Short Sale Experiences

User Forum Topic
Submitted by SD Realtor on July 23, 2008 - 11:45pm

I saw some discussion on short sales so I thought I would post a few experiences over the past few months. Right now I have 13 offers out on short sale properties for various clients. In each and every case the buyers are very frustrated at the pace of the lender responses. The topper is a short sale offer we have into Countrywide. That offer was submitted over 3 months ago over which time Countrywide has lost the offers, (ours is not the only one the listing agent sent in) they have had to do 3 different appraisals and 2 different BPOs as again, they said they lost the previous ones. The negotiator has been switched 3 times so far. It is a joke. That same buyer has 3 other offers in on other short sales. The performance by the lenders has not been as poor so we will see....

As sdrealtor pointed out the short sale process is VERY much dependent on the lender. Right now for a listing I have that is a short sale, we have had a 6 day turnaround just to get the lender to say that yes they received the authorization letter from the seller to enable me to work with the lender directly. In this case the lender is Wells. Which kind of surprises me because past dealings with Wells Fargo on short sales have been postive.

Another situation that people need to watch out for is the way in which a lender releases the lien. In some cases the lender will accept the short sale AND release the owner from the deficiency and in other cases the lender will accept the short sale BUT they will ask the owner to sign a new note that is basically unsecured but does obligate the owner to repay the deficiency. In that second case there is usually an impasse which the listing agent can try to work with the lender to release the owner from obligation. If that doesn't work then the owner can try to get an attorney to contact the lender and get the release. No matter what the very bottom line is that it simply adds alot more time and frustration to the process.

What I am seeing (and this is by no means a statement of how it is for everyone) is that it takes at LEAST 4-6 weeks before you get anything of substance back from the lender. Usually the first thing of substance is that they have received everything and a negotiator has been assigned to the case, and an appraisal and/or BPO has been ordered. After that, soon after or sometimes a few weeks after, you get the word that they have everything, it is all done, and it is being reviewed. From then you hope for acceptance AND that they release the seller from the deficiency.

All in all expect 8-12 weeks on average if the offer is a new offer.

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Also as I have mentioned many times that ALOT of current listings on the MLS that are ACTIVE are short sales that ALREADY have offers into the lender. Now in alot of cases the lender has already been delivered an offer package and has already processed it. In some cases the lender may have punted on the offer and has told the agent, "look we did our BPO and appraisal, so we will accept x$, otherwise don't bother sending in anything less." Now if your offer comes in and the listing agent has already submitted other offers several weeks ago, the listing agent may simply choose to hold onto your offer. Why? Well the lenders are such a pain in the ass, that the listing agent does not want to trip the lender up and start the process all over again. Even if the offer you make is higher, it may not be worth the hassle of resetting the lender all over again. Additionally if the lender is going to release the seller from the deficiency the seller does not care either. It is kind of a crap shoot and every situation is different. In other cases, some listing agents simply collect offers and send them in as they come.

It really all does vary with the lender. All in all the entire process is frustrating. What is worse is that in the past several weeks the 10 year was up, then edged down, and now is moving up. The mortgage rates when my clients all submitted are indeed higher now.

By the same token, there is no harm in submitting offers simply because there is absolutely no risk or obligation. Just be prepared for a long wait.

Submitted by temeculaguy on July 23, 2008 - 11:56pm.

Here is a two part question

1. Is there an advantage to using the lisitng agent since I am unrepresented, the agent may be less likely to sit on my offer through them.

2. If I find a short that is overpriced or not fire sale priced and offer a fire sale price offer and I am the only offer, all they can do is decline, if they accept two months down the road and the climate and interest rates have changed, am I obligated in any way?

Reason I ask is that there are some overpriced shorts and some shorts that i don't like yet priced fair at the price listed but would like at a much lower price.

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 24, 2008 - 12:04am.

tg -

1 - I am not sure. The thing is with short sales, and even REO sales, the lender can set the commissions regardless of what is advertised on the MLS. So I do not know if a lender on a short sale will knock down the commission if they see the listing agent is doing both sides.

2 - No you are not obligated at all. Fire off as many offers as you like. You don't even give a deposit check, just a copy of one.

Sounds like you got the itch again dude.

Submitted by Eugene on July 24, 2008 - 12:07am.

Do you have any experience with Recontrust? Is that the same as Countrywide?

I'm looking at a house that fell out of escrow around 2 weeks ago. Would it be unreasonable to expect a positive response on an offer that's 10% below the previous bid, assuming there are no other offers?

Is 8-12 weeks the total time from the offer to closing?

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 24, 2008 - 12:20am.

E no I have not worked with Recon yet. Why did the home fall out of escrow? Was it because Recon did not accept the previous offer or was it because the buyers just bailed?

The 8-12 weeks is to get documented acceptance from the lender, (from offer to getting acceptance). So basically that is to get to the start of escrow.

I do not believe that 10% below asking is unreasonable but it doesn't matter what I think. It will be up to the Recon negotiator and the valuations he receives from the appraiser and/or the BPO. Try to find out why the previous escrow crashed.

Submitted by temeculaguy on July 24, 2008 - 12:22am.

It's not so much the itch as a whole new land of opportunity. Thus far, as soon as I see the words "short sale" I click the back button and move on, figuring the listed price is just a guess and negotiations are too ambiguous. I've seen some nice places come up and close for prices i would have paid so I think I may expand my view a little and from what you and sd have said, I have no risk. I either get a great deal or no deal. My freaking dream house went up and down in a day and was a short, my ignorance caused hesitation, now I regret not taking a stab. There's another little filly I've got my eye on, she's got all I want and more, listing short at under 100 a sq., over 100 dom, so maybe I'll take a stab, offer 250k for 3000 sq, a view and a three car, and just wait and see (list is within 15%). Flooring, counters and fixtures suck, no patio cover, typical "just barely got it and had no extra cash to finish it" job, but what the hell, low taxes and low hoa, in my beloved redhawk. It goes back to my thread about ranking house, neighborhood, lot, price. It's got the stuff I can't change and at that price i can dial her in. She's a little older and a little plumper, but baby got back and she has potential. The turnkey ones move quick, the ones that need stuff seem to sit. I'll let her sit another month, see if we take another chunk down and I get to move the chains one more time before kicking a field goal.

Submitted by temeculaguy on July 24, 2008 - 12:35am.

Thread hijack alert

I just realized we are ten days from the start of pre season. I thought about it with your comment about the "itch." I have two weekends left before shutting down for 6 months. In the back of my mind I think that is why I have been getting anxious. I am in a sports doldrum, I will be all better soon. Sunday, August 3rd, the NFL returns to T.V. and I will be cured. I just got rid of the latest love interest as well, unknowingly because I need my Sundays and Mondays free. My god, I have a twelve month male menstruation cycle that revolves around football, I have PNS, Pre Nfl Syndrome.

Submitted by Eugene on July 24, 2008 - 12:44am.

I don't know exactly why the previous escrow crashed, but I don't think it was because of Recon. I'll ask. There's something interesting going on - I know that the house has been lowered on 5/24 and it already managed to fall out of escrow. It suggests lightning-quick turnaround time by your standards. It was scheduled for foreclosure today, the bank has postponed the auction by one month.

Submitted by Aecetia on July 24, 2008 - 12:50am.

That explains it all. Thank God for football. Most of the shows stink. It will be a nice diversion while we wait for the second half of the mortgage melt down.

Submitted by ucodegen on July 24, 2008 - 2:21am.

Another situation that people need to watch out for is the way in which a lender releases the lien. In some cases the lender will accept the short sale AND release the owner from the deficiency and in other cases the lender will accept the short sale BUT they will ask the owner to sign a new note that is basically unsecured but does obligate the owner to repay the deficiency.

I am a little surprised that this is happening. If the mortgage is not a first, then it is recourse.. which means that banks can go after the previous owner on a deficiency judgement. The banks only have to either threaten to push for or push for foreclosure to break the logjam.

They might also be able to take the approach of a version of reduced deficiency for keys..

Submitted by sdrealtor on July 24, 2008 - 7:23am.

IN a dual agency situation, a lender on a short sale will typically reduce the commission. The market average these days seems to be 5% (2.5% each) when the listing and selling agent are different. When the listing agent represents both, the lender typically only pays them 4%.

The big advantage to using the listing agent is that they have control. More often than not, al ender only wants to review one offer at a time. Usually the buyer for that offer is long gone by the time the approval comes through. With an approved price, the listing agent can select which offer gets submitted next.

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 24, 2008 - 9:00am.

uco with respect to the recourse/non recourse statement that is true. However more often then not, the properties I have been dealing with have been refinanced or ATMd to death.

Submitted by peterb on July 24, 2008 - 9:14am.

I wonder how much of this incredibly long transaction time is really the lenders being swamped as opposed to them not wanting to sell the properties too quickly and get too many losses on the books in any given quarter?

Submitted by Aecetia on July 24, 2008 - 9:21am.

Bingo. It looks bad and they do not want a panic mentality with their investors. It also might get them investigated.

Submitted by bob007 on July 25, 2008 - 8:36pm.

i had zero luck getting any response on short sales

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 25, 2008 - 11:08pm.

bob007 can you elaborate? Did you have your agent submit offers? If so how close to the asking price were they? More important were there offers ALREADY submitted to the lender from a previous buyer? How many did you try?

Submitted by Coronita on August 4, 2008 - 11:15am.

bumping this top to get all the politics OT threads at the bottom.

Submitted by SD Realtor on August 4, 2008 - 12:23pm.

FLU I hear ya man...

I almost started posting on SDLookup just because the threads are all RE.

Submitted by an on August 4, 2008 - 12:26pm.

I think I'm getting to a point where I won't even consider wasting my time with a short sale anymore. I think it's better to just wait for it to go back to the bank and become a REO. Too bad the banks are so slow in churning these short sales into REO. I've heard many stories where people are living mortgage/rent free and the bank are not even foreclosing on them yet.

Submitted by jpinpb on August 4, 2008 - 12:53pm.

Problem w/short sale is the second doesn't seem to want to cooperate.

Submitted by Coronita on August 4, 2008 - 1:35pm.

Quote:

FLU I hear ya man...

I almost started posting on SDLookup just because the threads are all RE.

SD R...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Don't do it. Don't go away... Who else is going to do the CV inventory numbers? NO no no no no.

Submitted by SD Realtor on August 4, 2008 - 9:37pm.

jp I would never leave ya man... maybe just play the field a bit but always come back to my favs!

Submitted by NotCranky on August 4, 2008 - 9:51pm.

Hey, there isn't any bias involved with a guy named SD Realtor wanting all the threads to be about real estate is there?

Submitted by SD Realtor on August 4, 2008 - 10:36pm.

You think I am here for your pretty legs Rus?

Submitted by snail on August 5, 2008 - 2:34pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
You think I am here for your pretty legs Rus?

I do missed Marion....where she is?

Submitted by JC on August 29, 2008 - 2:14pm.

When you get to week 12, do you give up? I hit week 12 on mine next week. My realtor (smile) still seems optimistic, but my optimism (which is typically ludicrously high) is fading. Any thoughts? Has anyone else waited longer than this and actually had success?

Submitted by sdrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 11:07pm.

If you are in week 12 there is a very strong likelihood the seller's/listng agent are still talking to customer service reps in Bangalore. The key to successful short sales is getting to right person asap at the lenders loss mitigation dept.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 11:18pm.

JC wrote:
When you get to week 12, do you give up? I hit week 12 on mine next week. My realtor (smile) still seems optimistic, but my optimism (which is typically ludicrously high) is fading. Any thoughts? Has anyone else waited longer than this and actually had success?

Yup.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 11:19pm.

I mean not necessarily progress but when a lender is slow and the listing agent is on top of it this can occur.

Submitted by PeteDude on August 30, 2008 - 5:57am.

Aecetia wrote:
Bingo. It looks bad and they do not want a panic mentality with their investors. It also might get them investigated.

Yes, though it might be better to simply get all the failing properties off the books and be done with. Don't those appear as losses as well? That, and it would be nice if the banks would just take the pain so the whole meltdown ends a little quicker.

Submitted by frank1217 on December 31, 2008 - 5:34am.

A very interesting event occurred looking at a short sale in Florida with GMAC. The owner of home didn't want to bother paying on his home any longer so he had an individual call GMAC pretending to be himself. I am sure everything told them was fabrication. to my surprise, GMAC forgave 103,000 and the next day, the same person put a bid on a new home with another lender-now having purchased this home. What a shame, GMAC can do this and lose taxpayer money, since now they have also been bailed out. Does anyone make any sense to this? Is this the usual end of a short sale?

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