Home Buying in Saint Paul>Question Details

santana1130, Home Buyer in Minnesota City, MN

What lenders are good when dealing with short sales and which ones do you try to avoid?

Asked by santana1130, Minnesota City, MN Wed Mar 16, 2011

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Susan Hofflander’s answer
santana1130, I like this question!!! It suggests that a buyer might actually want to know what bank holds sway with the decision making so they can choose whether or not they wish to try to "play ball" with that bank. I think each agent has different experiences with different banks. My experiences with banks like Wells Fargo and US Bank have been the worst. My experiences have been mixed with Bank of America, some REALLY good and others, very NOT good. I think you might have the best bet when dealing with only 1 mortgage and a local bank.

Good luck~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 25, 2011
Mahtomedi Fan,

Each bank and situation will vary greatly. The problem with your question at the onset is there really is no way for whomever is picking out the properties to know who the bank(s) are. You can ask but the agents really don’t have to disclose that information and even then, that’s a lot of phone calls just to look at some houses.

Of greater importance is who is negotiating the short sale. Is there an attorney involved (who specializes in these sorts of negotiations)? Has the listing agent hired another agent with experience negotiating? Does the listing agent have significant experience him/herself (10-15 short sales a year minimum)? If you can't answer yes to at least one of these questions, these are the transactions to avoid.

Someone who knows what they are doing knows how to properly price a house for a short sale, prep the sellers, and prep the buyers and their agent for what is about to happen. They know the pitfalls to look for before listing the house and they are able to address inadequacies in the seller’s situation long before the bank or MI company questions them. They are also able to propose creative solutions to problems that do arise during the short sale process because they have tried similar approaches on previous sales.

A good rule of thumb is to ask a lot of questions before committing too much to the sale, but once committed you are in it for the long haul. The #1 cause of failed short sales is antsy buyers and uneducated buyer’s agents.

Next to the experience of the negotiator, the appropriateness of the price is the second most important factor. A property that is priced too low is likely to draw a counteroffer from the bank for the buyer (making it more expensive than you wanted) or bad terms of settlement for the seller. If priced too low many sellers will be asked to carry a promissory note after the fact or make a significant cash contribution at closing which they may or may not be willing to do. If they aren’t, even though the sale was approved with conditions, the conditions may cause the seller to fold and cancel the sale.

As someone who is hired by other agents to negotiate their short sales, I would echo the sentiments that no one bank is either good or bad. Do watch out for MI companies though, they tend to lack the experience to make a good decision these days.

Cameron Piper
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Web Reference: http://www.campiper.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
I would agree with most of the answers Mahtomedi Fan, but I would also approach it a different way and ask the question "where is the home currently in the Short Sale/Foreclosure process??"

For example, in Minnesota pre-foreclosure is a whole different ball game from my standpoint as a listing agent for SS than post foreclosure. There are alot of details but what your buyers agent would want to know is if the BPO has already been ordered (appraisal by the bank) & if not your offer is probably going to be the first. "pre-approved SS" are really GOLD in many ways from a buyers standpoint because they give you an idea of what the lender/investor wants for the house.

The BPO is the greatest factor in a successfull Short Sale and SOME lenders are brutally tougher than others when it comes to negotiations, but as many others have said you typically won't be privy to this information and regardless it would not be that helpful to you anways.

So, that is just one tip about short sales. I highly recommend you have a buyers agent that also does quite a bit of Short Sales, because since we listing agents work with so many different lenders we can really leverage our experience to get you a great deal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 21, 2011
Firstly, great question! Many buyers think the bank is irrelevant and nothing could be further from the truth. For me the toughest bank is US Bank, however if the investor is Fannie they have a great employee in place to help get those done in about 2 months, which in my world is great.

As others have said, Bank of America has been challenging but they recently made some changes including launching a new program called a Co-op Short Sale, which is their version of the HAFA program with a lot less red tape. I just got a seller qualified for this and once they have an appriasal, they set the price and if an offer comes in that is reasonable, they pledge a 10-day review process - WOW!

Another thing to consider are the presence of second mortgages. They have the ability to go after the sellers even after the short sale so they must be negotiated with care. Wells Fargo second mortgages have been very difficult to deal with and may agree to a short sale but not give the seller a deal to satisfy the debt, which may mean that the seller won't agree to sell and you'll have wasted a lot of time during the negotiation process.

The seller's hardship is another aspect to consider. If it is divorce and both sellers are employed the bank could choose to ask the sellers to contribute to the defficiency. That could cause the sellers to go a different direction and again you would have wasted your time. Listing agents may not tell you their sellers' harship but I always ask.

In the end you and your agent need to feel comfortable with the overall situation. What's the hardship, how many mortgages, who they're with and the experience level of the listing agent. Good Luck!
Web Reference: http://www.NateGerard.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
They are all the same long process with drama

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
The difficulty in answering your question is that there are really 2 "banks" involved with each loan. The servicing lender named on the loan and the investor behind the servicer. There are cases where one is more reasonable than the other.
Bank of America has been my worst nightmare, but I've heard recent reports of dramatic improvements. Chase is praised by some, but I couldn't get one through for a buyer last year due to a difference in perceived value. I may try again as the higher value they sought hasn't materialized.
The other issue when trying to buy a short sale is the competence of the agent and or negotiator involved. After negotiating my own for several years I've begun to use a full time short sale service affiliated with a law office. I have 2 in progress with different ones and am optimistic about the outcome so far.
There are lots of moving parts in a short sale, so be prepared for an interesting ride if you decide to pursue a purchase this way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
Since each short sale offers a different set of circumstances, not sure one lender is better than the other...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
I guess "avoid" is not the right word. Let's say...HARD TO DEAL WITH?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
If trying to help a seller short sell, one can't really avoid any of the lenders...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
None of them and all of them! Just kidding, kind of. In my experience Bank of America is very difficult and Chase has been very impressive. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. I think it's more important to find out how many bank or leins are on the property when trying to guestimate the time frame. Also hope the listing agent has experience and isn't so busy that you get lost in the shuffle. I agree with Michelle, if it's the right home and you can't find something better than you don't have much of a choice. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
I agree that Wells Fargo is easy to work with. However, I have had smooth and relatively quick short sales with Bank of America, also. I think having an experienced listing agent plays just as important a role as the bank. If there are delays in completing the short sale packet by either the listing agent or the sellers the process will get longer regardless of the bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
When you are buying and fall in love with a home, you don't have a lot of choice about the short sale lender. If your agent is able to search, definitely Wachovia & Wells Fargo. B/A is a crapshoot right now, although they say they are improving.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
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