a Counter Offer of $225,000 because of that offer. If none of the other 17 buyers are willing to pay the $225,000 for the house, then that puts us back to square one with no one to sell the house to. This also puts the seller another 60 days behind on payments and closer to foreclosure. So by turning the sale into a "bidding war" this has not helped anyone involved, as the seller is now closer to foreclosure, the remaining buyers cannot get the house for a â€œrealistic priceâ€, none of the agents get paid, the bank may now have to foreclose, etc, etc.
Now letâ€™s say the situation is different. All offers are at $208,000 the bank agrees to that price, but now there are only 2 buyers that still want the property once Short Sale approval is granted. On our Short Sale listings this is where your 849 FICO score will help you, as at this point the seller now has to choose which of the 2 buyers offers they will accept. Obviously time is of the essence and they need to be sure that the buyer can close the deal, so at this point we would advise our client to accept the offer that has the strongest buyer and that can most likely close the deal.
When it comes to Short Sales, our client is the seller that is trying to avoid foreclosure, not the bank trying to minimize their losses. And again no matter what the property sells for, the client still does not get any money from the sale. On a Short Sale listing our obligation is to the seller and to help save them from a foreclosure and to help salvage their credit as much as possible. So again causing a â€œbidding warâ€ could ultimately cause the property not to sell and therefore hurt our client in the end, as it may be too late to obtain another buyer for the property before the bank takes the home.
On our REO (Bank owned) properties and standard sales this is a different situation. Our client is now the bank, or the private seller, and our obligation to the seller is to get the most we can for our seller. So REOâ€™s and standard sales are handled in a much different manner.
Bottom line is that not all agents handle their Short Sale listings in the same manner, so knowing how the agent will handle the sale will help you a great deal.
Please forgive the 3 answers, and this lengthy explanation, but I am trying to pack almost 10 years of Short Sale experience into a few posts on Trulia.
You have a number of replies, so let me just explain some of the ins & outs of short sales. I prefer my clients have an understanding of what can take place with them.
Having a top tier 775 & above FICO is always good to have, and pre-approvals a necessity for most any offer, but it doesn't necessarily provide an edge for a short sale offer being accepted. In some cases a lender specific pre-approval may be required, and of course that would normally be easier to do with what you have in place. Still, each short sale is it's own animal and depends on the seller's situation and the lender involved.
They can be a lengthy process. Some lenders are requiring they being shopped for offers for a minimum 90 days. You can wait that long before an approval process even begins.
Here's Countrywide's "best case scenario", barring any time for collecting offers...
The short sale process typically takes 60 days to complete, but may take longer.
The primary stages are:
Determination of value - 2 weeks
Negotiation and approval of offer - 2-5 days
Transaction approval - 2-5 days
Escrow closing - 2-4 weeks
Approved short sales can also be somewhat confusing. The seller's agent may be approved to list the short sale, but even when receiving offers at asking or above, it still doesn't mean the lender will accept them. Having contacts with the Loss Mitigation Officer may not help, as they will have to compare numbers with the REO department. The banks are out to minimize losses, so the best deal for their benefit, wins.
Let me give you one possible situation. A case of an insured mortgage that pays the lender in the event of a default. They will weigh the options of the REO foreclosure and resulting insurance payoff vs. offers received. The insurance claim may offer a better return to the lender. Situations such as this may account for some of the ridiculous low ball numbers that often appear in online foreclosure listings, as they only take raw transaction data. They may list the price of an REO as the difference of the transfer.
Another can be where the lender will only agree to the short sale if the seller agrees to pay a note for the difference. In that case the seller, that is already unable to make payments, may reject the short sale offers, not the bank. The seller may just walk, or since the home has been marketed, try to minimize their own losses to their credit by negotiating a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure with the lender.
There are many more variables. I just wanted to make you aware of what you may encounter in a short sale transaction. Obviously some will close, others will not, and the time involved can vary greatly. Even "short sale specialists" can't bring them all to the table, or necessarily make it a smooth or faster process. I don't mention this to sound discouraging, only to make you aware of what may be involved.
I also recommend looking at the whole market picture if you want to compare your options. Does it really matter if a property is labeled a short sale, REO, or just a resale, if any one of those offers you the best for your investment?
It isn't always a wise choice to shop strictly for a generic and intentionally ignore a name brand that may be on sale for the same amount, or offer better value. The same applies to anything you may purchase, and at the moment there's a large selection of homes on the market with sellers that may need to sell for whatever their reason. I wouldn't suggest limiting yourself.
After viewing the responses by other agents, Jason Salsbury hit the "nail on the head". He basically answered your question the same way I did, however he answered before I did (and went into more detail).
Again I have been conducting Short Sales for almost 10 years, and Jason Salsbury gave you the most accurate and complete information in regards to your looking for an agent to help you with Short Sales. If you would like to e-mail me, I can send you a list of the current short sales that my team and I are handling. I am sure there is one in there that will suit what you are looking for, as we currently have over 30 Short Sale Listings. And because of our Short Sale experience we have over 25 agents that are referring their clients to us if a Short Sale needs to take place, so we are getting an average of 3-5 new short sale listings each week.
