Biting The Bullet-Short Sales

You know what? Honestly, I really hate short sales. Since they sort of arrived on the scene around here they’ve been a massive pain in the posterior if you ask me. I’m not alone in that estimation either. A short sale (a oximoron if ever there was one) occurs when a homeowner who owes more on his/her loans (and often loans) and puts their home on the market attempting to persuade their lender(s) into forgiving some of their debt to allow the place to be sold. In the past 5 years or so it’s sort of appeared to me that lenders seem to want to torture buyers and agents who are attempting to actually buy one of these places.

Buying a short sale is not for the faint of heart…and certainly not for somebody in a hurry either! They take forever and often it takes months just to get a lender to look at the file. One agent I know spent months just trying to get a return phone call from the relevant person inside a bank holding a loan. I’m not talking about actually negotiating the short sale, months just getting somebody to make an initial contact with a decision maker. Another agent I know was told any offers on a short sale with one particular lender had to be faxed (and faxed only!) to one particular fax machine…that was always busy. Busy at 2:00AM, Busy for 3 weeks straight. If you’re looking for personal growth in the area of patience, try negotiating a short sale. It’s a land where most rules of common sense get redefined.

Historically, short sales are those listings you see that have been on the market forever. the ones with the 3 digit days on market numbers. Not in 2012 though! In yet another sign of the turning of the real estate market so far this year, short sales are not only ratifying early in their listing life…they’re getting multiple offers! You really have no idea how amazing that is to me! In the past 2 weeks alone I’ve seen 5 short sale listings get multiple offers. In Foster City the townhouse at 965Vasco da Gama in Winston Square is getting at least 5 offers this afternoon. Multiple offers on a short sale? Unheard of! The irony is that, now, people are waiting in line…to wait in line again! We’ll now compete for the opportunity to wait for the lenders to take 4 months to look at the file.

I don’t know…I hear that they’re actually getting better at this. I hope that’s true! Keep an eye on the escrows of these short sales. It’s going to be interesting to see how long they take to matriculate in 2012.


  1. I have watched the insanity of the housing meltdown over the last couple years. I cannot believe that when the times are great and everyone has lots of equity in their homes, they use that equity to add on to their homes and buy jacuzzis, etc. But when times get rough and equity drops everyone rises up and all of a sudden people cant afford the mortgages they bought and but can still pay for and because of that drop everyone is now upside down and the banks are actually allowing people to get out of their so called ‘bad loans’. Last time I looked at my 401K I did not get that type of deal. And my 401K is just as important to me as it is my future. People with loans should be made to understand that once they sign on the dotted line it is final. Regardless of good or bad they must pay the loan or sell the house. The housing market fluctuates just like the stock market. You take the good with the bad. So now thanks to the banks giving people with these type loans a break we all suffer with banks charging for anything and everything to recoop those losses. I’m so glad I am helping to get these people out of their bad loans with my account charges and I’m sure everyone else is also. And thanks to all the people like me who have decent credit and cannot even get into a house because of tight credit restrictions. This in a nutshell is the dream of American homeownership. The dream turned into a nightmare beyond compare.

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