Club Chaos Agents - All Things Hollish, Wacked, and Jacked


A Short Sale is a Privilege, Not a Right

Sometimes, I suspect I should not read the newspaper, especially crap about celebrities. Celebrity news makes me cringe. Makes me want to scream: I've got news for you, Charlie Sheen. You are not special. You are delusional. I think that attitude comes with years of being an alcoholic, but Hollywood probably comes into play as well. When you've got people telling you how special you are, over and over, you probably start to believe it.

Well, none of us is special. We all end up in the same place. That place being either a box or ashes.

When I hear buyers yammering about what short sale banks should or should not do, it makes me want to bop them over the head. Tell me, Elizabeth, for how long have you suppressed these urges to beat up buyers? I can hear my shrink now. OK, maybe slap both cheeks with a glove, followed by Qu'est-ce qu'il y a? How about that image?

Banks do not have to grant a short sale. A short sale is a privilege, not a right. The bank is entitled to payment on its mortgage. If the home is in default, the bank might very well make more money through foreclosure. Banks are not desperate for short sales. That's a myth. Their CEOs are not losing sleep at night, tossing and turning, wondering how they can convert underwater liabilities into short sales.

If you're thinking about buying a short sale, here are 5 things you need to know:

  • The bank is not going to sell a short sale to you at 50 cents on the dollar of market value.
  • The bank may or may not agree to pay your closing costs.
  • The bank might demand a cash or promissory note contribution from someone.
  • The bank reserves the right to change its mind.
  • The bank (its investors) writes all of the rules and you write none of the rules.

And hire yourself a good Sacramento short sale agent who can explain to you how short sales work and answer all of your short sale questions. Get a buyer's agent. If you hire a buyer's agent who also has listed and sold short sales, that agent will have a better understanding of how short sales work than an agent who has never worked on the listing side.

sacramento short sale agentcerfified hafa specialist


Certified HAFA Specialistelizabeth weintraub


equator certified platinum short saleequator certified platinum reo elizabeth weintraub

Elizabeth Weintraub reviews






Sacramento Real Estate Listings




Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to


You are so right. This is a good perspective oon short sales. Most buyers, sellers, and agents too do not seem to understand that the bank has the power.

Posted by Lori Bowers, The Lori Bowers Group over 7 years ago

This goes for Sellers who are upset at being upside down in their mortgage and think they have some sort of right to get out of a deal that they now regret, but can still afford.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 7 years ago

Another great post from the Sacramento Short Sale agent.  If the buyers of short sales are not educated on what to expect the sale most likely will not happen.

P.S.  All the money and fame in the world and Charlie Sheen is on the path to dying before his time.  So sad.

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) over 7 years ago

Hi Lori: Many buyers for short sales are pretty clueless as to what's involved. If they don't hire a short sale agent -- then it could turn into a case of the blind leading the blind.

Excellent point, Chris Ann. It does go for sellers as well. Just because the home is worth less than the seller paid doesn't mean the bank will grant a short sale.

Hi Jim: Charlie Sheen does seem a like a pitiful case. Hello? Your show was canceled Charlie. No point in showing up for work now, is there?

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, Oh I love this post and the humor and right to the point on short sales and banks. I hit the suggest button on this one.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, great blog and great points!

Posted by Linda K. Mayer, Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST (License # 01767321) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth - Great post and I suggested it for a feature. The delusions of entitlement run deep, don't they?

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth - Yep, that is the way it is - take it or leave it!  So glad that most of my borrowers eventually lose interest in short sales at some point in their home search.  While I have done quite a few of them in the past two years, almost all of my current clients who are pre-approved and out there looking are not looking at short sales.  YEAH!!!

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth - A humorous approach to a serious issue (you're not really suggesting violence??). Your post gets the message across.

Posted by Larry O'Sullivan over 7 years ago

Thanks for the fun.
How often the problem is wrong expectations, and how often the problen is exacerbated by the agents saying the same garbage.
It is you, who want the short sale, and no, the world is not obligated, the banks are not obligated. You are the only one who is obligated, and if someone can help you get off easier, be thankful and understanding.
I love these angry "What does the bank think?" It should be "What did you think?"
So, bop them on the head, and then we will figure what to tell the shrink

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 7 years ago

Hi Donne: Sometimes, an entire neighborhood is swamped with short sales, so if a buyer want to buy a home in that area, it's a short sale or nothing. And not all short sales are horrible. I've received approval from such banks as Bank of America in as little as 23 to 30 days. Wachovia approvals come in a few days.

