Jennifer Kad…,  in Forked River, NJ

Im starting my first short sale listing and have heard a few different opinions, even from lawyers. First, how can this family afford a lawyer on

Asked by Jennifer Kadlubowski, Forked River, NJ Sat Jul 3, 2010

their property if they are considering a short sale? Second, how are they to be sure they will not owe the balance between what is actually owed on the home and what is offered and sold for? Im dealing with Bank of America and the house is being listed in Barnegat, NJ. Like I said I've heard a few different things from a few reps at the lender and a few local lawyers.

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Jennifer Bla…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sun Jul 4, 2010
Hi Jennifer, I am currently working on a Bank of America short sale. There are a few things that you have to do immediatley: go to and register as a user. You will have to submit the offer (once you get one) through that system. You need your seller to provide you with a third-party authorization form. They will also need to provide you with scanned copies of all required documents as they need to be submitted through equator as well. Take down this number: 866-880-1232, it is the only place where I have been able to get updates on the transaction (and, even there the level of information depends on who happens to answer the phone. Some are helpful, some aren't). You will need an attorney to put toether an estimaed HUD-1 as you will also need to submit that through equator. Your counter offers will come through the system as well. To answer your other questions - each deal is different, and it might depend upon your seller's attorney, but in our case, Bank Of America has NOT agreed to pay the seller's attorney fee in fact they said they don't cover that. The bank has also requested that the seller be responsible to pay back the difference and has agreed to a payment plan of $100 a month. My seller's attorney worked with them on options in that regard. All in all, it is a pain in the bottom and it takes forever - althoguh we are expecting approval next week and the offer was submitted in April, so we are looking at about 3 months which is way better than it has been in the past. Have your clients sign full commission - the bank can't negotiate that down anymore - I understand that they used to be able to do that but the can't anymore. Good luck!! You will work hard for this one!
1 vote
Emily Erekuff, Home Owner, Menifee, CA
Tue Jul 6, 2010
Hi Jennifer,

Your question was duplicated on our site. You can thus find several additional answers to your inquiry via the link below.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
0 votes
CCC, Home Owner, San Diego, CA
Sun Jul 4, 2010
So the question should be, how could they not afford to invest in 1 hour Real Estate lawyer?
If a lawyer will "work" for them to no to be on debt after selling, it would not be an issue to have an appoinment with a RE lawyer.

Remember, Realtors should not give legal advise.

BOA will help you on the short sale proces, do not worry about it. Go the equator, start the process of the short sale, upload the PDF documents.

Seller needs to call Customer Service / Equator Specialist and request an account on

Need to fill out Hardship and Financial. Also, bank statements.

On equator, upload photo (I am having problems with that). Listing agreement and other papers required.

Good luck! and even BoA will say do not call Customer Service, keep calling!
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Jul 4, 2010
Welcome to the 'wild, wild west' of real estate - Short Sales!
Jennifer B has provided you EXCELLANT guidance. Write that tele number down...better yet put it on speed dial.
Now, you or your broker MUST have an attorney review all your documents related to this transaction. If your broker understands their exposure, this oversight will already be in place. You however, must verify and if not, you should choose to protect yourself. This attorney will not be doing the negotiation but reviewing the contractual documents and highlighting the banks weasel words and where your vulnerabilities exist.

Lastly, pay attention to the details. Every i, every t and every document must be accounted for from the start.

In response to your question, "how can they afford?" Somehow they do. When the seller has real skin in the game they are more motivated to get to you the documents you need in a very timely manner. Make certain you lock buyers in the same way.
0 votes
Donna Ferrell…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Jul 4, 2010
All the answers are of course correct. Short sales can be tricky, as long as you keep a close eye on the paperwork and always get it in writing ,( my dad used to say everyone has good intentions, but they do not always do the right thing) you should get this done and look like a star.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun Jul 4, 2010
In order to have a successful short sale, all parties assisting teh seller need to be expereinced. As an agent you need to know the ins and outs of a short sale, what the bank will require and when they need it. If you have nbever completed a short sale, you will need to hire a professional negotiator to work on th sellers behalf, if teh seller has hired a lawyer, hopfully they are experienced in negotiating short sales, if not, find a lawyer that is. Any good negotiator does not charge anything up front, they get paid 1% of teh short sale price when it cloises. Without a professional negotiator and an agent with no experience, yoru short sale is doomed before you begin.

My advice is to contact the bank daily onc eyou do submit yoru packs, make sure they have everything an dif they need anything get it immediately, you can call for 30 days straight, they may not need anything, but if you dont call teh one day the do need something and you dont get it, there is delays.

As far a wif they will owe anything afterwards, that is part of the negotaitions, what to do with the shorted amount and how it is reported on their credit report.

please checkout my blog that has detailed instructions…

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0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sun Jul 4, 2010
Short sales are lots of work and it is important that you know your role and stick to it. We as agents can advise what the options are, but we are not attorneys and should always direct people to obtain competent counsel. This also applies to you. As your first short sale, I would strongly encourage you to partner with an agent with recent successful experience completing them.
I don't know the number but I'm told the majority of short sale offers are never completed. This is due to a number of factors which as the agent involved you have control over. Is your package complete? Is the offer in line with reasonable comps that BPO's will use? Are the buyer and seller clear on the amount of time involved with little or no progress? Are everyone’s expectations reasonable and realistic?
I've had one BoA short sale take 18 months and others 6-9 months. An offer today may not be closed until well into 2011.
The expense of the attorney is a reasonable question, but it is beyond your scope as an agent. Focus on marketing the home, preparing the package of information, setting proper expectations and refer them to an attorney for the legal questions.
0 votes
Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Sat Jul 3, 2010

1. Good luck on your first short sale - they are very trying transaction - but somewhat rewarding in a backwards kind of way.

2. Most people can't afford a lawyer while going through a short sale - it is your job to recommend they seek competent legal counsel. Interestingly enough I have heard of agents recently including a fee for attorney review of documents when itemizing costs for the banks. Thus far I am told that the banks aren't baulking at it.

3. It will be your job to request the bank give an unconditional release of the mortgage. This is where the attorney's review is really important. I want someone other than myself reviewing the verbiage offered by the bank to know that the client won't be on the hook later.

Cameron Piper
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