How do Realtors Negotiate a Short Sale?

Whether you’re looking to buy a short-sale home or negotiate a short sale with your realtor, a few tips can help you make a successful short sale. First, it’s important to understand the requirements for a short sale. Different lenders have different requirements for the process. Some require a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) and may be more aggressive than others. Regardless of the lender you choose, there are ways to speed up the short sale process.


The first step in the negotiation process for a short sale on a home is to submit an offer to the lender. This initial offer will serve as the basis for the rest of the process. However, the offer must be submitted correctly, or it will be rejected. To be successful, the lender must accept your offer. After all, the lender is taking a loss on the property, and they want to be sure that they are receiving a fair market offer. As such, your offer must be comprehensive, including the full package requested by the lender.

When you’re looking for a short-sale realtor, it’s important to look into their past experiences. Ask them about the types of short sales they’ve handled and their overall experience dealing with multiple lenders and lien holders. It’s also important to ask about their previous clients’ experiences with short sales.

Before you make an offer on a short-sale home, you need to be aware of all liens on the property. If the seller is asking for money under the table, you should walk away. Also, you must know the condition of the property before closing. Sellers are required to disclose any known defects in the home. If you’re not sure of the condition, you should complete a home inspection.

Dealing with a real estate agent

Working with an Orlando Real Estate Agent can be beneficial for a number of reasons. For one thing, an agent who specializes in short sales will be able to help you navigate the process of negotiating a short sale. Your agent will be able to review public records and look at comparable properties and give you advice on making an offer. Since your agreement with the home seller is not set in stone, it is crucial to hire an expert to inspect the property before finalizing the deal.

First, you must show that you can’t pay your mortgage. To do this, you must submit a short sale application, which will include financial and personal information about you. You will also need to provide a hardship reason, which the bank will use to determine if you qualify.

Working with a real estate agent during the short sale process is extremely necessary. The short sale process can take longer than you expect and may reveal more problems than you’re willing to fix. It is also possible for a home to suffer serious damage before the closing date, and you don’t want to lose your deposit if the property is not up to par. To avoid this situation, you should always include contingencies in your contract offer. Some of these contingencies include home inspections, loan approval, and hazard insurance. You can also include an interest rate cap so you won’t lose your deposit if rates go up.

Your real estate agent will send your offer to the lender for approval. The lender will want to see proof of your funds or preapproval. If you can’t provide this, the lender may reject your offer. However, some lenders may reserve the right to renegotiate the terms of the deal at the last minute.

Timeline of a short sale

A short sale is a sale of a home that is not in foreclosure. The process of a short sale can take months, but it can be done as quickly as two months. It is important to be patient and understand the timeline involved. A short sale is not an immediate sale, and the bank will want to review all documentation and forms before agreeing to a short sale.

In the meantime, you have to list your home with a licensed Real Estate agency. The listing process is similar to the normal re-sale process, and in the city, a property typically spends over 100 days on the market.

In order to negotiate a short sale, the homeowner will need to meet the lender’s requirements and work with a realtor. The lender will need to approve the short sale package before releasing the homeowner from the mortgage loan. The borrower will need to submit documentation and financial information to prove their current financial condition.

If you do decide to go ahead with a short sale, it is important to note that the process could take longer and be more stressful than a traditional sale.

Securing a mortgage after a short sale

If you’ve just completed a short sale, you may wonder if it’s possible to get another mortgage. Bankers generally don’t like to see a short sale on your credit because this shows you have left part of the debt outstanding.

A conventional mortgage might be an option with a substantial down payment amount and extenuating circumstances. In general, you need to put at least 20% down to be approved for a conventional loan. Freddie Mac, on the other hand, requires that you wait for four years after completing a short sale. However, if you’re able to come up with a valid reason, you may qualify for a mortgage sooner.

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A wave of Short Sales could be headed for Orlando due to COVID-19

While stay-at-home orders are keeping people at home, many Floridians could be falling behind on mortgage and rent payments due to loss of employment and an economy on a downward spiral.

The real estate data-service provider, Attom Data Solutions, reported that 10 of Florida’s 67 counties are in the top 50 most vulnerable counties in the U.S. to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these counties are in either North or Central Florida, including Osceola, Hernando, Flagler, Clay, Lake. Surprisingly, Broward county was the most vulnerable of the South Florida counties.

The only state that ranked higher than Florida in this study was New Jersey with 14 counties in the top 50 most at risk in the nation. Also ranked near the top were New York, Connecticut, and California. Real estate markets in the Midwest and West are considered to be less likely to see big numbers of people losing their homes because of the virus outbreak.

483 counties throughout the US were studied to determine what percentage of homes we can expect that will be receiving foreclosure notices by the end of 2020 and what percentage of the local wages are needed to pay for homeownership. The study used data from the last quarter of 2019 to calculate the averages.

Central Florida has one of the lowest median incomes in the U.S. The local economy is largely dependent on tourism and convention revenue which could mean big trouble for homeowners. Many landlords are suffering right now… especially if they depend on rental incomes to pay the mortgages.