Hi Larry: If the shoe fits, wear it. But most shoes hurt my feet.

Hi Jon: Did you ever play Bop the Beetle in Russia when you were a kid? You hit this plastic beetle with a plastic baseball bat and try to bounce the thing inside a giant plastic frog. If it landed correctly, the frog would snap its mouth shut, and you scored points. Where are those plastic baseball bats now when I could use one?

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 7 years ago


I couldn't help it, I actually spent 15 minutes of my precious time listening t0 Charlie (The Cocky One), why did you have to put a link to it because my curiously was too much to not listen to it. (Ha Ha)

I love how you are straight to the point about what you are going to get with a short sale. So many people feel like they are going to get a steal of a value when that is just not the case.

Posted by Trustworthy Responsive-Personal-Banking, Younullre not just a client-your a FRIEND! (HOMEPATH, USDA, VHDA, FHA, VA, CONV & JUMBO MORTGAGES) over 7 years ago

The 3rd buyer was the charm.... I just closed on a short sale this morning as the seller's agent. Your points were "dead on". I was fortunate that the bank in this situation was FABULOUS. I have to say they were so kind that I scratched my head a number of times wondering why they didn't just kick the sellers to the curb (oops! Violence is NOT the answer). But a great buyer got a good (reasonable!!) deal and the real winner in the whole situation was the house that will "be loved again"!

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 7 years ago


I think I'm in love! These are all so true:

  • The bank is not going to sell a short sale to you at 50 cents on the dollar of market value.
  • The bank may or may not agree to pay your closing costs.
  • The bank might demand a cash or promissory note contribution from someone.
  • The bank reserves the right to change its mind.
  • The bank (its investors) writes all of the rules and you write none of the rules.


Posted by Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) over 7 years ago

Great blog. I would agree all people think they are some how entitled to a short sale. Not the case the truth is most of these people knowingly got themselves in this mess. Now here we are trying to ge them out. UGH!

Posted by Shellye Blake (Century 21 Classic Gold ) over 7 years ago

Excellent points on what a buyer should expect.  However, even though the banks hold all the cards it should be acknowledged that they have earned their reputations honestly.  Noone should have to wait months for an acknowledgment only to find out a few months later they have changed their minds. 

Posted by Tracy McPeek over 7 years ago

As a "short sale agent", I'm sure you have lots of stories that would make us cringe. I work some short sales, but don't have the patience to work more than 2-3 a year ...

Posted by Retired Notworking over 7 years ago

As a short sale certified agent you have many valid points. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Tamara Schuster, Realtor Broker - Naperville (Naperville Glen Ellyn Lisle Plainfield Wheaton Illinois) over 7 years ago

Completely agree about the right vs. privilege, and your points are very well taken. My only gripe is why can't they just say yes or no in a reasonable time frame.

Posted by Jan Stevens (Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh) over 7 years ago

Great post..I just fired one of my wife's buyers because they were very unrealistic about the market...felt good to do

Posted by Cory Barbee, Broker (760) 563-4022 over 7 years ago

great post, certainly made me laugh.  This idea that we are responsible for ourselves has gone out the window and we use the poor behavior from others as an excuse.

Posted by Danny Dietl, Buy, Sell, Lease - ( over 7 years ago

Definitely a great post!  People just assume they are entitled to it no questions asked.

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

Debra, I'm standing up right now clap, clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap,clap.  Great post!

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) over 7 years ago

Great post! My wife will be writing a (realistic) short sale offer this evening for a couple that came in to "make a killing". After a couple of conversations, and a ton of market analysis, they figured out that while the banks are a pain to deal with, they're not stupid, or particularly desperate. They'll buy right, and that will be their killing: a fair price for a great home! Thanks for the "direct" reminder of reality. Keep passing it on!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, absolutely true that a short sale is not a RIGHT. It is a work around to get the house with new owners paying faithfully again.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth~  Darn right it is a privilege! I can't understand why some people think that they are just so special and all of the rules should be changed just for them! It is people like that that ruin it for others.  What about those that have learned to work the system?  They think they are so special too! No one is entitled to a short sale, period. 

