Active Rain November 27, 2010

“How’s the Short Sale Going?”

J. Philip Real Estate New York short sale brokerUpon occasion I get a call from a cooperating agent who is calling to show one of my short sale listings. I welcome these calls- anything I can do to equip the buyer’s agent with data to help the sale is something I am eager to do. They might have questions on the layout, condition, showing instructions, and even parking, which is a big deal in many parts of New York. The one thing I can’t answer on a home with no offers is the status of the short sale.

Have you contacted the bank?

Have you started the process with the lender?

How close is the bank to a decision on the short sale?

There are dozens of variations, but until the lender has a full package with a signed contract, there is no short sale status to report on (even then, there are no exit polls- we know when the decision is rendered). Until I have a buyer, the question is a non-issue. This is the same in New York as any other place in the country with short sale agents I have communicated with. 

The reason for this is simple: the short sale decision process is a serpentine odyssey of red tape with a cog in the machine of a huge monolithic financial entity, a revolving door of contacts at the lender, the whim of whatever negotiator I might be fortunate enough to contact, and after the whole crapshoot, it often goes to the “investor,” which is a whole other nonsensical conundrum. There are no partial short sales. We can’t get a head start with the lender, try as we may in some cases, because the lender will not consider an incomplete package.

Without a buyer, there is no scope for a decision or progress report. I appreciate the buyer agent wanting to feel things out for their buyer, but the status of the bank’s decision does not exist until their buyer signs a contract.