where to find an experienced short sale specialist?

Asked by Cheryl Yamamoto, Los Angeles, CA Fri Apr 4, 2008

I'm a READY TO BUY investor seeking a Short Sales Specialist in and/or around Los Angeles, California. The broker or attorney I seek must have experience and proven history writing and managing offers/counters with major lenders who have direct personal contacts with the bank officers. I will not consider Realtors without established short sale bank officer contacts and extensive short sale experience/negotiation skills, closings and managing offers/counters with lenders. Please email to: cherylaltman@yahoo.com.

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Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Fri Apr 4, 2008
There are many restrictions on purchasing properties currently in default by investors. Agents representing them must abide by the following adopted California ordinance:

Q 14. What does the Code require of a representative of the equity purchaser?

A A representative of the equity purchaser must:

Provide written proof to the equity seller that the representative has:

a valid, current California Real Estate Sales License (broker or salesperson); and
a bond from an admitted surety insurer in an amount equal to twice the fair market value of the property.

Provide a written statement, under penalty of perjury, that the agent:
has the above license;
has the above bond; and
has complied with the above by providing written proof to the equity seller.
The written statement under penalty of perjury shall be provided to both the equity seller and equity purchaser prior to transfer of any interest in the subject real property.

Should these requirements not be fulfilled, the equity seller may choose to render the purchase contract void. Even if the seller cancels, the equity purchaser is liable for all damages caused by the failure to comply with these requirements.

(Cal. Civ. Code § 1695.17.)

Q 15. Are such bonds by an admitted surety insurer available in California?

A Such bonds are not currently available.

Q 16. Why was this apparently impossible bonding requirement placed on licensees?

A The answer to this is somewhat unclear. The bonding requirement may have found roots in a section of the Code concerning the liability of equity purchasers. Under this section, an equity purchaser is liable for all damages resulting from any statement or act committed by his/her representative. Even though the equity purchaser may not always directly control every act of the representative, the law as written places indirect legal responsibility for such conduct on the purchaser of a residence in foreclosure -- a form of strict liability. The equity purchaser is also liable for his/her/their representative's conduct in any manner connected with the acquisition, receipt of any consideration from or on behalf of the equity seller, or the performance or non performance of any act prohibited or required by the Code.

As the legislative history indicates, because some equity purchasers turned to thinly-veiled corporations and independent contractors whom they controlled to circumvent the 1979 law, the legislature in 1990 imposed these requirements on all buyer's representatives.

V. Exemptions from the Home Equity Sales Contract Law

Q 17. Do these laws ever allow a buyer to purchase a residence in foreclosure without placing impossible restrictions on the buyer's representative?

A Yes, when a buyer acquires title in the manner as follows:

For the purpose of using the property as a personal residence;
By a deed in lieu of foreclosure of any voluntary lien or encumbrance of record;
By a deed from a trustee acting under the power of sale contained in a deed of trust or mortgage at a foreclosure sale;
At any sale of property authorized by statute (such as a tax sale);
By order or judgment of any court (such as probate or family law court); or
From a spouse, blood relative, or blood relative of a spouse.
(Cal. Civ. Code § 1695.1(a).)

The Code has specifically excluded these buyers from the definition of an equity purchaser. Stated otherwise, these types of buyers are "non-equity" purchasers.

Q 18. Could you provide examples of these exceptions?

A For example, an equity purchaser is normally not a purchaser at a trustee sale, a foreclosing holder of a trust deed or mortgage (beneficiary) who receives a deed in lieu of foreclosure, a transferee at a sale authorized by statute such as under a probate proceeding, or a transferee under a court-ordered sale such as in a marital dissolution proceeding.

In addition, persons who acquire title from their spouse, a blood relative, or a blood relative of their spouse are not equity purchasers under the Code. The exemption that applies to more situations than any other is that a person acquiring title to a residence in foreclosure for the purpose of making it a personal residence is not an equity purchaser.

Complicated?? Yes. There is currently legislation in place to resolve the obvious issues associated with this new ordinance. Consult your tax advisor or real estate attorney for more specific details. Good luck!
3 votes
Laurie Manny, , Long Beach, CA
Sat Apr 5, 2008
Courts Review Agent Bonding Requirement in "Distressed Property" Sales
by Bob Hunt
1 vote
Kieran Jacks…, Agent, West Hollywood, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
Kieran M. Jackson, SFR

I've practiced real estate in a market where 80+% of the properties on the market, were short sales. I know a thing or two about it ;-)
Web Reference:  http://shortsaleprola.com
0 votes
Devona Garri…, , Beaumont, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
We handle short sales in Southern California, including Los Angeles County. Learn more about us by visiting our website below:
0 votes
Tami Winbury, Agent, Ojai, CA
Fri Mar 2, 2012
http://www.ShortsSale.org Tami Winbury Keller Williams Realty is an experienced SFR Resource.
Web Reference:  http://www.shortssale.org
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Mar 2, 2012
2012 is the year of the short sale! Experience and track record are a must.. everyone can tell you what you want to hear, but when you ask for MLS numbers to verify their numbers, then you will be able to make an informed decision...
In 2008 when this question was asked, short sales where a nightmare... now they are still difficult, but with the right agent and team you can have a successful experience!

My team is processing about 14 transactions at this time and we have close more than that in the last 12 months...

We often get calls from my broker friends that need to short sale the properties they own... and they chose me and my team to help them... so we are good, and prod of it.
Web Reference:  http://shortsalecentral.org
0 votes
Daniel Klein, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Mon Jan 2, 2012
Instead of hiring an agent to show your properties, why not hire an experienced team of wealth managers and brokers, who can not only complete a short sale for their clients, but can also advise you on if your interest in that short sale is actually a good investment. Did you know that short sales sell at only a 17% discount to retail, while purchasing REO can save 37%?