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 7 years ago

The first thing I tell my buyers when looking at a short sale is....Are you in a hurry because if so then let's move on.  I have my SFR and have been doing these types of sales before the crash.  It takes patience and usually alot more work than a normal sale.  This is the picture I paint for my sellers and buyers.....I tell them picture a big board room, then picture anywhere from 25 to 50 files, then picture about 5 to 10 people sitting around the table...These are bankers and Investors crunching the numbers to see if "your" short sale is going to pencil for them not you.  Then after that meeting they probably don't meet again for a week.  This mental image seems to work. 

Posted by Carolyn DeYoung (Re/Max Dynamic of the Valley) over 7 years ago

Some people have the worst attitude, don't they? The promissory note to pay and not walk away...

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co.) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth,

   So true!

Thanks for the post today, you are so right.....I really enjoyed the read. 


Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME


Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for the great info.  It's amazing to me how much "entitlement issues" the homeowner in default has.  Even though they signed a contract with the bank and promised to repay, now they feel they have a right to break that contract and the bank is the bad guy if they don't like the terms...

Posted by Tiffany Taylor, Platinum Funding Group (Platinum Funding Group, Inc.NMLS-243033) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, Sellers seem to think shorts sales are owed them. As you point out … they are not. Another great post. Thanks!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 7 years ago

TAH-RUEEEEEE!!!!  People forget that the banks don't to become landlords, they want their money.  Crises happen & disasters occur.  The people who feel entitled are the same people who brag about their incredible growing equity in the good old days of real estate.  Gotta take the bitter with the sweet.

AND Charlie Sheen is a spoiled, selfish little man.  Taking his career - what's left of it anyway - out of the equation, what about all the people who were employed by Two And A Half Men?  They are put out because of his stupid antics.  Grow Up Charlie!

Posted by Ivette Rodriguez Anderson, SFR (Keller Williams Success Realty) over 7 years ago

Amen sistah. 

Banks don't give short sales away. Why these crazy buyers (and their lame agents) think anything to the contrary is beyond me. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth: Oh so true. The bank doesn't have to agree to the terms of a short sale and they can foreclose on the owner. I think that we  sometimes take things for granted.

Posted by Donna Paul, Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast) over 7 years ago

You hit it on the noggin my dear...... it IS a privelege. So...what part of know what the process is do  they not understand?  Either they're misinformed or just don't get it.  Maybe through your info here they will?

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 7 years ago

I have to really sit down and educate my buyers when they want to put offers in on short sales. All of your points were dead on when it comes to a short sale.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great post Elizabeth!  Thanks.. Hopefully you won't have that conversation with your shrink.. LOL

Posted by Paul Armstrong, Serving Orange County & The Long Beach Area (Realty Network) over 7 years ago

As usual, excellent post Elizabeth. 

Posted by Steve Mun, Silicon Valley Realtor (Keller Williams Silicon Valley) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth, Like all things, people acclimate to an idea and pretty soon in their mind it becomes an entitlement.  It is a very good reminder. Sometimes you have to wonder what planet people hail from. Hello from Earth........Hello from Earth.......

Congrats on the feature BTW.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 7 years ago

I have been appalled by the air of entitlement among some buyers AND sellers. don't get to steal from the bank just because the market went sour and you are underwater!  

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) over 7 years ago


I think they might call it entitlement!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth - thanks for the post.  The sooner we clear out the short sales and REO's the better.  What if you borrow money from a family member...can you short sale that repayment too?  Sorry Uncle Bob.

Posted by Kevin Kueneke, San Diego Mortgage Banker (Caliber Home Loans) over 7 years ago

We do get confused and think that they must take our offer and can not understand why they act so illogically. You are so right they don't have to take anything less than what is owed.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) over 7 years ago

Fire Charlie Sheen - he's a dud.  There must be someone else who is just a talented, good looking and funny to replace him and someone who deserve the opportunity.  Short sales are an anamoly of the times. They literally didn't exist a few years ago.  We Realtors had to talk, beg, and plead with the banks to get them to happen and Help our sellers.  Realtors are the unsung heros for the struggling homeowners.

