Can You Negotiate The Price of a Short Sale?

Short sale deals in Orlando can mean big savings for home buyers and investors who are experienced with the process. Short sales can be very time-consuming and require a lot more work than a regular sale, but if you’re willing to hang in there, you could end up with a fantastic deal on a home.


In case you don’t know, a short sale is the sale of a house whereas the mortgage company allows the homeowner to sell the property for an amount less than what’s owed on the note. Because of this, short sales are very popular for homeowners who are no longer able to afford to pay their mortgages. This also allows banks to get most of their money back and avoid taking a homeowner through an expensive foreclosure process.

A short sale is also much better for the homeowner because it allows them to avoid having a foreclosure on their record which is very damaging to your credit score. The short sale process can be beneficial not only for lenders and homeowners but also for potential buyers… if they’re willing to stay the course no matter what.


Short sales are all about back and forth negotiations, but they are anything but short. It can be a very time-consuming process and there’s never a guarantee that the lender will approve your offer. Lenders are not required to accept any short sale offer on any property. To negotiate a successful short sale, you must be familiar with the process.


These days, very few first short sale offers are accepted so don’t get your hopes up. Your ability to negotiate will have a lot to do with what the final accepted price will be.

Very few initial short sale offers are accepted, and for those that are,
there is a large amount of negotiation involved. Your ability to negotiate will often determine the final price that is accepted. Check out the following tips to help you put your best foot forward:

Look at the comps: You must know how much the house is worth so that you know you’re getting a good deal. You should enlist the help of an Orlando real estate agent to help you with this as they have access to the MLS and other tools. Submitting a lowball offer is the quickest way to get rejected while offering too much can cause you to lose money. That’s why having a real estate agent in your corner is vital.

Submitting the 1st Offer: Assuming the homeowner has already been granted permission to short sell their home, the negotiation process begins when you submit your first offer. If the property requires repairs, then you should include a contractor’s estimate with your offer. This is done to justify your offer and also lets the lender know the home needs work.

The Short Sale Agent: Hopefully the listing agent that’s doing the short sale for the seller has some experience processing short sales. If not, then you might be headed for trouble, and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it because it’s up to the seller to choose the listing agent.

The BPO aka [brokers price opinion]: After the offer’s been submitted, the lender will order what’s called a BPO. This is usually performed by a local real estate agent of the lender’s choosing to determine what the fair market value of the home is. Whatever this number comes in at will usually determine what the lender is willing to accept. However, sometimes [most of the time] this number will still be a bit higher than it should and so the negotiations begin…

The Counter Offer: If your first offer was accepted, either you offered too much or you are really lucky! Hopefully, it’s the latter…but not likely. Most of the time, the 1st offer will be rejected and the lender will either… tell you how much their willing to accept or they may tell you to submit your final highest, and best offer. At this point, you should tell your realtor to do the comps again before submitting your final and best offer. How the short sale agent handles this will have a lot to do with your chances of success.

Short Sale Tips From a PRO

In my career as an Orlando Real Estate Agent, I’ve completed thousands of successful short sales in Orlando and throughout the state of Florida. I can tell you that processing and negotiating a successful short sale requires skill, experience, tenacity, and most of all patience. To give yourself the best chance at getting a deal, here are some tips:

  • Work With An Experienced Short Sale Agent: Whether you’re looking to buy a short sale or do a short sale on your own home, you should do so with the representation of a real estate agent experienced in short sales. Take your time in finding the right agent as this part is crucial to your success.
  • Have Your Funding in Place: Sometimes lenders will only give you 2 weeks to close on an approved short sale property. You should have your financing in place before you even start submitting offers.
  • Start The Loan Process Early: While not always the case, some banks will offer a small closing window to those looking to secure a short sale (sometimes as little as two weeks). Those that have yet to secure funding may find that the window is too short. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling on financing as soon as possible—perhaps even before the file is sent for final review.
  • Follow up, Follow up, Follow up: Be sure to maintain constant contact with your real estate agent to be aware of what’s happening with the file.


Short Sale

Short sales in Orlando have served as some of the best deals since 2007 and still do so today, although it’s a bit more competitive now in 2019. However, if you’re willing to put in the work and stay the course, it could mean a big payday for you!

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Orlando Short Sales… Know The Rules!

Don’t let the name fool you, Orlando short sales take a long time! The reason being is that a short sale means that the bank loses money so you can’t blame them for not being in a rush. This can however be helpful to the homeowner by allowing them time to get their house sold and avoiding foreclosure. If a lender approves a short sale on a home, it means that they are allowing the homeowner to sell their home for less than what’s owed on the mortgage.

Recently, the United States Treasury Department changed the rules to make the short sale process easier and more efficient. Usually, the short sale process will drag on for several months and even up to a year in some cases. And even then there was no guarantee that the lender would agree to a short sale. That’s why there are so few Orlando short-sale realtors willing to specialize in this area of real estate.

Some short-sale agents remain skeptical and think that nothing will change. Orlando short sale specialist Jenny Zamora, Broker at Orlando Realty Consultants “I will be the first to shout from the rooftops if the short sale process becomes faster than what it is”.

These are some of the changes that are being put in place:

  • Potential buyers must submit a pre-approval letter from a lender together with their offer on the home.
  • Lenders have to either approve or deny a short sale offer within ten business days.
  • To protect the homeowner from being forced out, the short sale lender must give a 45 day closing period unless the seller agrees to a lesser amount of time.
  • If someone buys a house via short sale, they cannot sell it for at least 90 days. This scenario is fine for someone planning to live in the home but it presents a problem for investors looking to do a quick flip.
  • Orlando short sales done through the HAFA program [Home Affordable Alternatives Program] can’t be sold to a friend or relative or business partner of the seller.
  • A maximum of $3,000 can go to holders of junior liens to release a lien on their property
  • A lender may not foreclose while the house is being marketed for sale during the short sale process.
  • Lenders may no longer charge fees to borrowers who wish to pursue a short sale instead of a foreclosure.
  • Lenders may no longer lower realtor commissions after an offer has been received.

Jenny Zamora, Orlando Realtor, and short sale specialist are overall happy with the changes although she is doubtful these changes will increase her already outstanding turnaround time of 30-45 days to complete a short sale.

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ORC Closes Another Orlando Short Sale

  ORC closes another Orlando short sale. Jenny Zamora, Listing Specialist/short sale expert known for getting her listings sold in record time for top dollar has beaten the odds once again. Now…  I don’t write about every short sale listing our company closes [or I wouldn’t have time to write about other stuff] but I felt that this one is worth sharing.

This Orlando home was originally listed by an investment group that claimed to be short sale experts and promised to get the job done fast and efficient, and of course… free of charge. In reality, they were actually wholesale flippers that ended up dragging the homeowner into deep water.

The strategy of a whole sale flipper is to submit a low offer to the bank on a distressed home in hopes that the bank will accept the offer so that they can flip the deal to another buyer without having to close on it themselves. If it works, the flippers make a few thousand bucks the seller gets rid of their problem and everyone’s happy.

However, if the bank rejects the offer the homeowner is then left holding the ball. Once the wholesale flipper realizes that they can’t make money on the deal, they will typically move on to the next potential seller [or victim] at this point leaving the homeowner in a bad situation to fend for themselves.

Getting back to our story…The lender set a foreclosure date just 30 days away and the investment group bailed on her when they couldn’t get the short sale approved. After reading our online reviews, the homeowner came to us thinking that all hope was lost and her home would surely be foreclosed on.

After consulting with distressed homeowner, we accepted the file and Jenny Zamora went to work immediately on the short sale. By using all our marketing tools as well as blasting the property details to our network of active home buyers from around the world, she quickly got the word out and managed to get serious investor interested in the property for a price that lender was happy with.

By getting all necessary documentation to the lender quickly in an organized and efficient manner, they stopped the foreclosure process allowing ample time for the new buyer to close on the property. As a result, the lender issued a new short sale approval letter that gave the buyer 30 days to close on the property even though the buyer only needed 10 days to close. 

If you’re in need of completing a short sale on your Orlando home, please, please, please beware of so-called “short sale expert investors” that promise to save you from foreclosure. Be sure to research anyone you plan on working with extensively. Many of these companies are only out for their own financial gain at the expense of the homeowner. 

It’s important to know that unlicensed investors aren’t bound by a code of ethics nor are they subject to follow the same laws that licensed realtors are. An Orlando realtor is sworn to put the best interest of the homeowner first and if they don’t, they can be prosecuted and potentially lose their license.


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Avoid Orlando Short Sale Fraud

Avoid Short Sale Fraud!

