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More About Short Sales

December 2, 2007

I have a friend, in the middle of a divorce, that’s liquidating everything. Unfortunately, his investment property, that he bought for appreciation, was underwater and he asked me to help him sell it.

It started off like any listing; here’s where we should price it, I’ll put a sign out front, is there a tenant there now? This is where it starts to get interesting. His soon-to-be-ex has been living in the property with her new boyfriend and oh-by-the-way she hasn’t paid the mortgage for six months! Crap!

I took the information and started getting in touch with everyone; the almost-ex, the lenders, the Home Owner’s Association. The ex was civil to me. The lenders passed me back and forth and the HOA never called back.

This went on for a few months before the mortgage meltdown hit. The few buyers that were in the market couldn’t get financing now and the number of sales dropped 75%. The Seller and I sat down to have a heart to heart. The only people buying right now are sharks looking for blood in the water, you aren’t getting any money out of this property anyway, let’s get this thing sold before it’s a REO. He agreed to a DRASTIC price reduction and we got an offer within two weeks.

This is where the real work begins. We had submitted short sale packages to the lenders showing the Sellers insolvency and the market conditions for the subject property. The lenders had done their own valuations and their appraisal came in 10% higher than our sales price. I worked and negotiated and reasoned with both lenders for a month before lender #1 refused to take a short payoff.

Then the Notice of Sale was posted. Now I had great ammunition for lender #2; if you work with me you’ll get some money back, if you don’t you’ll lose it all.

They finally saw my point and agreed to the shortsale – after reducing my commission and if you can get it done in 10 days – including the holiday.

I was pissed about the commission. I feel like I have been working twice as hard on this as any other listing and now my paycheck is a revenue source! When I calmed down I realized the truth is I have been blessed with lots of great clients that have gone overboard to get me a commission. Now, here is a buddy that needs my help, so I conceeded.

We got the Seller signed off, loan docs in title and then the payoff came in. We were $1500 short to close – and we were 4 days from sale.

I went back to the second lender, begged for their help, and got them to take care of the shortage. The new lien recorded, the payoffs were sent and my client won’t have a foreclosure showing up on his credit report for the next 15 years.

It’s a lot of work, you never know if it’s going to fall into place or not and you don’t get paid well. Welcome to real estate.

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