Posted by Janet McCarthy, Realtor - San Diego (RE/MAX Solutions) over 7 years ago

Not sure what Charlie Sheen has to do with short sales ( he must be doing one?) But what you said about the banks is true, they do not have to grant them and in many cases they make more by foreclosing due to the fact that they are insured and federal bail out programs in many cases help them actually MAKE money on foreclosing.

Posted by Anna Matsunaga, Seller specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert (Team Momentum Keller Williams Realty Tacoma) over 7 years ago


Sellers don't understand the process, or at least they claim not to understand.  The banks are the bad guys in their minds.  Sellers have to be educated as to what their responsibilities are and the legal issues of a short sale.  They need an attorney to review the contract with the lender.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 7 years ago

Yes short sales are as misunderstood and as harshly judged as celebrities. It is truly a blessing to have a top short sale negotiator on one's team. The short sale negotiator is a saint in my eyes as that person make sense of something that otherwise makes no sense.

Posted by Melody Russell, Ranked as 1 of the top selling agents in SC County (eXp Realty) over 7 years ago

I agree.  Many homeowners think they are entitled to a short sale if they owe more than their home is worth while they can afford to make their payments.  Some homeowners just don't want to take responsibility for their purchasing decision.  

Posted by Jason Felker (Talka International Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi five!

You've nailed with this post.. .sellers beware. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth...Very Nice!  Thanks for the great points....tried to reblog but wasn't working.

Posted by TODD PICCONI - FREE STAGING, Your #1 Choice for Southern California Real Estate (TODD PICCONI REAL ESTATE) over 7 years ago

I get a message that says reblogging temporarily disabled but when I can I will reblog. Short sales are not for the faint of heart or those who believe they are entitled to buy one. I'm getting tired of saying it so I'll reblog yours. Thanks again.

Posted by Jane Jensen (Century 21 New Millennium) over 7 years ago

So true. I still get agents either calling me with ridiculous low offers, or sending me me worthless offers, then trying calling with some sales pitch about how I have to submit it to the bank. Many agents still don't realize that the offers get presented to the sellers first. I've even had agents call the owners and tell them that they need to tell your agent to turn their ofeer into the bank, and the bank will decide whether or not to accept. Unbelivable. Shoot, I even get worthless offers on standard sales these days.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) over 7 years ago

Now to teach the buyers the rules!

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth congratulations on the feature and for telling it like it is.  Given the chance, maybe you could slap Charlie on both cheeks with your glove! :-)

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) over 7 years ago

Good morning Elizabeth, everybody wants a deal. We do need to start boppin. LOL Thanks for the post.  

Posted by Paula Stills, Full time Real Estate, Ready when you are! (RE/MAX Real Estate Results) over 7 years ago

Good morning Elizabeth, everybody wants a deal. We do need to start boppin. LOL Thanks for the post.  

Posted by Paula Stills, Full time Real Estate, Ready when you are! (RE/MAX Real Estate Results) over 7 years ago

I was talking to someone the other day who just bought a home for $1.3M, and wanted to short sale on the home he was leaving (about a mile away) because he owed $600k and it was worth $500k.

Posted by Greg Haraksin, North Orange County Homes (Prudential California Realty) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, you are so right. The banks make and break their own rules.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) over 7 years ago

I agree with everything but this: "The bank reserves the right to change its mind." That shouldn't be the case. They're taking enough time as it is to decide, once they do, they should stick with it. Do it all in writing and stand by it.

Posted by Tre Pryor, Realtor, e-PRO - Louisville (REMAX Champions) over 7 years ago

+1 for Elizabeth! I am an agent who is actually trying to make a living in these trying times while providing excellent customer service. So, I am as patient as Job when I try to explain that there are better options in the marketplace for someone who must get financing and is looking at an $80,000 short sale which is uninsurable (1950s era home, aluminum wiring, wood rot to beat the band, etc.). Unfortunately there is the perception that there is a fire sale in Florida (and many other areas) and people tend to hear just what they want to hear. I remind myself that I must continue to be patient or find another line of work.