In regards to "Pre-Approved Short Sales"...If an agent says they have a Pre-Approved Short Sale one or more of the following statements is true...
A. The agent is lying
B. The agent does not know what they are doing, or talking about
C. A previous Short Sale offer was made to the bank(s) and a conditions list was supplied to the agent with the terms by which the bank(s) will agree to a Short Sale. So therefore the agent now knows the terms by which the bank has agreed to a Short Sale.
Many agent out there are claiming to have "Approved or Pre-Approved Short Sales" as they think because they have submitted documentation that the bank requested to "Consider a short sale". However without an offer, most banks will throw this documentation away or toss it to the side. Most of the banks have Loss Mitigation and/or Short Sale Departments which are overwhelmed right now, so most of them will not bother with Short Sale packages (and most of them will not even accept the package without an offer) that have been submitted without an offer by someone to purchase the property. In fact one bank that I am currently working with is so overwhelmed that they have outsourced many of their short sales to "First American Asset Preservation" to assist them in handling the great number of Short Sales that are taking place.
Again good luck in your Short Sale pursuit and if there is any thing we can do to be of assistance, feel free to contact us.
The Goad Team of Century 21 Infinity
Let's not forget the fact that you still have the offer to deal with, hardship, type of property, investment or owner occupied, financials etc to deal with in the short sale process as well and let's not forget that the rules change seeminly every month so what works for a Freddie owned loan last month may not be the same next month.
Short sales can be complicated and they can be easily as well. It really depends on the agent involved, but to want all that your looking for is unrealistic as there is no way any single agent can know all the above. The best agents or specialist are the ones that keep pushing, but yet understand that each entity is different and each has their own little twist on the short sale process.
I just hope you don't get too wrapped up in this "specialist" label and miss the best agent for you and your needs
Good luck to you.
John Goad, Jr.
From my knowledge of Short Sales I can tell you this...
If there is not an experienced and aggressive Listing Agent on the other side of the transaction, it doesn't matter much how efficient your Agent is. Let me explain... It is the Listing Agent who submits the Short Sale package to the Lender/Bank with your Offer and is their liaison throughout the transaction. The Buyer's Agent does not generally communicate with the bank officers or the Sellers in this type of transaction.
In a Short Sale situation, You are essentially asking the bank to accept less than what is owed on the note... So even with a superb Listing Agent, many Short Sales do not end up getting accepted... even at a full list-price offer. If there is a Second on the property it becomes much more difficult.
You are correct in pursuing Short Sales that have been approved... but make sure that the property is placed in Contingent status after your offer is accepted by the Seller. Otherwise, while waiting for an acceptance... other offers may come in and you would then have to contend with a multiple offer situation.
If you are looking for "direct personal contacts with bank officers"... You could always look to the Listing Agents of the Short Sales you are interested in, who are communicating directly with the bank... That is, if you do not mind a dual agency which is created when the Agent is representing both the Seller and the Buyer in the transaction. If this is your preference... I would recommend simply calling the Agents of interest... see how quickly each one gets back to you. This is a great way to judge how important your interests are to any potential Agent... If it takes two days for an Agent to get back to you, then how much more quickly do you think they would be with putting the paperwork through and actively pursuing your real estate goals? Also... Can you get through to speak directly with your Agent of interest... Or are you only able to reach an Assistant/s?
Anyhow... I wish you the very best of luck in your property search & Agent search. Welcome to Las Vegas! This is arguably one of the best Buyers' markets that Vegas has ever seen... I congratulate you on taking advantage of this opportunity and wish you the best of success in your relocation.
We are one of the biggest Short Sale companies here in town. I would be happy to assist you
with a purchase of one of our many Short Sale listings.
Have you closed any Short Sales before?
Has the lien holder been notified of the intent to short sale?
Have you received any offers on the property?
Has the complete short sale package been sent to the lien holder AND have you confirmed receipt?
What communications, if any, have you had with the bank?
Have you the seller been assigned a Loss Mitigator?
Has there been a BPO? Did you meet the BPO agent? Did you get the results back?
Is there one or two loans? Any other liens?
What are the names of the banks? Are these FHA or VA loans?
Is there Mortgage Insurance?
How long do you estimate that the lender will take to provide an answer to an offer?
Contact me if I can be of assistance in ANY way!
Short sale experience and skill isn't just about how many or which courses one takes, or how many deals one has done --- but it also involves strategy, organization, persistence, patience and understanding. Best of all, it also needs empathy with the distressed property owner or buyer.
My husband and I are Pre Foreclosure Specialists Certified, PSC with a Certified Distressed Property Experts designation, CDPE. By dealing with a Realtor who has earned the PSC and CDPE designations, buyer's and seller's ensure that they are working with an experienced Short Sales Expert that is equipped to handle their specific needs. We want to be the number one real estate agent you call when looking to buy or sell in today's market.
This real estate market has caused unbearable stress and heartache. As a Pre Foreclosure Specialist with a Certified Distressed Property Expert designation we have the training and expertise necessary to minimize our clients financial loss and limit the damage to their credit. We feel that education is key in this market with so much misinformation and foreclosure scams out there, we sought out this education to ensure we could properly help families get on the path to recovery.
AS A HOME OWNER WE CAN SEND YOU THE FOLLOWING FREE REPORTS:
1. Short Sale & Deed-In-Lieu Understand the details and consequences of two dignified solutions to an upside-down mortgage situation.
2. The Truth About Mortgage Modifications The Truth About Mortgage Modifications.
3. 7 Short Sale Myths The 7 most dangerous short sale myths identified and explained.
4. Foreclosure Vs. Short Sale A side-by-side comparison of the consequences of foreclosure and a short sale.
5. Options and Solutions Highlighting 10 alternatives to foreclosure for distressed property homeowners.
To get these Free reports go to: http://www.SantaClaritaPreForeclosureSpecialists.com simply click on the Resource tab and choose which report you would like e-mailed to you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact these CDPEÂ® Realtors
Jennifer & Gary Ricco CDPE, PSC
Keller Williams VIP Properties
25124 Springfield Court Suite 100
Valencia, Ca 91355
License numbers 01461940 & 01803395
That's interesting. Does a Title Company know of every single short sale transaction taking place and who is closing them?
Whenever possible... we tend to use one specific title company / escrow officer for our short sales. if you call the Title Company / escrow officer that we tend to use... who do you think they will refer? Or... If you call another title company -- who do you think they are going to refer?
So... stating that it's an unbiased opinion may not be exactly true.
Some agents below answered this question and specifically pointed out some misconceptions in the original question asked on 03/14/2008.... which tells me they obviously understand short sales.
Just some thoughts...
Then you do your due diligence and vett those short sale specialists. A title company is a unbiased opinion.
Short Sale Specialist Network
You will avoid A LOT of wasted time and frustration of you allow a real estate professional to help you who has the experience and knowledge necessary to know the listing agents and also to know what to ask about each listing before you bother to get in the car and go look at properties.
If you don't have someone like that helping you, I assusre you, you will spin your wheels and write many an offer that won't result in a deal.
It takes experience and a very thorough industry knowledge to be succesfull on the buying side, you have to know if the listing agen will submit the first offer from a qualified buyer, all of the offers, or only the offer which benefits him or her the most. That's right, some listing agents may manipulate the offers and may not be straight forward about the stage at which that negotiation might be in the short sale process so you need someone who knows who they are dealing with on the other side.
Also, different banks negotiate in different ways and an experienced professional knows which banks are good prospectcts and which banks are not.
That's right, you need someone to help you pre-qualify the property, the bank and the listing agent.
It's complicated and difficult but the right agent can help you sort it all out.
I suggest that you contact Michelle Sullivan with Realty World, I believe that she is the real estate profesional you are looking for. http://tinyurl.com/mw3ktb
Paul Francis, CRS
Since you are new to Las Vegas and if you would like to get a feel for our experience, we are having a free auction seminar on April 1st at 6pm and a free foreclosure seminar on April 13th, both at our office located at 871 Coronado Center Drive, Suite 100 in Henderson near the St. Rose hospital. Here is a link to sign up to attend and with more information about what we will be going over. There is a huge Hudson and Marshall auction on the 20th and we will have the catalogs with 300 properties available.
Hope to see you there! Our agent that is giving the seminar has a personal relationship with many of the banks being represented by the auction house and I think you will be impressed!
I have 2 years and about 13 transactions done as short sales . I have 3 in escrow today and 2 Short sales in my active inventory. The key as you seem to know is having relationships with assest managers and loss mitigators. I have lived in Las Vegas for 25 years.
Please call me to discuss the up and downsides to Short sales .
I think you're smart to desire an experienced professional.
You asked for someone that has extensive experience in the local LV market. I understood that up until just recently, Vegas was a booming market and I guess I'm wondering how many brokers have extensive experience since Vegas is just now recently seeing a problematic marketplace?
Keep in mind that many of the staff at lending institutions that your Realtor will be talking to may be in another state. Also, these contacts are numerous so to find one single agent that knows all the people in every loss mitigation department will be another challenge.
Perhaps find a broker you trust that understands the process as a starting point to find out for yourself what you're up against.
I do think you're smart to want someone with experience and I believe you're doing yourself a dis-service to demand someone that is connected with all the decision makers at all the various lending institutions you may be up against.
The days of dealing with the two or three local banks that hold and service all the notes on local property are long-gone.
Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.
Here is a very real hypothetical situation. A specialist in Short Sales has 20 of these listings. They are all owned by different banks (all of whom he has a relationship with). Unfortunately, only 2 of the banks are willing to discuss the end pricing without a valid Purchase Agreement in place.
This guy might be the best REALTOR at short sales in the whole state, but he only has 2 listings to offer you because they are the only ones that meet your criteria of "ready to go". Also, there is a high probability that with such a limited choice of homes (only 10% of his listings), that neither of these 2 homes is what you are looking for.
I think that this puts you in a situation where you are much better off looking at homes that have already been through foreclosure and are past the redemption period.
I am just not sure that the Utopian situation that you are describing exists and will yield the results that you are hoping for.
I wish you luck in your search for this REALTOR.