Home Buying in 91913>Question Details

Sheri, Home Buyer in 91913

How can you tell your Realtor is being honest about the Short Sale you have placed an offer on?

Asked by Sheri, 91913 Thu Aug 20, 2009

My husband an I have been working with our realtor since May 09 on a Short Sale. We were told on 15 July our offer was accepted and on 1 Aug we were told the bank countered with a $70,000 increase from listing price and if we wanted the property we would have to agree to the higher price and get an approval letter; then submit it because if we couldn't get approved then we would loss the house. To date no paperwork showing the counter term or conditions the has or will make have been produced and I would like to know if this is a tactic used to get a higher offer submitted so everyone gets a larger commission. I found out the BPO is only $15,000 higher than the amount we were told to raise our bid to. There is 2 lenders and were told both agreed to the terms setforth in our offer; so what is taking so long to do the final step.

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Jeanne Feenick’s answer
Hi Sheri, while I've only worked on the Buyer side of Short Sales to date, I've had enough experience to know that every short sale is different, seemingly the only thing they have in common is that they are anything but "short". The bank is in charge - of process, timing, and responsiveness. As other posters have suggested, it is likely no fault of your agent. But having said that, I will say that cases in which the communication is good among parties are far more likely to succeed than those that aren't. I'm not saying that the agent can control the responsiveness from the bank, but he/she is in control of his/her responsiveness to you. So ask your agent these very questions and ask him/her to explain/clarify and accelerate to the best of his/her ability.

Good luck to you.

Jeannie Feenick
"Unwavering Commitment to Service"
Find success at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 5, 2009
Sheri, It's unlikely there's any wrong doing by your agent. Short Sales and dealing with the banks - firsts - seconds and sometimes thirds - can be very discouraging. It's possible your offer wasn't accepted by the bank, maybe it was the one that was submitted to the bank and as the bank did their BPO's and Appraisal they came up with a price or value that they are will to short sale the home for. Speak with your Realtor they are there to help. Best of luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 5, 2009
Hi Sheri,

You are not the only buyer going through the exact same situation. Clients can often become suspicious, especially those who have gone through a "traditional" sale in the past. One of the most difficult things I've found with my clients is to get them to understand how crazy the process can be with a short sale. A good Agent should always try to prepare their clieint for the circus, but as much as you do, clients will always be nervous and frustrated. It's so hard when you're getting verbal updates and you want to keep your client informed, but in some cases too much info can be a problem because it causes worries such as yours.

No Agent that wants to actaully make any commission at all would create another step with a short sale by telling their client to send in more paperwork for the bank's representative to have to sift through - trust me! Even if that paperwork is a higher bid. It doesn't sound fishy at all to me. I would have a serious discussion with your Agent, and let them know that you're very nervous with the process and about what's going on. I'm sure they know already, but I believe it would be great to give them suggestions on how you would like to communicate to help aleviate some of your fears. Perhaps they could only let you know when they get something in writing so that you're not constantly being told different things and being twisted in different directions. It's important for an Agent to know how they can best serve you.

Anser to "what's taking so long to do the final step": Welcome to the world of dealing with banks! They just have a ton of files to sift through and unfortunately to them you're simply a number. They're highly understaffed (or so they say. )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 23, 2009
Short sales have not rules...and yes, it is common to get a verbal counter with no paperwork. Run the comps or pay an appraisor to give you a value estimate. If it is a good deal, take it and run, if not run anyway. I can assure you your agent is just a frustrated as you are. Short sales take a lot more time and energy for your agent.
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 21, 2009
Hi Sheri,

Diane Conaway has it all right. By the way, there are NO regulations for Short Sales so anything goes.

It is a rocky road at BEST. You must be prepared for anything.

In our opinion, talk to your agent.

Best to you,

Mark and Kari Shea
San Diego Real Estate Experts
Foreclosure, Short Sale & Investment Specialists,
Development Opportunities & Traditional Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 21, 2009
Hi Sheri,
You really do have to have a good rapport and trust in your agent. If you don't, for some reason, you will continually doubt their word, and wonder if what they are doing is in your best interest. If you feel this way strongly, my advice would be to start to interview other agents. It will never work for either of you this way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
You have to trust...and use your best judgement. If the property is worth 70+ more...go for it. If it is worth 15 only, move on.

Run comps...have your agent run comps...ask the listing agent for comps....(comparable sales)

Let me know if I can help you in any way!

Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker)

California Cool 4 Sale
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
Fax: 760-946-7894
License # 01341483
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
I meant to say this is not UNusual in my opinion. Typed too fast!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
Welcome to the world of short sales. It's not short, is it? I had a similar situation with WaMu where they countered back with a higher price. Once the buyer finally agreed, it didn't appraise for his purchase loan so we were back to negotiating again. That buyer walked, second buyer came along offered higher price cash and it closed last week after the original offer was made January 1! They frequently call us with a verbal counter offer so that's what the realtor is experiencing. You're lucky they are giving you first right of refusal. Some listing agents use the first offer to obtain an approved price from the bank and then ask all the buyers to resubmit their highest and best offer. The bottom line is it still a good deal for you at that price? You said it's $15,000 less than the BPO so that indicates you are getting a good deal as far as the bank is concerned. Is your realtor also the listing agent? Realtors don't usually drag out the negotiations to make a higher commission. It doesn't usually translate into much more and frankly we're more motivated to get it finally close escrow than to hold on a few dollars. Our job is to represent you, not our own self interests. The first place that banks cut expenses is on the commission anyway. There are no rules with short sales so each negotiator operates differently, but this is not usual in my opinion. It indicates more the inconsistencies of a short sale rather than anything your realtor is doing. Hang in there!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
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