Posted by Robin Sherman, Search Pensacola Homes, For Sale - Pensacola FL Neighborhoods ( - Grand Points Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Elizabeth.  Nice post.

Brief.  Informative.  And you bring it back to your business...

Buyers gripe, yes...

But I hear a lot more agents complaining than buyers.  It is the banks decision.  They can take as long as they want...

Thanks for writing,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 7 years ago

That is why the term " I should of had a V8! come in at! very well stated!

Posted by Fred Sweezer Sr., Certified Home Inspector (Hud Certified 203K Consultant) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth - Your points are dead on accurate. I think the problem is that the rules change on every deal depending on the combination of seller/servicer/investor, and as a result every would-be short seller or buyer knows someone where one or more of those things worked out in that person's favor: the bank DID accept a lowish offer, they DID pay some closing costs for the buyer, they DIDN'T change their mind, and/or NO promissory note was required. And on top of all that, the seller didn't
"deserve" it (i.e. no perceptible hardship, plenty of money). So then they want all of those things too and are angry if things don't work out that way in their case. In that case, refer to rule #5!

Posted by Linda Humphrey, CRS, Broker/Owner HHC Realty (Humphrey Home Connections Realty, Reno, Nevada) over 7 years ago

Thank you Elizabeth, so true!!!

Posted by Denny and Denise Rockwell, Real Estate Professionals, Staging & Design (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) over 7 years ago

The banks have no obligation to approve and close short sales.  On the other hand, there is a lot of benefit if the banks will get these done.

I am an REO agent and I ofter get listings as REOs that had been short sales, and the sellers often take less as foreclosures than they could have accepted as a short sale 6 months ago.  The average cost of a foreclosure is about $30,000, so deduct that that from the selling price, and you will see that the seller/bank could have made a lot more selling the home as a short sale.

Posted by Roger Newton (Roger Newton Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Amen sister!!! I hear all the time that the bank would be "grateful for this" or "makes sense for them to take that".....uh huh.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 7 years ago

I am pretty sure now, after reading the other comments and rereading your blog, that you don't care for Charlie.

I am grateful for the information. Thank you

Posted by Mike Kozlow, Broker (Mike Kozlow Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Sorry. I'm not that proud of myself. I obviously neglected to re-size this picture.

Posted by Mike Kozlow, Broker (Mike Kozlow Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Great post.

I am in the process of doing my first short and first foreclosure this week.  What a learning experience.  Fortunately, my broker has some experience but the best help I am getting is from the listing agents.

I had stayed away from them because I was fully aware of my ignorance and did not want to harm my buyers.  This time my buyers insisted so, I dove in.N

ot as bad as I thought with good guidance.

Put in the offer for the short  Waiting now.

The bank accepted our foreclosure offer and we just returned their additional documents.  Still not sure if or how we will get the condo. doc.  Minor detail I guess.

Thanks for the further education.


Posted by Thomas Brady (Meade Realty) over 7 years ago

I just had a short sale thru Everhome that closed yesterday. The seller had to sign a promissary note for 10K.. They balked at first but I explained to them here is a note interest free for 10years  your only looking at $80 a month and heck if you use your tax money the next 3/4 years it will be paid off.. you've got this boulder over your head have a new loan that will be reported so you are rebuilding your credit also and on and on..finally they did the smart thing and took the are right Short Sales are not a RIGHT

Posted by Joel Jadofsky, One of the Top Realtors in Panama City Beach Area (Keller Williams - homes for sale - Florida - Gulf - Beach ) over 7 years ago

That's a really BIG picture, Mike. :)

Well I can't possibly reply to everybody, although better bloggers than I would try to and succeed.

#52: Jeff Pearl -- you probably get the same lectures and sales pitches that I do. From buyer's agents who think they know what they are doing but, like Charlie Sheen, are somewhat delusional.

#63 Linda Humphrey -- Every so often you get everything in a short sale but that's sorta rare these days. I think you are on to something, though, because sometimes I hear the same thing: Well, so-and-so did a short sale and they got XYZ. Well good for so-and-so. You're NOT so-and-so and every situation is different. When you stop to ponder it, those types of comments are really condescending because of what they infer.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 7 years ago

I just submitted my first short sale offer today...guess I'll settle in for a long wait of uncertainty...