Our firm is an integral part of your team.
0 votes
Jeromy Wilke…, , Charlotte, NC
Thu Nov 24, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving Cheryl,

I am actually looking to get back into the loss mitigation arena on a part time basis. I currently work for Wells Fargo in their Wealth Management division. Prior to accepting this position, I underwrote home equity loans for Wells Fargo, but I actually started in the loss mitigation department of Wells Fargo where I completed short sales backed by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I received top performer honors twice for each investor and had one month of 70 closed and 138 approved short sales. Should you need any assistance or guidance, please feel free to contact me at jrome78@yahoo.com.

Jeromy Wilkens
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Fri Nov 18, 2011
Hi there! Short Sales can be VERY tricky! Don't trust your financial future to an agent claiming to be an expert after taking a weekend training course or closing a few of them. Experience is EVERYTHING! We've closed thousands of short sales ourselves, literally. Check out -
0 votes
Molly Mosley…, Agent, Columbus, OH
Sat Oct 29, 2011
Visit http://www.cdpe.com ...These agents are training to help buyers and sellers in a short sale situation. Schedule a time to meet with a few agents and ask them for their statistics. Have them provide documention to the meeting supporting their experience. Good Luck!
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Oct 28, 2011
Hello Cheryl, I would highly recommend searching here on Trulia, start with the PRO agents and interview them.

Feel free to contact me anytime, I have extensive experience in both as a listing agent and buyers agent with handling short sales.

Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Tue Sep 20, 2011
I'll keep it very simple. Check out the Short Sale Specialist Network. They are a nationwide network of like 8,000 short sale agents in EVERY part of the country. Experience is everything when it comes to short sales Cheryl, that is for sure. Demand the best -
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Tue Sep 20, 2011
I'll keep it very simple. Check out the Short Sale Specialist Network. They are a nationwide network of like 8,000 short sale agents in EVERY part of the country. Experience is everything when it comes to short sales Cheryl, that is for sure. Demand the best -
0 votes
Sara Mehrpou…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Sep 7, 2011
Visit http://www.Short-Sale-Vs-Foreclosure-Help.com for Los Angeles & surrounding areas including parts of Ventura County.
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Jan 15, 2011
Established relationships with negotiators at banks are unlikely and not very helpful... there are tens of thousands "negotiators" in all the Loan Servicers Loss Mitigation Departments.... that part of the questions should probably be "knows the procedures for each of the loan servicers"...

Best of luck!

Ron Escobar, MBA
Web Reference:  http://shortsalecentral.org
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Sat Jan 15, 2011
Experience is EVERYTHING! Only get an agent who has closed 50+ and knows how to get the deals done:
0 votes
Sara Mehrpou…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Jul 15, 2010
Sara Mehrpouyan CDPE
Rodeo Realty
Los Angeles Short Sale Realtor Specialist
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Wed May 26, 2010
I disagree. I don't think a consumer should ever choose a short sale agent based on their "certification". Frankly, I think it should be an ethics violation for a agent to use the name distressed property "expert" after taking a weekend training class like CDPE's do.

Reality is, many of the most experienced short sale agents in the country don't have any "certifications". There is no substitute for experience, and THAT is one of the main things a consumer should primarily base their decision on.
0 votes
Heather Peck, Home Owner, Las Vegas, NV
Tue May 4, 2010
Cheryl - Unless the agent is a dual agent, your agent won't have any negotiating to do with the lender's on behalf of you the buyer. Most sellers will not allow anyone other than their agent to control their personal financial information (would you?) that is disclosed in a short sale situation. Of course, if their agent uses a negotiating company/representative to manage the transaction, this is disclosed to and approved by the seller.

Of course, you'll want an agent who is experienced in the short sale process and can help you negotiate the pitfalls. Look for an agent who is certified - CPDE, SFR or another recognized short sale designation.

But realize this - in a short sale negotiation, the seller's lender(s) drive the bus. They are the ones who approve the deal and the agents can only provide them all the info they need to make the decision. So make your offer a good one, and understand that you as the buyer and your agent really have no control over the deal.

Heather Peck, SFR
SellState NRES
Las Vegas
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Tue May 4, 2010
Looking for an experienced short sale specialist Realtor in Los Angeles, CA? Look no further! Check out:
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Mon Apr 14, 2008
Check out our Team listings at http://www.imrankhanteam.com. Most of the listings we have are Short-Sale.
We are with Prudential California Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.doreneslavitz.com
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Sun Apr 6, 2008
While I understand that you want to have an experienced agent, I hope you realize that the short sale negotiations will most likely not be conducted by your agent. Most short sale sellers have their own agent and it is the seller's agent who will conduct the negotiations with the bank. Unless the buyer's agent happens to also represent the seller (not a good idea in most transactions, particularly not in short sales), all the personal contacts your buyer's agent may have with bank officers will not do a whole lot of good because he/she will not have authority to negotiate on behalf of the seller.

Just a quick update concerning the case that held the bonding requirement unconstitutionally vague and unenforceable. The CA Supreme Court refused to hear the case on March 27th, 2008. Is it cause to celebrate yet. I don't think so. The case is binding authority on all CA trial courts and the Appellate Division which rendered the decision. It's only persuasive authority in all the other CA Appellate Courts. I think it's time for the legislature to either repeal the bonding requirement or pass a new law that will pass judicial scrutiny. I heard C.A.R. plans on revising the NODPA in light of the court decision and the new revised version is scheduled for release the week of April 27th. We'll just have to wait and see what it says.
0 votes
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