Short Sales Are "Fake Listings." Only 5% Close!

Update 3-19-09: This post is OLD. See new Post from 2-09 Short sales are closing, if done correctly. They can be the best “deal” (I hate saying “deal”). The post below is still great background info.

Update 1-22-09: Still reading this #1 blog post on short sales for a background on the process? Well it was written over a year ago. Short Sales are now closing MUCH more frequently in SOME areas (an 0 in areas like McLean). Subscribe to this blog for I plan to run some numbers on the % that are closing. My guess is the range is 1 in 3 (vs 1 in 20) before. However closing rates can be as high as 80% if your buyer agent asks the listing agent these questions: Top 10 Short Sale Questions.

(Update 6-16-08: This post was written on 2/08, this marketplace is changing ever month. Make sure to subscribe to the blog to get updated on the marketplace, like an upcoming post on more Short Sales starting to close.)

As of 2-08, most Short Sales in Northern Virginia are what I call “FAKE Listings.” (note that this is Virginia, every area is drastically different)

Only 1 in 20 sells.
In Arlington only 3 have sold out of 65 attempts.

I briefly went over Short Sales when I defined all SOL Homes including REOs, Bank Owned Etc. But Short Sales need more attention, as they are very tricky and misleading.

A Short Sale is a listing for sale that requires “Third Party Approval.” That means that 1, or 2!!, banks are owed MORE than the list price.

For Example:

  1. Home is bought for $500,000 with 5%, or $25k down.
  2. Home has a $475,000 mortgage.
  3. Value dropped below $475,000
  4. If the seller is facing foreclosure, they slash their price for a quick sale
  5. A Short Sale is attempted at $450,000
  6. If the bank accepts it, the BANK eats $25,000 (see Phantom tax for Seller)

The Theory Behind Short Sales: Banks would be better off to accept a loss now, versus going through the legal expense of a foreclosure, just to end up selling it for less later. Win win, right? Wrong. Read on.

Bank Trick 1: “Sure, we will consider a Short Sale, IF YOU KEEP PAYING US.”
Yep, a bank sees a desperate seller, and a potential $50,000 loss. They then mislead them into thinking that they might consider taking a bath on the deal IF the owner keeps paying their mortgage. The bank then ignores offers for 2-4 months in order to squeeze out another $2,000 x 4 or $8,000 profit. Brilliant. The bank then takes it over after foreclosure and sells it for $10,000 OVER the Short Sale List price. $18,000 better off, NOT doing a Short Sale.

Bank Trick 2: Sometimes the bank has mortgage insurance and it is CHEAPER for them to let it foreclose versus allowing a Short Sale, which is NOT insured.

For example, I was at an NVAR short sale class and a Realtor asked the speaker, “Why after 60 days, calling 2 times a day (120 calls) with a full price Short Sale offer, did the bank not call us back?” The speaker claimed it was due to an overworked staff.

I asked:

  1. Did they tell you they would consider a Short Sale IF you kept paying $3,000 a month? The answer was Yes.
  2. Was the home bought with Mortgage insurance? The answer was Yes.
  3. Bingo! Why eat $50,000, by accepting the low offer, if the bank a) gets $3,000 a month and b) is insured against a foreclosure and NOT a Short Sale.

She was pissed. She realized that she had been “had.” But this goes on ALL THE TIME. It can take MONTHS to hear back.

Another example:

  1. A seller in Clarendon 1021 tries to sell his property and profit $30,000 at $600k. (Yeah right!)
  2. Then he drops it to $570,000. No bites, but the foreclosure is pending!
  3. They SLASH it to $530,000
    (sidenote, I get flooded with calls from friend that want to pick it up for a steal at $470,000! I said that it was impossible… since I’d buy if that price was a possibility.)
  4. It sits for another month, then the listing disappears after 100 days!
  5. A month later it is “bank owned” and listed for $560,000
  6. It sells for $540,000 in 26 days.

The moral here is banks are not dumb and the market isn’t so horrible that they will take all these lowball offers. They sold it for $10,000 OVER the previous list price (which probably had lower offers).

Short Sale Statistics:

Reston homes from $300k to $400k.
– 20 Active “Short Sales” in Reston
(watch out for “Not a Short Sale” listings)
– 73 were Withdrawn, or Expired.
– 3 Under Contract
(1 under contract since Nov 2007! Many UC do not close.)
Only 3 sold in the last 24 months. 3 closed sales in 100 attempts!

  1. Dropped From $480k to $400k, sold at $400k (Full list)
  2. Dropped from $430k to $400k sold for $380k (5% under list)
  3. Dropped from $380k to $350k sold for $345k (2% under list)

Arlington Short sales.
– 25 Actives
– 37 Withdrawn
Only 3 have sold in ALL price ranges in all of Arlington in the last 2 years.

  1. Listed at $335k, sold for $335
  2. Listed at 700k dropped to $620, sold for $600k
  3. Listed at 480k dropped to $420k sold for $420.

In Alexandria, only 8 have closed in 2 years out of 80 attempts.

(most were at list, or 2% under list, some were $20k over list)

I show this, so you don’t think “Wow, they are desperate, we can now lowball. These 3 were the ONLY successful ones. Probably because they gave the bank a real offer.

Ok, so enough already with the War N Peace, what should I do?

Advice for Regular Sellers

  1. Do NOT blindly compete with a Short Sale. If you get an inexperienced agent, and they see 3 Short Sales in your neighborhood, and they have you compete against these “fake” listings, you can lose $25,000. Hope you “saved a ton” on that agent. (see Realtor Rebates)

Advice for Sellers Facing Foreclosure

  1. Watch out for the bank tricks to “keep paying.” Talk to a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy to help guide you. They MIGHT recommend stopping payments immediately and saving it up for a rental.
  2. Use an agent that has completed (as in CLOSED, not listed) at least 1 Short Sale.
  3. If you have mortgage insurance, be extra careful, the bank might prefer that you foreclose.
  4. Get bank approval for your list price before listing it. Put in the listing remarks “List Price approved.” Otherwise you will get lumped into all the other Fake Listings and ignored by smart buyer agents.

Advice for Buyers looking for a “steal” (see “deals” post)

  1. Avoid Short Sales, or expect to wait 2-3 months and expect to put in 5-10 offers on Short Sales before one is accepted. A Short Sale in my building now has 4 offers. He says he is expecting a reply any day now… sorry, but yeah right!
  2. Look for Approved Short Sales. Ask if the bank has been contacted and if a price has been approved. Multiply time estimates by 4. Ie. 3 days= 12 days.
  3. Consider offering near, full or OVER list. What! Over list! Are you nuts! CNN says this is a BUYER’s Market! I know it sounds crazy, but if you and your agent see the price is well under your other options… I’ve said time and time again, I’d rather you pay $10,000 OVER list on a house that is $50,000 under the competition versus “saving” $50,000 on a home that is overpriced by $100,000. Ignore list price, focus on VALUE.
  4. Focus on Bank Owned. These units get replies in a day or two. (See video of Realtor buying a Bank Owned property)

Advice for Buyer agents & Listing agents

If you get one to close, change the remarks to SHORT SALE, NOT TO BE USED AS A COMP in hopes that the appraiser will take that into consideration and not trash the neighborhood (buyer agents, demand it of the listing agent to try to help your client’s “deal” not turn into destroying his own investment).

Sidenote: A home should NOT go under contract until the BANK signs it, but many agents will make this mistake. The seller signing it means nothing, and it should stay on the market as Active.

  • Updated Correction 2-29-08 I’d like to thank DAAR CEO Jeanette Newton for this correction. I’m excited that she is participating in blogging!
  • My above sidenote about when to go Under Contract is 100% wrong. So let me explain… IF a seller signs the offer, as written, it is to be listed by default on the MLS as Under Contract with No Kick Out. The problem for the seller is that most MLS websites will remove the listing, so the chance of a better offer (and a higher chance for the bank to accept) is slim to none.

    Here are a sellers’ options (please comment if you know of more options) :

  • 1) A seller can counter the contract and add in a “Kick Out” so further offers can be reviewed. The listing then can be set to Under Contract with Kick Out (this was suggested by Loudoun Realtor Tony Arko). But only a buyer agent looking on the back end MLS can find UC/KO. (A Kick Out means “there is still a major contingency here, feel free to submit another offer, it still can be considered and the first contract might be kicked out.”)
  • 2) Another way to keep it active (like the unit in my building with 4 offers) is for the seller to send the “offers” unsigned to the bank. Why not try and keep your home as “Active” for as long as possible? Some banks will require the seller to sign, so try #3.
  • 3) Or lastly, the seller might add “acceptance of the contract is contingent on lender approval.” or “contingent upon review and approval of the lender.” That one line can keep it “Active.” I am not a lawyer, so please verify any additions you make to a contract with a lawyer.

  • As a buyer agent I would prefer it to be “Under Contract” if I was the listing agent, I would want it to be Active. So it depends whose side I am on, it is part of the negotiations. You can even counter with “Increase your price $2,000 and we will place it UC/KO.”

New Trick: Now that Short Sales are getting a bad wrap, some listing agents are NOT disclosing that it is a Short Sale.

Conclusion as of 2-2008: Short Sales in Northern Virginia suck.

Question: Realtors, should you have a “No Show” policy for Short Sales that aren’t approved by the bank? Are they really “for sale” if the owner (the bank) doesn’t even know about it? Feel free to just tell your clients “read this blog.”

-Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker

Please report typos.

p.s. See Washington Post Article on Short Sales

  • 20
  • February
  • 2008

119 Responses to “Short Sales Are "Fake Listings." Only 5% Close!”

  1. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    More on short sales:


  2. Kristi Ross - Agent says:

    Great post Frank. I have been fighting with my local MLS and Board of REALTORS for months about this issue. We have a very serious issue going on with unethical treatment of these listings in North East Florida. Up to 44% of the listings currently in our MLS are short sales. It has created a false market in our area. I will be focusing all of my blogging on “Fake Listings” for the next few weeks. I am trying to bring awareness and educate our community and fellow REALTORS about this problem…all they see is the ability to price homes at rediculous low prices as loss leaders and then advertise them through and other third party sights to drive traffic to them. Our MLS even refuses to police the agents in our area that have received and submitted several contracts to the banks but still are actively marketing the property. What is going on down here is just wrong. I despise unethical, ignorant lazy REALTORS and my area is full of them.

    You blog is right on and very entertaining with tons of excellent information…keep up the great work.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Frank for the insight into the meltdown mess we’er in. Here is another problem that goes to the pain fake listing of SS inflicts on people other than Banks and Realtors. My company provides information for residential real estate closings and when a title company gets a SS contract to settle we get a rush order. The problem is we do the work before the bank agrees to the sale and if it doesn’t close we have to eat it. It’s hard enough to keep alive when your business is down 70%, it adds insult to injury to not even get paid for the work you do. Full disclosure would make a big difference any attempt to cover up the true nature of a transaction effects people involved in the process other than “my clients”.

  4. Short Stories says:

    Your post is right on the money about short sales. There’s so much misinformation about the subject out there. It’s nice to read when others in real estate get the real picture.

  5. Jennifer says:

    HI, Please Help!

    Here’s the situation:
    We are trying to buy a short sale home. Offer was submitted Jan.28th 2008

    Offer was for 405k.
    Home owner paid 485k. 2years ago
    1st mortgage owed is 420k (sheriff sale amount)
    2nd mortgage 107k
    We were told 3 weeks ago this was a done deal by the dual agents listing and representing us.

    We closed March 25th on our current home and need to be out soon.

    The sheriff sale ends April 9th 2008 and then foreclosure.
    One bank the (1st lender) approved and signed purchase agreement therefore our loan was originated for this home. We had a closing date scheduled for April 1st and the Realtor canceled. 2nd lender asked for an appraisal last week and the value came in around the low 400’s.

    Realtor states this will go through but we are stressed and losing our minds!

    He states he is awaiting the approval from 2nd lender and hopes to get the signatures this week and plans to close this Thursday or Friday. He of course said he already had this approval 3 weeks ago and, thus we closed on our home.

    What are the chances of us getting this? Is this situation likely to proceed with foreclosure even though one lender approved the offer? What can I do to get answers?

    He will get nothing once April 9th hits and it goes into foreclosure right???

    Please help with some insight to this awful situation!

  6. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Jennifer, I will try my best. I will go down your email blow by blow.

    > Here’s the situation:
    We are trying to buy a short sale home. Offer was submitted Jan.28th 2008

    >Frank> In Virginia there is only a 5% chance of this closing. I don’t know where you live, but I’m sure

    Offer was for 405k.
    Home owner paid 485k. 2years ago
    1st mortgage owed is 420k (sheriff sale amount) 2nd mortgage 107k

    >Frank> 2 mortgages is even harder than 1 mortgage. So here the 2nd bank has to accept $7k and lose $100,000? Doesn’t seem likely. They probably have insurance that would cover them and it would make more sense to foreclose.

    We were told 3 weeks ago this was a done deal by the dual agents listing and representing us.

    >Frank> Bad news. You need somebody representing YOU. So sick of buyers thinking that buyer agents suck and are worthless. This is the 3rd situation I have seen like this in 3 days. I guess we as Realtors have done a piss poor job explaining why you should have a buyer agent.

    We closed March 25th on our current home and need to be out soon.

    >Frank> This is suicide! Selling one house to move into a Short Sale? Wow. I guess you never read my blog, or didn’t know how bad short sales are. And your Dual Agent gave you “yes” service.

    The sheriff sale ends April 9th 2008 and then foreclosure.

    >Frank> I don’t get it. Do you mean the place that you are buying? I will assume yes. That means the Short Sale is off the table.

    One bank the (1st lender) approved and signed purchase agreement therefore our loan was originated for this home. We had a closing date scheduled for April 1st and the Realtor canceled. 2nd lender asked for an appraisal last week and the value came in around the low 400’s.

    >Frank> You should have been told that a contract is worthless until signed the ALL parties. I am surprised the lender even started doing ANY work without a signed ratified contract…. Let me guess… you used the lender recommended by the Dual Agent?

    Realtor states this will go through but we are stressed and losing our minds!

    >Frank> What will go through? You told me the place was slated for foreclosure on April 9th? That doesn’t seem likely that you can stop that foreclosure with banks being as slow as they are.

    He states he is awaiting the approval from 2nd lender and hopes to get the signatures this week and plans to close this Thursday or Friday. He of course said he already had this approval 3 weeks ago and, thus we closed on our home.

    >Frank> I would IMMEDIATELY start looking for another home. If you lender is all ready, they might be able to do it in 2 weeks.

    What are the chances of us getting this?

    >Frank> I don’t know the exact situation, but I would say it looks VERY risky. You might consider moving into a month to month place so you can breathe. Juggling 2 places is bad enough, but juggling into a short sale is crazy.

    Is this situation likely to proceed with foreclosure even though one lender approved the offer? What can I do to get answers?

    >Frank> Absolutely. The 1 lender means nothing. You have to have BOTH.

    He will get nothing once April 9th hits and it goes into foreclosure right???

    >Frank> “He” as on the listing agent? You are correct. So if you look at it purely from his viewpoint, it is 100% best for him to drag you along as far as possible in that 5% hopes that it closes. Why tell you there is a chance of not closing if that will make you walk

    Please help with some insight to this awful situation!

    >Frank> Hope I was of some help.

  7. Hilton Family says:

    Frank, I know you probably do not have time to answer all queries, yet some may be in a similar situation to mine. I live near Ft. Lauderdale. In my subdivision there are 300 similar townhomes. 15 are currently for sale,8 are short sales ranging from 220 -270k, 6 are listed at 2007 prices of 330-390k and there is mine (not a short sale) at 275k. Your post encouraged me to think we could get more for our house, yet in the past three months 0 homes in our neighborhood have sold. Within a 4 mile square radius of our house there were 500 homes for sale and only 12 sold last month. This makes me think I do need to have a price point somewhat close to the short sales, if we really want to sell. Though only 5% of short sales close it appears that in this market only 2% of anly listings close. Any advice for this sort of distressed market situation?

  8. Bob says:

    “Get bank approval for your list price before listing it.”

    1st off, many banks won’t do anything without a fully executed offer. 2nd, getting bank approval from a few lenders that do this on a price is counter-productive in a declining market. You’ll likely be locked into a price that is too high if it sits on the market for any length of time.

    You have made some excellent points, but you have over-generalized quite a bit too. Each lender is different and in many higher priced markets, few short sales have pmi issues, so that changes the dynamics as well.

    Agents should not take a short sale if the seller has not first gotten legal and tax advice and no short sale should ever close with the docs reviewed by an attorney.

  9. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey HIlton,
    8 Short Sales, wow.
    Well first you have to find an agent that can tell you whether short sales are actually closing in Florida. In Va they don’t.

    If they do NOT close, then there is no need to compete against them since they are fake.

    Think of it like an Ebay Auction. If you have a $10,000 car for sale, but somebody else has the same car that “Starts at $2,000” but has a unknown “reserve amount” (meaning you don’t know the real price it will sell for), you aren’t going to drop your car to $1,999 right?

    So your house is $275k, while all the other real listings are $330-$390k? Wow. Then it sounds to me like it is the market, NOT your home.

    >In the past three months 0 homes in our neighborhood have sold.

    This is kind of good news. If even 1 had sold and they did NOT buy your place, that is worse. If NOBODY is selling, that means you aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, but the market blows. You can market your house, but you can’t market “buy in florida!”

    > Within a 4 mile square radius of our house there were 500 homes for sale and only 12 sold last month.

    Great research! While that is 2%, keep in mind that is in 1 month. My stats were for the year. So your 2% x 12 is 24% vs our 5%. Now what you need to do it CLOSELY look at those 12 last solds. What did they have that you didn’t have? Who was the buyer agent? Ask the buyer agent “Did you come to our listing, how did it compare?” You can get amazing insight from this time consuming research.

    Also look to see if those 12 were bank owned, or short sales.

    As for you doing everything necessary, have you done the following:
    1) Staged the house, including some minor remodeling? See my blogs on staging.

    2) 20-30 WIDE ANGLE photos including a collage for your first image.

    3) Put in the remarks “NOT a short sale, no approval necessary”

    So your bottom line will be to look at those other sales and see what they did to sell their place.


  10. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Bob.
    You quoted me as saying:
    “Get bank approval for your list price before listing it.”

    Your comment> 1st off, many banks won’t do anything without a fully executed offer.

    My reply> I agree with much of what you said. However SOME banks ARE giving approval on prices, as in REAL prices that will sell. So I do still think that every short seller should TRY and get some approval. As for this process making the values worse, I disagree. The approved short sales are where the bank says up front “We will take $400k.” What is the point of trashing a marketplace at $350k if the bank will only take $400k?

    Also I realize that not all places have PMI, and would really love to get an anonymous post from a banker as to their true motivations for letting some of these go into foreclosure (and buying them at the amont that they are owed in foreclosure so the previous owner has NO FURTHER OBLIGATIONS to the bank*” (* get that verified by a lawyer, I am not a lawyer)

    Yes each lender is different. It would be great if somebody blogged about the differences.

  11. Kip says:


    I think you are letting your own bias drive the information that you provide with such conviction. One can always find information to support their view of the world, no matter how outlandish it may be. I would be very careful about how you choose to present your information. It tends to come across as the gospel and will mislead a lot of folk that are to lazy to be thorough in their own investigation into the value of short sales, or the lack there of, depending on the particulars of each persons situation. You have made no mention at all about the real value to the home owner a short sale has the potential to provide, in regards to their credit rating and ability to purchase a home again in the future. There has been lots of talk of how big a drag short sales are for everyone involved, with little recognition that at least for the seller this might be the very best option available to them and most certainly better than foreclosure. I am very glad you care enough about this topic to have a blog about it but please don’t think you have all the answers! To lump all short sales into your ” FAKE LISTINGS ” category does our industry an injustice and does nothing to improve the quality of these listing nor does it really educate our fellow Realtor’s as to the proper way to execute this option to our client successfully. Your definition is just catchy and shows off your bias glaringly. How many agents out there take listings way above market in the hopes that they can beat down the seller over the course of the listing? Are these ” FAKE LISTINGS ” too?? You clearly don’t like short sales so my advice is don’t do them. Leave them to those that can do them properly. How about less bias and more open dialog.

  12. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Kip,
    I thank you for your comment. I hope you will read my other posts and call me out on each and every bias that you might see.

    Yes, using “Short Sales are FAKE LISTINGS” is a catchy headline. If I said “Short Sale info” I doubt we would be having this much needed conversation.

    Yes, I have a bias against short sales since they waste my time, and my client’s time. I can see how that can be seen as lazy, but when you see the nightmares that I see with buyer’s expectations being so high and then watching them crash. And if you read a previous poster, they are soon to be HOMELESS because they sold their place and were waiting for their Short Sale purchase to close.

    As for it being better for the seller, heck yeah!
    If they can be that 5% and make it happen, sure. A seller makes the bank eat $100,000. And as a new bonus, recently legislation was passed that removes the Phantom Tax that these people were supposed to receive on that money. Can you say FREE RIDE!!

    Also, yes it is much better than foreclosure in regards to the seller’s credit… and ability to buy again.

    (SIDENOTE: But wait a second. The banks make sure that you have NO assets before they approve a short sale. So why the heck do we want these people buying a property any time soon?)

    Yes it does help with interest rates on credit cards.

    Also it might inhibit your ability to rent if your credit is messed up, and that can be very serious.

    What I thought I did in my post, or in the comments was to tell the sellers how to do a Short Sale PROPERLY so that they have a chance. I’ll repeat it here:

    1) Contact a lawyer. There are MANY bank tricks to get you to keep making your payments. Some say “we will consider a short sale if you keep paying” while other banks say “we can’t consider a short sale until you miss X payments.”

    2) Contact the bank and see if you can at least get the process started. Use a Realtor that has closed at least 2 or 3 of these (ie NOT ME).

    3) If you put a price that is TOO low, the banks will reject it, so you might be better off putting a price that is the lowest in the market (against NON short sales) and INCREASE your chance of the bank accepting the offer.

    Again, thanks for calling out my biases. Usually I like to give a “MY BIAS ALERT” in my posts. I’ll try and do that more next time.



  13. Kip says:

    Frank Buddy…….

    It’s all good we all have bias. That’s what makes the world exciting.

    So why don’t you clarify, for your viewing audience, what your intention/goal is here with this blog. The lions share seems to be devoted to dissing the short sales option for people. Lots of “FACTS” being thrown out there with very little substantiation. I would like very much to know where you have found reliable nation figures on the percentage of short sales that actually closed. Truthfully I would love to have that data for my own presentations. Also what exactly do you suggest home owners do if they are in the position, for what ever reason, of no longer being able to make their payments and cannot keep their home, in this current market? Wait for foreclosure? I am speaking of the people that have exhausted all other options. If you want the blog to discuss whether folks should be made to pay the piper for their poor decisions should we not include the banks, our government and our fellow Realtors as well. We are all guilty of taking advantage of the market of the past few years with no thought of paying a piper. Be honest with yourself as to what drives this blog you have created so that it can bring out the information that is truly helpful. If it is to just be here for people to rant about the sucky state that the market is in and how hard it makes it on everyone, then let’s be open out it. Thanks again though for providing a space for discussion.

    P.S. Come Frank three generic helpful hints amongst so much damning information………

    1) Even most Real Estate Attorneys don’t know how to put together and see through to the end a short sale deal but yes taking to Attorney is always a wise thing. The banks will most defiantly take a short sale if it is better for them than foreclosure and in many many cases it is because they are having to hold at minimum three times the value of the non-preforming asset in reserver. This does not get talked about enough.

    2)The Bank accept for a very very rare few will not even talk to you until you have a signed deal. You are totally correct though that it is a waste of time to hire and agent that has not worked or closed any short sales.

    3)Now your talkin!! Price… Well duh almost as much a given as location, location, location!! If you are not priced right, your house will not sell, short sale or not. Here again the reason to have a seasoned agent that has worked short sales for years and has worked them in this current market.

    4) I know you only had three but I thought I would add the only one you really needed to put up there in the first place. Vet all people that will be helping you with your short sale. Attorney, Accountant, Realtor. Don’t just trust that they are short sale experts/specialists. But by all means get professionals in your corner and quick before it is too late!! Short sales are complex, time consuming and require vast quantities of patience. Same goes for buyers interested in short sales as well. You need to work with an agent that will prepare you for the long haul that is the short sale.

  14. tracey ann says:

    Short sales are NOT “fake listings” !!! You all must get in to reality and realize that A. 2 out of every 5 lisitngs is distressed in some form today and B. the banks don’t approve a short sale deal with out an offer. They must be listed in order to GET an offer. And yes… wait, I’ll break out my violin and tissues for you buyers agents, it might take a little bit of time. But ours are happening in 30 to 60 days and at good discounts of 15% to 20% of coservative value. Agents who don’t know how to do them need to quit screwing it up for those of us who do. To everyone else as long as your dealing with a listing agent who knows what they are doing your deal can get through. Everyone will win: your buyer gets a great deal, you get a commission, and a seller is saved from foreclosure. It simply is the way it is and a sign of the times. Reo’s are no cake walk, Plus todays buyers want it all, a house for a steal and don’t want to wait. Give me a break. If you have a buyer consdier yourself lucky. Just let them know on short sales they must be flexible on closing date and negotations. If they can’t be: don’t offer on short sales, just go pay retail from a regular seller. Just have them call you not me when they get transfered next year and find out it is not worth what they paid.

  15. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Tracey,
    Thanks for contributing.
    What area are you in? In upper Northern Virginia, my stats show that they do not close. I would suppose it is possible that it would be different in other parts of the country.

    As for banks not considering prices until they get an offer, I will disagree with that. All banks have different rules.

  16. Lindsay Dukes says:

    In response to your “Bank Trick” of the bank trying to squeeze more money out of the owner by way of more monthly payments, the banks actually will not talk to an owner about a short sale or consider a short sale offer until they are at least 90 days behind on their payments.

  17. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hello Lindsay,
    I think you missed what I was saying.

    While MANY banks have a policy to not talk to an owner until they have missed payments. I have come across instanced where they do the exact opposite.

    They lie to the homeowner and lead them on, and ultimately don’t allow the Short Sale, but they pocket the extra payments.

    So I am just saying to watch out for the bank that says they will consider a short sale IF you keep making payments. There is a good chance that it is a trick to get more payments out of you.

    In my Short Sale class, exactly that happened. A listing agent had a client, the bank said they would consider a short sale ONLY if they didn’t miss a payment. A contract came in, and 60 days later, the bank never returned phone calls.


  18. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    I love being right.
    Did you WSJ article today:

    Look toward the end where banks say they will talk to lenders that haven’t missed payments.


  19. Mike says:

    Great Post! I was just talking to another agent on my team yesterday about this. I think MRIS (the local MLS board for those unfamiliar) needs to address this in a bad way.

    If we are going to be dealing with this type of market for years to come (especially out here in Prince William County) there really needs to be a category in the MLS — actually, two — one for “Unauthorized or Unapproved Short Sales” and “Approved Short Sales,” the later having been approved by the bank(s).

    Because closing ratios are so piss-poor for short sales precisely because most haven’t been approved by the bank, we need an easy way to weed these out for our buyers.

    There should be a category reserved only for bonafide short sale listings which banks have agreed to and signed off on the listing price IMHO.

  20. Kip says:


    For those of you buyers agents out there that don’t like the short sales for you and your clients, there is a simple solution. Simply DO NOT SHOW THEM! Whether you all like it or not, sort sales are here to stay for the unforeseeable future. These are the best option for the seller in trouble, the very best option by far for the lender that is looking at taking thousands of homes back and can be great for the buyer as well. Granted if your buyer is in a big hurry, they need to go else where. Smart educated agents are guiding their buyers through many successful short sales in my area. My office has closed 5 in the last two months alone. I have talked to several agents in other areas that are finding the process to be getting easier and the lenders finally becoming more efficient at moving these sales through to closing.

    Frank, please if you feel it necessary to provide a place to hate on short sales at least don’t be misleading in the information you post. Your heading, “Short Sales Are “Fake Listings.” Only 5% Close!” may reflect the rate that they close in your area. Just say that will ya! There is no reliable information at this point telling us what the national average is, plus there is no solid ground to stand on at this point. As agents and lenders get better at working together to get these closed the success rate is already raising.

    My advice to you buyers agents out there that want to show short sales, make sure the listing agent knows what he or she is doing and has closed a few of these. There are a lot of listing agents out there that are way over their head and will waste their clients, your clients and your time. Simply move on if the listing agent has never worked these before. These are the same agents that take listings at any price so they can see their signs in the ground.

    If anyone has questions about how to make short sales work, hit me up with your question at:

  21. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Kip,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’m not sure if you just skimmed or skipped the actual body of the post, but we are in more agreement than disagreement.

    I thought that I was very clear when I said that I was talking about MY area and not the country. I do acknowledge that in Prince William and other further out areas, short sales are starting to close when down properly.

    But in Arlington Virginia, and the surrounding area, 5% are closing.

    A great option for the seller… sure, since the government just gave them a bail out and removed the phantom tax… so why not drop the price by $100,000 and unload it…

    The problem is the banks aren’t that dumb. They just say “no.” One short sale in my building has been on the market for 100+ days with multiple offers… all rejected by the bank.

    I would recommend that you post here what area you work in, and heck, you might get some leads from it.

    You just gave me an idea… why not have a certification for Short Sale salespersons. Hum.. see now that starts sounding like a solution. People that know what they are doing, if they handle the short sale, they might actual close.

    As I said in my post, the buyer agents needs to check with the listing agent to see if the listing agent knows what they are doing. I even go further and look up all their past deals to see if they have ever done one. If they have, or if they put “bank approved” of course I will show it.

    But if I email the agent 3 times and they never get back to me, and they never have done a short sale, and their last deal was 2 years ago… Nope, that is a waste of time.

    I think you will agree.

    Also I hope you will write a blog about how you are right and I am wrong.

  22. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:


    Finally my 4th class on Short Sales.

    I finally have the education that I wish EVERYONE in our area would have. Instead of closing 5%, you can close 90% if done correctly. I will blog about it soon. (or email me)

    In the meantime read:
    Which is a list of 10 questions that a buyer agent needs to ask a listing agent before showing a short sale.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just found your site and find it very informative. I do have a question. Can a short sale be on non-owner occupied property? Seller has 2 rentals and 1 primary residence, but they are upside down on all of them and have no other assets except a couple of paid off cars. Maybe worth $10,000. Also I saw someone from Georgia state that she suggests selling short sales only to investors. I have read somewhere that that is illegal. If a short sale is owner occupied and they are in default then the home can not be sold to an investor. Please let me know if I read that right. It’s from some law in the 80’s.

  24. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Anonymous,
    I’ll call you Jake.

    It does not matter if the house is owner occupied or not. We helped somebody sell a property that was a little “short.”

    My best advice is that you get all your paperwork straight (and in the Bank’s hands) BEFORE you put your house on the MLS.

    As for your properties being upside down, the banks don’t care about that. They care whether or not you are behind on your payments. A VERY few banks will consider a Short Sale before you miss payments, but must won’t talk to you until you have missed payments (that was not advice on what to do, ask a lawyer)

    As for selling to an investor, I have never heard of that. Maybe it is Georgia law.

    I know in Virginia, investors DO buy Short Sales all the time. Sometimes banks will not allow a REALTOR to buy a short sale (at least not giving them commission)

    What the banks don’t want is a side deal with investors. IE “Let me buy your place for $100k under price and I will give you $50k on the side.”

    Also there shouldn’t be any reason to have to sell just to an investor. Investors need 30-40% off retail. The retail market will flock to your property with 15-20% off.

    Just make sure you use a Realtor that has done at least one other short sale.

    Hope I answered everything.


  25. Kip says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    Frank is mostly right with his advice to you.

    First let’s support him where he is right so he will keep giving good information about the short sale process. (I’m just giving Frank a hard time; he knows I love him.)

    He is right about who can try doing a short sale. If the bank is willing to take less money then they are owed, even by Donald Trump himself, you have a short sale. The truth about short sales, however, is that the banks are most likely to accept a short sale from someone that has a hardship of some sort that has made it unlikely or impossible for them to make their payments. Also, they are more likely to work with an owner-occupied situation than someone that has over-extended themselves with real estate investments that were made with poor judgment. Having said that, we are working with a client that has five homes that are in default and have offers on them that the banks are giving a hard look at.

    These are just much harder sells to the bank. It is kinda like asking the black jack dealer to give you your money back when you go over 21. Here again though, the reality to the bank is the same. Taking back these homes in foreclosure is much more expensive than taking the market hit right now.

    Frank is also giving you good advice when he says to get your paperwork together. I would tweak it a little though. I would get together with an experienced Broker that has closed several short sales and can guide you through what paperwork you need to have in order, and go over whether you are a good candidate in the first place. Having no net worth will be a big plus if you are going to go this route, but is not a deal killer if you are not insolvent. You will just face some tax consequences if you do manage to sell your homes short. Talk to your CPA.

    As far as worrying about selling to investors, here again, Frank nails it. Short sale properties are not attractive to investors (at least in our area). They are not bargain basement prices like some misinformed Brokers would have you believe. The banks do not want to take a penny less then what the market will bear right this moment. They have their own BPO or appraisal done and flat out turn down lowball offers. No counters. If you want to do a successful short sale, then you better shoot your best shot price wise the first time. The time clock is ticking, and if you waste the bank’s time with a lowball offer, you might not get another chance before the bank takes your property back at auction. So the idea that short sales are driving down the market and are investor dreams is a myth. Right Frank? Haha

    My advice is do your homework on who you pick as a Broker. This is the single most important thing you can do right now. Then you can be educated as to what is going on in your area and what your strategy should be for your situation.

  26. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Feel free to post your name, area and contact information in case there are buyer and sellers in your area. I won’t consider it spam since you have been contributing.


  27. Bob says:

    I’ve been reading your blog with some interest. You suggest that PMI is a dis-incentive for banks to offer a short-sale, because they actually need to foreclose to collect. Is this always true? We were considering an offer on a short-sale, and the seller’s agent was trying to make PMI sound like a good thing, as though the bank were well-covered and would be amenable.
    From your posting, it sounds like PMI is a near absolute deal-breaker for short-sales, but I wanted to hear from you if I’m interpreting this correctly.



  28. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Bob,

    I would not go as far as “absolute deal breaker” instead more of a “keep en eye out” if it has PMI.

    All of this is so new, that nobody really knows for sure. What I had was 1 example of an agent having a problem and PMI “might” have been the problem.

    With PMI, the bank MIGHT be better off letting it foreclose and getting reimbursed by the PMI insurance company (depends on the terms of the PMI). I have heard from short sale experts (which I am not an “expert”) that sometimes if there is PMI, you also might have to get it cleared/approved through PMI. IE. the PMI company might rather get a good price short sale, vs a liquidation.

    So they almost become like another bank, another round of approval.

    But I am no expert. I am just putting together piece meal rumors without 100% knowledge. I hope that doesn’t do more harm then good.

    Thanks for emailing me, and allowing me to post your question on the blog.


  29. Bob says:

    Thanks for the speedy response; your blog is helpful and entertaining.
    Congrats on your engagement.


  30. b says:

    Hi: I have a different kind of question. There is a short sale in my neighborhood. I have found good evidence that this particular property is in distress because of fraud (for example, a 114,000 credit line was approved after the owner had already defaulted on taxes and after the owner was served with a lawsuit. This was not disclosed when the loan application made.) I can see short sales when people are really in distress (illness, death, etc). I find short sales immoral when they are the result of a people using their houses as ATM machines.

    MY QUESTION: If people do see such fraud, is there some way it can be reported to stop a short sale (why save a fraudsters credit so they can do it all over again?)

    I’d really like to know!

    Leave short sales to people who truly need to have some slack cut.

  31. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Yes, call the FBI!

  32. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    New article in the Washington Post about Short sales:

  33. Kip says:

    You are killin me man. That article in the Washington Post is misleading and full of misinformation. I don’t even think she took the time to read your whole blog. Why is it these “Journalists” find it so hard to take the time do the research and provide good information? I am adding the comment I made to her article.

    “Here’s what’s really happening with short sales” Wow!!

    Elizabeth, with all due respect, there is no resource of information or any “expert” on short sales out there the can allow you to claim to tell us what is really happening with short sales. Like so much of the information available on the net, your article is misleading and filled with only a small piece of the puzzle that is the short sale. You relay on a couple of sources for your article, one of which I am familiar with and even though I like Frank at, to my knowledge, he has never closed a short sale transaction and will be the first to admit that he is far from being an authority on the subject. This subject is way too complex and demands way more than a one page simple overview. I do not want to take the time to write a better article for you but will take a minute to correct you on a few points you did make.
    One of the bigger ones is the misconception that short sales are deeply discounted and that this is why buyers do or should pursue them. The truth is that under pricing these types of sales is one of the reasons they fail. Lenders, like you said, are not in the business to lose money, so one of the most important components to a successful short sale is that it is priced at current market value. So these sales are no discount, they are priced through a process of several price reductions over a shorter period than usual to find where the market is. The market in our area has been dropping 1% a month for the last 20 months, so there is no stable place to hang your hat on as far as price goes. Key here is that banks get their own appraisals or BPO’s so you can’t get away with fire selling the property. We do not send low ball offers to a lender. We may only get one chance at getting an approval, so we are not going to waste it on an offer that will get us kicked to the curb. The reality in our area is that there will soon be no other inventory other than short sales and REO’s for a buyer to choose from so avoiding them all together will not be possible.
    Another misconception is that you can just call up the loss mitigation department of these lenders and get them to tell you if they will do a short sale on a particular property. This with very few exceptions is just bologna. First, without authorization from the person on the loan, they will not talk to you at all. Second, most lenders will not look at a short sale proposal without an offer. A short sale package without an offer is incomplete and will most likely end up in the waste basket. So asking a listing agent if they have gotten approval to short sale the home they have listed exposes their lack of knowledge as to how the process works. These lenders get 200-300 of these a day so they have no time to waste on speculation or maybes. Do you have an offer or no?
    It has been our experience that it takes a minimum of 90 days to close a short sale. Most of the lenders we work with tell us that we will not know if they will even entertain a short sale for 40 days.
    If you are truly interested in reporting “Here’s what’s really happening with short sales” first let everyone know that you can’t make that statement in the first place. I want you to notice that I was very carful not to make absolute statements about short sales. Each area is different, each lender works differently, each sellers situation is unique, and each agent ranges from little experience to a great deal of experience. There is no one size fits all for short sales but there are some do’s and don’t’s. Our office would be very happy to give you an over view of what our experience has been with short sales and help you shift through fact from fiction.

    Kip Lohr
    George E Lohr Real Estate

  34. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Kip from Oregon,

    Sorry but this time I can barely agree anything you said.

    First off, you live in a different state! I write about Short Sales in Virginia. The market is drastically in Oregon.

    Here are some disagreements:

    1) You say that Short Sales are at Market Rate.
    Are you on crack? At least in Virginia they are 10-30% below market rate. And the banks here look for 80% of the BPO/comp value. They are willing to take some loss versus paying the legal bills involved in a foreclosure. I just witnessed a $500,000+ condo Short Sale close for $420,000 in my building.

    Why in the world would a buyer pay “market rate” and also wait a few months and have the high likelihood of not closing?

    2) Yes, if the house is TOO low, you are right, the bank will laugh it off.

    3) “they are priced through a process of several price reductions over a shorter period than usual to find where the market is.” This might happen in Oregon, not in Virginia. Here they list it low, get a ton of offers and try and bid it up.

    4) You wrote: “First, without authorization from the person on the loan, they will not talk to you at all.” Come on Kip, this is assumed. That is Short Sale 101, getting a authorization letter signed before a Realtor can talk to the bank.

    5) Then you wrote: “no other inventory other than short sales and REO’s for a buyer to choose from so avoiding them all together will not be possible.” Again, this is your market, not ours (except PW County). Also REOs and Short Sales (in Virginia) have MUCH different close ratios. Night and Day.

    6) Kip, you might be a great Realtor. You might be able to close SHort Sales listings. I do believe it is possible, and with an 80% success rate. The point is that the short sale Realtors here clueless, and going about it all wrong, and therefore not closing. And buyers need to figure out how to weed through the mess in Virginia.

    7) “most lenders will not look at a short sale proposal without an offer”. In Virginia this is not the case. Hop over to and search for Approved Short Sale. 500 homes come up.

    What I recommend is to get all the paperwork submitted, confirm that it has been received, and THEN put it on the MLS. (obviously there is more to it).

    In conclusion, of course no two situations are alike. What I pulled up in this post was the % chance of them closing. (please email or post what Oregon is experiencing, so we know waht to look forward to).

    Overall, when I did the blog post, there was a 1 in 20 chance of closing. Now if you read my other post “Top 10 Questions”, if those questions are replied to, I would say a responsive agent would have a 25% chance (but 80% don’t reply to emails or calls,how they hell they gonna close a SS!!). And a well responded email might actually be able to close 80% of short sales. So yes, considering short sales offered by experienced agents is something to consider, or maybe even seek out.

    Dealing with a listing agent that is clueless, ie. way underpriced…, no clue how to do te paperwork, I stand by the 1 in 20 chance, if not lower.

    But I must say that this blog post is already getting dated. I have to update it since a higher percentage of Short Sales are actually closing now. The market is changing here, and thus my job to cover it.

    I will run the numbers shortly, and I would not be surprised if the numbers have jumped from 5% to 15%.

    Did you see that our search engine now will put a * next to Short Sales in the search results?


  35. Kip says:

    Sadly you have missed my point completely, but thankfully in doing so you actually make my point for me. You are trying to defend the positions you take and the advice that you give on your site based on your experience and the market conditions in your area. Unfortunately, with an uneducated eye, your blog comes off as an authority on short sales and makes gross generalizations about the way lenders behave, what they are looking for, and how the process itself works. If your advice was only available in Virginia, and you were more careful to present your information as representing your area specifically I would have no beef your blog. The fact that the Washington post and other high profile purveyors of information are using your site as a source for presenting information that is being presented as the gospel on short sales is disturbing to say the least. People from all over the country and in many, different market conditions are getting on the net and reading your blog. As you point out so forcefully, the market conditions in Virginia are very different than the ones here in Oregon. Well to make it even more difficult, the market conditions are different from one city or county to another in the same state. Please notice my comments to Ms. Razzi at the Washington Post where specific to my area, not broad stroke generalizations.
    Listen Frank, I think you should give me a call some time. I would love to chat in detail about what our office has experience so far in sorting out the short sale mess.Who knows,it might even give you something to write about.

    Kip Lohr
    George E Lohr Real Estate

  36. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    I’ll add more references to Virginia in the blog.

    What you need to do is open up your own blog. I’ll link to it.

    If you are the expert, why waste time on comments, when you could have a full blog full of information specific to Oregon.


  37. tchaka owen says:


    In regards to your post commenting on the Washington Post article, I disagree with your assessment of it. Yes, she gave a quick version but she’s not as far off as you might think.

    1. There are a number of resources or “experts” on short sales who can tell you pretty much anything you need to know. Look up Dwan Twyford and Sharon Restrepo – if you don’t know them, you probably don’t really know short sales. Frank, I saw that you’ve taken 4 short sales classes and that’s great….education is always good. Having said that, I am confident that you can take Twyford & Restrepo’s book on short sales and successfully conduct one before you can with all 4 classes (not to take anything away from your instructors). There are others, but those two are among the best.

    2. You are correct that they should not be deeply discounted, but not only because of the higher likelihood of failure but because of the false expectations that clients have. A prospective buyer looking in a specific price range finds what he thinks is a gem only to find out that even with a short-sale it’s well beyond his means. That’s deceiptful to them and hurts those not in distress who have priced properly. Having said that, you are doing your client (and yourself) a disservice by pricing a short-sale at market. I’ve never heard of that and hope to never hear it after today. If you’re in a stagnant market how do you expect your house to move if it’s priced like all the others? A home requiring a short-sale is in distress so price it like it’s in distress. That means you price it BELOW market. Not so low that it’s rediculous, but low enough that people will pay attention. If it is true that in your area you’ll soon have no inventory other than short sales and REO’s it sounds like nothing is moving…..hmm, maybe it’s time to price right.

    Oh, don’t put too much faith in BPOs, they’re not always accurate.

    3. I have contacted loss mitigation and talked to them without written authorization from the client. It’s in how you present your intentions. I make it clear that I do not have an authorization letter, I am not interested in knowing any particulars and will get that info once I have it in hand. In the meantime I merely need a short-sale package and want to know if they’ll consider a short-sale. I always get the package and more often than not I’ll find out if they’ll entertain. THEN, I start the process.

    4. Yes, most banks will not approve anything without an offer (obviously) and a few might not even look at the proposal without one, but many will take the pkg. sans offer and have it ‘lined up’ (for lack of a better term).

    5. Asking a listing agent if he has an approval is VERY important!!! I’m not sure how you can’t see that. While it is very unlikely that a new listing will have an approval ready (for the reasons you list below), it’s very possible that there have been offers on it and it’s undergone the process. My team has a listing right now that has an approval and the potential buyer has hedged on moving forward. If another buyer walks up I will tell him/her the bottom line and let them him/her decide whether the home is worth it. I’m sure their agent will appreciate knowing the bottom line right off the bat.

    6. My client put an offer in for a short-sale on June 2nd, it was approved on the 10th. Ok, so it wasn’t the typical short-sale situation but I thought I’d toss that in. Normally they do take 2-4 months.


  38. Real Estate Short Sales says:

    I find that we are getting many of our short sales closed. Early on in this short sale market it was much more difficult to close a short sale and I believe that was because of the lack of staff and communication within the banks. One department would continue with the foreclosure while another department never told anyone they were working on a short sale. We are seeing many of the lenders staff up in their loss mitigation departments and we are closing a few short sales every month!

  39. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    I agree! Times are changing. Time for a new blog post!

  40. Sue says:

    Alot of great information here, various factors to think about. Good point about the appraiser not using the short sale as a comp. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  41. Las Vegas Real Estate Home Paul says:

    Hello Frank!

    Super entertaining post and it’s what Las Vegas went through last year. It has certainly improved for us (getting short sales for Las Vegas sellers approved). Especially since we got our short sale system down knowing the Tricks.

    Bank Trick #1 is Certainly classic and I just shared your post (specifically Bank Trick #1) for somebody that qualifies for a hardship/short sale and was contemplating just walking away and doing a foreclosure.

    Short sales are certainly much better then just walking away IMO for Las Vegas.

  42. Colorado Guy says:

    Very interesting post. I agree most agents and buyers dont understand short sales and it just becomes an all around mess when trying to educate someone on them.

    There is money to be made in short sales, I have done quite well putting in low shortsale bids and then turning around and renting to owning the homes.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for doing a blog on short sales. What does the lender’s approval letter look like, and does a seller always receive one, and isn’t it standard that the seller’s broker must share that with the buyer? I am an independent broker in your area, and the broker for the seller is telling me that he cannot permit me to see the lender’s conditions as it contains “confidential information.” No need to guess what one of the conditions is as the broker is claiming that the lender is “requiring” that I contribute part of my commission to close the deal. Fortunately my contract (with lawyer’s help) requires written evidence of a lender’s approval, rejection or rejection with counter-offer in order for anyone to void the contract.

    Thanks, and I went anonymous on your blog, just because this deal is still in negotiations. I appreciate your help and will let you know how things turn out – hopefully a settlement soon!

  44. Jon Christopher says:

    It is true. Many agents price a short sale way too low and create a false impression that a deal will close at that price. The truth is a bank typically approves a reasonable request, not a low ball offer. Many uneducated agents are giving short sales a bad name. If done correctly a short sale can create a win win situation for all involved.

  45. amy eskew says:

    Thank you so much for this! I am a newer agent- and this recently came up- I have been trying to educate myself and understand how the bank “thinks” in these situations. Thanks for taking the time to write this- i’m sending it to everyone I know!

    :-) Amy

  46. Joe Lane says:

    Amen, amen, amen. The real estate agents going after short sales are like those seeking to make money from fixer-uppers. By the time an agent actually closes a deal, he-she’s spent so much time working the deal their wage per hour is below that earned at McDonald’s! Additionally, from a buyer’s agent point of view, dealing with an agent or bank is a nightmare.

  47. Anonymous says:

    This was an awesome blog post, very informative… thanks a bunch

  48. Anonymous says:

    I found your article extremely informative. We just submitted an offer on a short sale for a house in Leesburg, VA. Your article was written a year ago and the economy has declined dramatically in that time frame, have your stats changed much? We can wait 6 months or more since we are not selling our current home to buy the new one. Since the economy is declining more and more, is it worth it for a bank to risk relisting the property as a forclosure 6 months from now when the price will surely have to be lowered?

  49. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Leesburg, make sure you read my more recent post.


  50. Jeff says:

    Here’s my story… opinions on how we should proceed would be appreciated:

    -Jan 2009, offered $5K above list price for a short sale in Oakton… single lender, Countrywide

    -Property had been “illegally foreclosed” by Countrywide, meaning that the owners had vacated, but Countrywide had not done something correctly in the foreclosure process, so the owners still technically owned the property

    -Property has been vacant for several months

    -In our offer in Jan, we put in a 60-day expiration date, in an effort to force a bank response

    -we know a full appraisal is either being done or has just been done

    -60 days is up next week

    So the question is… what next if the 60 days expire? Put in another offer? Reduce our offer because the market continues to decline? Say “up yours” to Countrywide?

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