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) over 7 years ago

Thanks for the great Article!


Posted by Cindy Keil, CEO Keil Group (NP Dodge Real Estate of IA & NE ) over 7 years ago

Great post Elizabeth!  I always say no one was trying to pay the bank a little more when values were going up and it was the other way around.  Real estate is an investment. I am also loving these stories from colleagues where the seller is dictating how much to list the property for and seriously overpricing.  Ugh... you don't get any proceeds anyway, so WHY do you want to overlist and chance not getting an offer on the property with your short timeline??  We as agents have to take control over unrealistic buyers and sellers, or walk away from the transaction that is almost certain not to happen.

Posted by Stacey Wilson (Red Oak Realty) over 7 years ago

I always hope that troubled talent finds the way of Robert Downey Jr.  I really didn't think he'd live this long, he was a really hot mess, but he seems to have gotten his act together, and he really is an immense talent.

I've heard all of the big banks say that they would rather short sale than foreclose and take the asset on to their books.  They have all said Mod first, if that doesn't work, short sale, if that doesn't work deed in lieu, if that doesn't happen foreclosure.  The way they handle some of them I wonder if that's really true.  I have one right now that I'm doing as a favor.  It's a tiny little condo I put on at $135k, which at the time was fair market value.  Nothing.  After 35 days I dropped it to $125k.  Nothing.  Ten days later we dropped it to $115k and got two offers.  One clean at $110k and another at $100k with 3% back in closing costs.  My seller is a 70 year old grandma who is living on social security and can't handle the payment any more.  The bank came back at the $110k wanting $120k.  The buyer walked.  Now I get something from the bank telling me to put it back on at $144k.  At this point I wonder why they don't just say "We're not going to do this, have a nice day". 

I have an associate who has one which has appraised for $685k.  The bank wants $745k.  The buyer went out and paid for an appraisal and the bank ignores it.  The guy came up to $695k and has been waiting for an answer for weeks. 

In truth, I know part of the problem is the owners of the derivitives want as much as they can get for their toxic investment.  It's not the bank but rather the investor behind the bank.  Add in the MI and no wonder things are a mess.

Posted by Valerie Crowell, Broker Associate (Keller Williams) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, you know I love you but, in my opinion, the nation's banking industry has a moral obligation to do whatever it can to restore the nation's housing stock to some semblance of normalcy.  After all, fraudsters on Wall Street directly caused the mess we're in.  In this respect, consumers have the right to expect banks to sell their properties at or near current market value, regardless of the loss they must take.

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

(What Charlie Sheen, clearly a troubled man--(there but for the grace of God go we)--has to do with any of this, I don't know.) 

Posted by Catherine Coy over 7 years ago

Good blog post Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Posted by J. A. Michail, Real Property Management of Sarasota & M (Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee) over 7 years ago

Darn tootin it's a privilege.  Too bad most don't realize it!

Posted by Barb Van Stensel over 7 years ago

Very sobering information. We sometimes seem to get carried away in blaming banks for the long and challenging process and in a lot of cases was the borrowers fault by over leveraging himself. Congratulations on the feature blog and keep them coming.

Posted by Martin Dragnev, SFR (Colorado Group Realty, Steamboat, CO~Call 970.291.9412) over 7 years ago

I'm working on my second short-sale, again representing sellers, and this time both lenders have a written strategy in place to handle them. Thank goodness because the first one I did was a nightmare. Yes, the banks do not owe the sellers a short-sale but I applaud them for being more cooperative and timely. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Kelsey Barklow, 423/948-9154, Marne Drinnon 423/202-2277 (Evans & Evans Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Very true! It was the bank's investment, and their mortgage, they will decide what option will net them the most on their investment, knowing they are already taking a loss.

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 7 years ago

Short sales have been the focus of many buyers in Orange County CA during the past couple of years. They represent over half the market by now - particularly in the under $600K price range.

In the beginning, I explain the differences between standard sales, short sales & foreclosures in terms of typical closing periods and how long they might extend to. Most buyers don't want to wait for 3-10 months to close, so that pretty much wipes out the short sales as a possibility. However, I still watch for ones that have been in escrow and the buyer walked. I've had good success closing short sales that have already been approved for another buyer, and have closed this type of sale within 30-60 days. The buyers who best fit the short sale market are non owner occupied types, especially investors.

