Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: Here's The Update to My "Short Sale" Saga!

Here's The Update to My "Short Sale" Saga!

About a month ago I wrote a few lines lamenting my "short sale" experiences ... I've Found the Secret of "Short Sale" Success!  ... And proclaiming my conclusion that the only money to be made while dealing with short sales is to teach the classes. 

Well, here's the update!  At the time I had two pending short sales, one is still pending and might, I said "might" actually close.  The other was rejected by the lender and allowed to go to a foreclosure sale.  

No one from the lender told us it was rejected, no one told us anything at all!  One day, after days and days of calling, calling, calling ... proof!  We magically actually reached a real live speaking person who researched the file on the computer and said, "Oh, that offer was rejected days ago." 

No communication, no counter offer, no notice, nothing!  When asked point blank what sales price was acceptable, no one could give us a number.  What to do?  The sale date was rapidly approaching in two days and we had no idea.  

To complicate the matter ... we knew the BPO that the lender had in their file was substantially less than the offer on the table, we live in a small community in western Nevada and there are just not that many realtors so it was pretty easy to figure it out.

The buyer's agent was frantic to work this out because the buyer was his son so he had a very emotional and personal interest.  The buyers would have paid more, the selling agent would have lopped off his commission to raise the net to the lender, there were many ways that we could have resolved this and closed the sale.  All we needed was an intelligent thinking person on the other end of the phone with the ability to actually do something. 

The rest of the story!  The property was offered for sale on the courthouse steps the following day.  No one bid so, the Lender now has another REO in their portfolio that they will have to process and sell.

The lender will hire a servicing company to secure the house, shut off the utilities so the beautiful lush landscaping quickly dies in the heat of August -(dead lawns are SOP for REO's), pay some other realtor to do yet another BPO, list the house with someone at a greatly reduced price because now it's an "REO".  The bottom line is this, they will take the long way home and spend more money to get a lesser return.  Is it any wonder that the mortgage industry is in such a state of confusion?

Here's the final absurdity, the price the house was offered for sale on the court house steps, the opening bid, was over $8,000.00 LESS than the written offer that was pending on the home.

I'm officially through with short sales ... let someone else be a hero but I'm done.  This one really hurt in many ways. 

Comment balloon 13 commentsLisa Wetzel • July 26 2008 09:20AM


The banking industry is on a suicide is obvious.  There is only one other word to descibe the lunacy...IDIOTS.  There is obviously something missing in this picture, as I've repeatedly read similar stories to this many times.  It is almost as if there is something intentional going on behind the scenes.  Am I the only person who thinks this way?

Posted by Gregory Lohr about 12 years ago

Hi Lisa,

You don't want to stop working short sales... the opportunity is huge!! When you get a minute check out our website. We have been successfully working with short sales and partnering with Realtors to help sell thier clints home. We currently operate in 8 state including Nevada.

Regards, Dan



Posted by Dan Mullins (Done Deal Solutions, LLC) about 12 years ago

Lisa I had the same experience and you did and I don't get it. I knocked myself out for the loss mitigators and had two offers on the short sale which they dragged their feet on. The loss mitigation people  behaved exactly as you stated. Later, after it was foreclosed on it was listed and sold for much less.  They must not want to sell the property very badly and why they would want less money is beyond me.  I agree with you both Greg and Lisa. 

Posted by Brenda Abide (Weichert Realtors Benchmark) about 12 years ago

That is disturbing to say the least.  I have considered looking into this several times but don't have the energy.  Have you had any experience with Lease options or Land Contracts?

Posted by Shari Frasure, Real Estate Transition Specialist (Keller Williams Greater Lexington) about 12 years ago

Greg and Brenda,

Thanks!  I hate to say I appreciate that someone else shares my misery ... but I do. 

Dan, I'll check you out and have an open mind.

Shari - just did a lease option with great success, even wrote about it ...   check it out.

We have used land contracts for year, they are a good tool in Nevada.  I don't know what your state laws are - make sure you check this out before you jump in. In Nevada the laws are very specific regarding the rights of the parties.  Just make sure you know your footing.

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 12 years ago


If Short Sales were "easy" then everyone would do it. I would suggest sticking with it and as you said above, "keep an open mind." The banks do not want to take these homes back, the problem is that the folks that answer the phones don't have an interest in the company as would the investors. \

What I am trying to say is be persistant and an outside the box thinker when it comes to these sales. Again, if it were easy, everyone would do it. Your free to check out my site as well and email me with questions.

Matt Hodges

Realtor / Short Sale Specialist
Exit Realty Paramount
313 E Front St
Traverse City, Mi
231.624.1650 Cell
231.946.4404 Office
231.946.4504 Fax
See my short sale listings at
Posted by Matthew H Hodges (EXIT Realty Paramount) about 12 years ago

Lisa the point of my post was to let you know that it's not you that is the problem. No matter how hard you work, how persistent,  or how professional you are it really doesn't matter if the loss mitigation department does not cooperate with you in a courteous and professional way.  Maybe there are some good loss mitigation people out there that will "work with" the agents in a professional and productive way but I don't know about them yet.  Just as in a marriage for example, if both people are not committed it just isn't going to work no matter what you do.

Matt perhaps you will share with us your out of the box thinking that allows you to make these sales happen. I would like nothing more than to help people who are having to do a short sale but it takes the bank/loss mitigation people to cooperate with us to make the sale happen. 

Posted by Brenda Abide (Weichert Realtors Benchmark) about 12 years ago


This one was a real heart breaker for me ... the Seller is a good good friend who was suffering from extreme financial set back due to a huge medical tragedy with her son - he almost died and still, over a year later is in a wheel chair and can't walk. 

I really really wanted to help her and we worked very hard to make this happen.  So Sad!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel RE/MAX Realty Affiliates about 12 years ago

This is a great post and I feel for your situation; however, please understand that a short sale doesn't just get approved because it makes sense in our eyes.  Depending on the laws of the state and municipality, it can make more sense for the bank to foreclose than approve a short sale at a higher figure (for example, if the borrower has other loans with the bank).  Also, if every single item the bank asks for is not completed and in the file, it will be rejected.  Yes, the banks are making a lot of mistakes...but asking a bank to take a short sale is a crap shoot at best and all parties need to understand that.  My husband works for a large bank and I am embarrassed to associate myself with the real estate industry when he tells me about the ignorant, threatening phone calls and letters they receive from real estate agents on a daily basis.  Agents should not negotiate short E&O insurance doesn't cover me for them so I refer them to an attorney who handles them.

Tina in Virginia

Posted by Tina Merritt, Virginia Real Estate (Nest Realty) about 12 years ago


Interesting!  E & O - who ever thought of looking into that?  I agree ... more that once I've been embarrassed by my fellow compatriots ... thanks for the comment and the words of wisdom.

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 12 years ago

If the E&O doesn't cover you, which most don't, create a hold harmless agreement between you and the seller.

This is what I have done with my office.

Good Luck

Posted by Matthew H Hodges (EXIT Realty Paramount) about 12 years ago

Short sales are hard -- but they are possible.   I just got one approved last week after negotiating with the bank for 5 months; and getting them to extend the foreclosure sale date twice.  I think the key is persistence and kindness; it's amazing the info I've gotten from the call center just by being polite and killing them with kindness.  Several times I had call center staff tell me how many times they are yelled out, cussed at, etc., so when I empathize with them they often tell me all kinds of information.  Sometimes when I've gotten ahold of staff that aren't nice or helpful; I'll call back later in the day.  Chance are I'll get someone different and then get an answer to my question.

Posted by Kathy Torline, Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049 (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Kathy,  Thanks for the encouragement ... I appreciate you taking the time.  We have tried 11 times to get short sales accepted by the lender since the first of the year. We have closed one, lost 9, and have one still pending.  I understand it's possible but I sure don't like the odds.

How is your market in Colorado Sprigs?

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 12 years ago