Central Floridian homeowners could be facing rough waters ahead

Realtors in Orlando are also starting to feel the pain. Activity has slowed for both buyers and sellers with only people who have no choice but to buy or sell eager to close. Home sales in Orlando are reaching the levels that we saw back in 2008 after the market crash. Orlando Realtors are losing almost $700,000 in daily commissions from the pandemic.

Right now it’s too early to say how this will all play out because we don’t know how effective the Federal stimulus will be in helping people through this financial rough patch. Banks are granting temporary mortgage forbearance to many homeowners and businesses will hopefully get enough help to pay employees through the crisis.

I believe lenders will have to step up and provide some major help to prevent foreclosures in Orlando and other Florida cities. In my opinion, it’s the only way to avoid large numbers of foreclosures and short sales in Orlando.

Potential for Mass Short Sales in Orlando

Like I said before, it’s too early to tell what will happen to Orlando real estate market as a result of coronavirus. However, I do think that if people don’t get back to work in the next couple of months, short sale Realtors in Orlando will be extremely busy by the end of 2020 and well into 2021.

Even lenders aren’t sure how everything will end up playing out because they don’t know how much time it will take for Floridians to get back to work. Short sales and loan modifications are used as an alternative to avoid foreclosure. The problem with loan modifications is that the homeowner will still be on the hook for the entire amount of the loan but with lower payments.

I’ve been a short sale Realtor in Orlando since 2004 and 9 out of 10 times when I present my clients with the terms of both a short sale and a loan modification, they choose short sale.

Doing a short sale, however, will allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. By doing this, the lender gets at least most of their money back and avoids a lengthy and expensive foreclosure process. The homeowner also benefits from a short because they can avoid having a foreclosure on their record and won’t be responsible for the difference between what they owed and what the home sold for.

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How To Submit A Short Sale Package

Submitting The Short Sale Package

Back in the early 2000s when short sales were scarce and uncommon, short sale agents were forced to deliver completed short sale packages via FedEx, UPS, or sometimes even in person, depending on where the short sale lender was located concerning the home. As a short sale agent in Orlando, I did this to ensure the lenders would receive the package because banks would routinely lose or would claim they “never received it”, probably because they were outsourcing their short sales to 3rd party short sale processors. It was very frustrating, to say the least…

Although Bank of America was the first one to have the ability to receive shorts ales via upload, many of their competitors still required us to fax them over, and over… and over. As the years went on, through the implementation of online software and loss mitigation departments becoming more familiar with short sales, the short sale process became more streamlined and where being processed a lot faster.

These days some lenders will only accept documents if you upload them to their online processing platform. You must speak to someone before submitting the package so you know exactly what they need and how they need it. If there’s only one document missing, it will hold up the entire process.

Documents Needed for A Short Sale Package

Nowadays most lenders will have their short sale package with their company logo. It’s best to just follow along and submit the docs exactly how they ask for them.

This is a list of documents required by all lenders to be considered for a short sale:

Listing Agreement: The short sale lender will need proof the property is listed by a licensed real estate agent at the current market value. The listing agreement must be signed and list the terms of the listing, the name of the brokerage and the amount of commission to be paid. It’s never a good idea to lowball the bank so make sure the offer price is close to the listing price, they aren’t stupid and it could cause them to reject the file altogether.

Purchase Contract: Note: Not every lender will accept a contract that’s been signed electronically. They may require you to have “wet signatures” on the contract so find out the requirements beforehand. Make sure the property address is written correctly and every line has initials and signatures where needed so there aren’t any delays.

Hardship Letter: Writing an effective hardship letter is probably the most important part of the short sale package. It should tell a detailed story about how the homeowners got into their current situation and why they can no longer afford to pay the mortgage. Whether it’s because of loss of employment health problems or divorce, leave nothing out. The hardship letter must have the loan number on it, signed and dated by the homeowner.

Letter of Authorization: This is the letter in which the seller authorizes the agent to speak with the lender on the seller’s behalf.  As a short sale realtor in Orlando since 2004, I prefer to send in the authorization letter as soon as I get the listing agreement so I can establish communicate easily with the short sale lender before sending in the package. However, for some unknown reason, many short-sale agents will wait to send it together with the complete package.

Bank Statements: Every short sale lender will want to see your last 2 bank statements for every account you have and don’t leave out any pages as this will delay your file. If there is any unusual activity on the account like large deposits or withdrawals, I suggest you make a note to the short sale processor explaining why. Put out the fire before it starts…

Last 2 Years Tax returns: The short sale lender will also want to see your past 2 years of federal tax returns, dated and signed, on every single page. If for some reason you haven’t failed, you should write a letter explaining why.

Last 2 W-2s or Profit and Loss Statement: The lender will require you to send in the past two years of w-2s disclosing your salary. However, if you’re self-employed, you’ll need to send in a profit and loss statement. If you’re not self-employed, you should also send in your payroll stubs supporting the w-2s. Explain any bonuses or other pay increases if applicable.

Preliminary HUD Statement: The preliminary HUD statement should be prepared by the title company that will do the closing. It contains all the details of the property such as a legal address, seller’s names, buyer’s names, and the estimated closing costs. It will break down all the costs of the transaction including the sale price, mortgage payoffs, real estate commissions, taxes, insurance, etc.

The CMA [comparative market analysis]: Your short sale agent should also prepare a comparative market analysis to be included with the short sale package. It’s a report of comparable homes sold in the same area. A CMA report should justify the offer price and should be included if the offer price is less than the listing price.

Contractors Estimate: If the home requires some repairs to make it livable or even minor repairs, it’s always a good idea to include a contractor’s estimate of how much it will cost to make the repairs. If you want to be thorough, you should get 3 estimates from different contractors.

Short Sales Aren’t Guaranteed

Keep in mind that there is never a guarantee when it comes to short sales. Just because you followed all the steps and did everything the lender asked of you, there’s still a chance that your short sale will be denied by the lender. If this happens, don’t give up!

If you have an experienced short sale agent in your corner, they won’t give up either. Sometimes it takes some negotiating and jumping through a few more hoops to get it done.

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The Difference between a Short Sale and a Foreclosure

Short Sales and Foreclosures are Very Different Situations

Most people who have never been through a short sale or a foreclosure, think it’s the same thing. Although short sales and foreclosures have a few things in common, they are both very different scenarios… especially when you’re the homeowner going through it. Doing a short sale will always be better than letting your house go to foreclosure just to avoid the damage to your credit among other benefits.

What’s a Short Sale?

A short sale occurs when a homeowner can no longer afford to make the mortgage payments to their Bank, and they have to sell the home for less than what’s owed. Many times, homeowners are already in active foreclosure when they decide to try and short sale the property. The homeowner must also prove to the lender they’re going through some kind of hardship affecting their ability to pay.

Even if the homeowner meets all the criteria of a typical short sale, it must still have the final approval of the lender. The majority of lenders will opt for a short sale instead of taking a homeowner through a costly foreclosure process.

Benefits of a Short Sale

Avoid Foreclosure- A foreclosure can damage your credit for up to 7 years whereas a short sale will have much less of an impact.

Eliminate your Debt- Eliminate your debt with the bank for good. Be sure that your short sale realtor tells the bank that you’re not able or willing to repay the entire amount of the deficiency.

Cash Back to Sellers Many banks offer cash-back programs so they have money to relocate to another home.

Why would my Bank agree to a Short Sale?

Banks don’t make their money by foreclosing on homes. They lose money… taking a mortgage holder through a foreclosure takes is expensive and can take a long time. Lenders also realize that if they do foreclose on the house, they’re just going to have to list it and end up taking a loss anyway.

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Retired Couple Buy Their Orlando Dream Home!

Couple Finds Their Orlando Dream Home in Hunters Creek

Living in New York most of their lives this retired couple had had enough of the cold and ready to live out their golden years in “The City Beautiful”. After spending time with their nephew who lives in Hunters Creek FL, and after several months of searching in other Orlando neighborhoods they decided that Hunters Creek is where they wanted to live and they were finally ready to shift into buying mode for that specific area.

When a buyer is only interested in one specific area it can be both good and bad from the realtor’s standpoint. The good part is that it doesn’t take long to do a search for all the homes that are available for sale in the area. The bad part is that it usually takes longer to find the perfect home for someone who is only interested in seeing homes in such a relatively small area due to a lack of inventory.

However, it seems that these buyers were being helped by some kind of divine intervention. Just days into showing these retirees homes that were for sale I received a call from a Hunters Creek homeowner needing to sell their home quickly. These distressed homeowners were six months behind on their Wells Fargo mortgage and have exhausted all means of trying to keep their home.

They were in need of completing an short sale on their home and with an approaching foreclosure date, they needed to get it done A.S.A.P. After Googling “short sale experts in Hunters Creek FL”, they found our company and hired us to complete their short sale. The next morning we met with them at home to collect paperwork, get measurements, photos and everything else we needed to get the ball rolling with the short sale. Although the home needed some work I felt it may be a good fit for our retired couple from New York so I brought them to see it that same night.

They fell in love with the Lakefront home in Calabay Cove. My concerns over the needed repairs disappeared when I found out that the buyer was a handyman and actually loved the idea of having something to do! We explained to the buyers that a short sale can sometimes be a lengthy process but they were willing to stick it out in hopes of getting a great deal on their dream home.

Although it was a bumpy road like most short sales, after three months of negotiating with Wells Fargo we received the short sale approval letter and the buyers were able to close on the home just 10 days after we received the approval. The final short sale price that was agreed upon by the lender was $278,000.00. Considering that the full payoff on this 4 bd rm 3 bd rm home was $470,000.00 the buyers were elated to finally close on their dream home….. I must admit that it was also pretty nice to make a double commission.



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