You hit the nail on the head, Elizabeth. Great post!

Posted by Jeff Hollister, Real Estate Broker, Serving Orange County, CA (Native Californian with 20 years serving OC Buyers & Sellers) over 7 years ago

I guess Catherine up in #76 and I are in the minority.  If the banks hadn't received 700 billion in TARP funds and then the funding for loan modifications maybe I would feel different however, it is our money - taxpayers - that kept them afloat.  I've represented buyers on several short sales and have seen crazy things.  As far as short selling an underwater property - it is a business decision first and foremost.  Back in 2009 the CEO or the Mortgage Bankers Assoc, John Courson, said that walking away and not making mortgage payments when you could, set a bad example for your children.  However, he turned around and short sold their HQ building that they originally purchased for 79 million for 41.3 million - it was a business decision.   Please read Catherine's link - fascinating.



Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago

You and Catherine are not in the minority. You agree with me. I liked Cat's link so much I'm going to blog it over on Nobody is arguing that Wall Street should be in jail. But it doesn't change the fact that a short sale is a privilege.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Well, I don't know what Charlie Sheen has been up to, or even what show he had that was cancelled. I don't read about celebrities or listen to interviews with them, etc. And I seldom watch TV, so I'm among the uniformed.

You are so right that the bank holds all the cards in a short sale.You can follow their ever-changing rules or forget about buying or selling a short sale home.

But others are also right when they say, in essence, that the banks should quit acting like jerks.

They (and our lawmakers) did cause this mess when they decided that everyone should own a home - and then convinced people who couldn't afford it that it would "Be OK." Then they lied to their own investors about the risk behind the paper they were selling.

Now they have profited and are continuing to profit from taxpayer funds. The more I read, the more I see why the banks can afford those mega-bonuses and exclusive trips for their higher-ups. They get no sympathy from me.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 7 years ago

So true.... banks have the power and rights...but I questions the decisions they make and wonder how much they are benefiting from our tax dollars!

Posted by Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator, Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro (West USA Realty) over 7 years ago

Great post and while I agree in most cases the banks won't be selling for 50 cents on the dollar it is more a matter of market value than a formula of cents on the dollar. Last year we solsd a home for 54 cents on the dollar.

Posted by Dennis & Terri Neal, Your Home Sold in 45 Days or We Se (RE/MAX, Big Bear) over 7 years ago

I agree with your post, but I still think the banks are screwing most everyone in this country right now and griping about them is common place.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

truer words were never spoken about short sales being a privilege not a right. Too many sellers think that they are "entitled" to a short sale. Loved your comments abotu Charlie Sheen...what a waste of talent

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( over 7 years ago

It is amazing how much mis-information there is on both sides of a short sale. Great bullet points. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Todd Anderson, Park City | Deer Valley Real Estate (You In Park City group - KW Park City Keller Williams Real Estate) over 7 years ago

That is exactly right, short sales are not always the best buys, banks will suffer some, but they will take their chanve with foreclosure before they bleed too hard. I think we are seeing them play harder these days, maybe because the market is leveling out in some areas

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) over 7 years ago

I think banks need to take a more active role in short sales from the beginning. Homeowners don't generally care at what price the home is listed or ultimately sold. Agents seem to be setting the price and many in my market are having to price these properties lower than market value because buyers are avoiding short sales because of long wait times and potential turn downs. To make matters worse banks have been pricing REO properties so that they can compete with the underpriced short sales. It would seem to me that banks should act more like they have an interest in the property and order a BPO or preferably an appraisal before the home is listed. The bank could then ask the agent not to submit any offer that is more than 2% below the appraisal or any offer that the buyer has not made a deposit and is willing to wait a minimum of 60 days.

If the banks did as I am suggesting it sounds to me like they would only receive offers that are at the right price from buyers who are willing to actually wait to close. Imagine a world where the bank didn't have to process 100 bad offers for every one good.