The mortgage industry is once again experiencing an increase in short sales. Since 2012 the number of short sales with Freddie Mac has gone up substantially. This rising trend will leave the Orlando real estate market a target for short sale fraud.

What’s A Short Sale

A short sale can happen when a homeowner can longer pay the mortgage on their property and the lender allows them to sell the home for a discount of the principal balance owed to the bank or investor. Banks are willing to do this because they can avoid taking the property through a costly foreclosure process.

Homeowners benefit by avoiding a foreclosure on their credit which can last up to 7 years as opposed to a short sale which stays on your credit for an average of two years. Many times homeowners are eligible for relocation costs from the lender. This amount is usually around $3,000.00.

What’s Short Sale Fraud?

Without trying to sound like an attorney, short sale fraud can basically be described as deceitfulness or trickery when directly related to a short sale transaction. Fraud can appear in many different ways during a short sale and on both sides of the transaction.

It’s deliberate misrepresentation or omission of a fact or circumstance that would convince the lender to go through with a transaction that a lender would not approve if they were aware of all the facts.


Some Examples Of Short Sale Fraud

1-The buyer of the short sale property selling or “flipping” the property immediately after the closing. This type of transaction can also be referred to as a “double” or “simultaneous” closing and can sometimes involve the use of two separate title companies.

An example would be if the seller or borrower owed $150,000 on a home that is only worth $100,000. The short sale lender accepts an offer of $75,000 from the realtor or facilitator. The buyer will then have a buyer lined up for $95,000 and both transactions close on the same day and the facilitator pockets the difference thus increasing the lender’s net losses.

2-The borrower’s hardship was fabricated for the purpose of getting the short payoff approved.

3- The short sale facilitator purposely damages the property in order for the BPO [brokers price opinion] to come in lower than it would if the property hadn’t been damaged.


Preventing Short Sale Fraud

The best way to avoid any type of fraudulent situation when it comes to a short sale transaction is to research thoroughly research the short sale realtor before listing your house with them. Ask for references, Google them, and check out any reviews that may have been posted. These days it’s even recommended to check out someone’s Facebook page to get some insight into what kind of person they are.

It’s also a good idea to avoid getting involved with facilitators that are unlicensed or if they want you to use a realtor that is controlled by them.


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Cash Incentives for Short Sales Continue

 Cash Incentives for Short Sales

It appears that new short sale guidelines that have been put into place continue to make it easier for distressed homeowners to get relocation assistance after completing the short sale on their distressed property. Mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have launched a new short sale program allowing the homeowner to complete a short sale and receive cash incentives without missing any mortgage payments….It’s about time!

I don’t know why this hasn’t always been the case. I believe that as long as the homeowner can prove a valid hardship, then why force them to miss payments if they’re willing to work with the bank sooner than later. For one thing, the lender loses less money. Why would you want the homeowner to miss at least one or two payments before allowing them to start the process if they’re willing to start the process while continuing to make the payments? I think that if this were the case then there would be a lot less distressed homeowners doing a strategic default.

[HAFA] The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program provides distressed homeowners with cash relocation incentive of $3,000.00. The problem is that the guidelines have several restrictions that many times kept distressed sellers from getting the assistance they so desperately needed.

B of A, The nation’s largest loan servicer offers the HAFA program in addition to several other in-house programs. Its most popular program is the “Cooperative Short Sale Program” which has an “Enhanced Relocation Assistance” that ranges anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000. Just this past year we were able to qualify 3 of our Orlando short sale clients for the $30,000.00 cashback at closing. Bank of America has recently launched the enhanced program on a national level. This program applies to pre-approved short sales, these are short sales that are started without there being an offer to purchase. The amount of the incentive is based on the value of the home.



There are some who will tell you that banks would rather take a house to foreclosure or modify the loan than approve a short sale. This just isn’t true, it costs a lender a lot of time and money to take a house through the foreclosure process and at the end of the day, it’s just a numbers game.

The truth is that short sales net lenders twelve to twenty-five percent more than they would make from foreclosure because of the time and money that it takes to not only regain control over the property, but to make any repairs, market and finally resell the house. And as far as loan modifications are concerned, over half of them default within the first year then ultimately turn into short sale or foreclosure.

Lenders have finally figured this all out and that’s why they are constantly streamlining there process and continue to create enticing offers to help out distressed homeowners. By completing a short sale, a distressed homeowner can avoid going through a foreclosure and limit the damage done to their credit.




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