Posted by Michael Smith (Michael Smith (Homexpo Realty)) over 7 years ago

Imagine a world where the bank didn't have to process 100 bad offers for every one good. #92

Imagine a world, C-21, in which buyer's agents pulled the comparable sales and advised their buyers on how to submit offers that the bank would accept? What a concept, huh? It's a buyer's agent job to determine value -- not the short sale listing agent.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth, it is an appraisers job to determine value, that is why my short sale did not get approved - the BPO's that the bank ordered were coming in too high as the comps had differences you could not see on a BPO, things like water view and interior amenities. The BPO's were not getting the job done.

I had both the Buyer and Seller split the cost for a certified Appraiser to do a report on the value of the home. The report was sent to the bank and the sale appoved. It was an extra cost, but worth it as we kept the house from foreclosure.

The short sale agent might consider having the buyer and seller agree to split the cost of a certified appraiser as an essential part of the transaction.

Posted by Barbara Le Pine, Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast! (Advantage Real Estate, serving Lincoln County) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth - so true! The sooner more buyers are educated about how short sales work the better. Some buyers have such unrealistic expectations and a sense of entitlement, it is enough to drive one crazy.

Posted by Kathie Burby, REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide (Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate) over 7 years ago

I will direct my Short Sale buyers to this blog. Your insight into Short Sales is very much appreciated. Thanks for another great post!

Posted by David Burrows, No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate (Classic Realty) over 7 years ago

Elizabeth ~ excellent post and wonderful comments.  I have buyers thinking they can offer a ridiculous price on short sale properties.  They just get rejected.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 7 years ago

Thank You, Elizabeth,,,,well, spoken. it would be nice, when the lender permits the SS would be nice to find a way to 'expedite" ....SS are a fact of life these days...and will increase in volume for it has become a feasible option most of the time. great points, i enjoyed reading. wishing you continued success......get ready for "Sheen Re-plays".....perhaps, Martin Sheen, who is one of my favorites.

Posted by Mike Schneider, ABR, CDPE, SFR (10 YRS with Active Rain !) over 7 years ago

Great information! I plan to tweet/facebook this out today.

Posted by SentriLock Blogger (SentriLock, LLC) over 7 years ago

I always tell my clients: "It's the banks way or the highway". You will never out-leverage institutions worth billions of dollars over the 50 or 100k they might be losing from the home you are trying to sell. Play their game and try to get the best deal you can for the buyer or seller. Simple as that.

Posted by David Miller (Seacoast Realty, Inc) over 7 years ago

I am one of those gals that has counted "Two and a Half Men" as one of her favorite shows.  I have concerns about Charlie Sheen's well-being, but worried more when I agreed with a couple of things he said in those interviews. . .LOL 

I had to smile this morning when Donald Trump showed up on the Regis and Kelly Show, and when asked if he would have Charlie on "The Apprentice," The Donald, said "In about 2 seconds."  He was supportive of Sheen.  I guess if we end up not having Two and a Half Men around any longer, I'll need to make certain I miss no episodes of "Harry's Law."  Kathy Bates is doing a pretty good job with that show. 

Now about those short-sales and the "right" to have one.  Charlie Sheen may not have complete control of his life right now, but banks definitely have control over short-sales, loan modifications, and a whole lot more with the real estate industry right now.  I find it more delusional that those responsible for so much of what the country is experiencing right now, are also charting the course to try steering us out of it. . .But nightmares can be like that!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 7 years ago

This is good stuff Elizabeth. The Banks still write the rules. It's always been that way and I suspect it always will.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 7 years ago

Great post,. Elizabeth.  I am amazed by the sense of entitlement from both buyers AND sellers when it comes to short sales.  I am certainly an advocate for my sellers, and work hard to help them through their hardship, but those that act like the bank owes them something are UNREAL.  I can only imagine how the news that Chase and others are paying up to $35k to homeowners to do a short sale will affect their mentality of entitlement.  Everyone is going to have their hand out!

Posted by Matt Robinson, (Professional Investors Guild) almost 7 years ago

I believe it is not the Buyer's but their uneducated agents.  everyone thinks they know all there is to know about short sales.  Buyers need to work with agents who are specially trained and who disclose the information that you have presented...oh dont get me going on this one!!!

Posted by MaryBeth Mills Muldowney, Massachusetts Broker Owner (TradeWinds Realty Group LLC) almost 6 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments