News & Views on Real Estate

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An experienced take on short sales

Because of the legality and complexity of contract law, it is my opinion that short sale proponents need to get a grip on reality.

By now, I feel that I can safely assume that almost every real estate agent in this country has had at least one personal experience with a short sale scenario. But, not knowing that to be an actual fact, I will simply state that at least I have. And it is because of that personal experience that I feel I can justly and constructively critique the process and can truthfully assess a paradoxical anomaly.

Simply put, "the mortgage company" that most agents wind up working with in attempting to consummate a short sale transaction are merely mortgage service companies ---- pencil pushers receiving payments, making entries on ledger forms, depositing funds in trust accounts, making payments for the ‘owner' and then forwarding all this information to investment banks who are, simultaneously, passing on all that information to the holders of investment pools.

In other words, it would be like you going up to a janitor of a building and making a purchase offer on the building that he or she is working on, when in reality the building is simply under a rental management contract with Joe Smow Realty who is managing the building for the three guys who own the place with one of them living in the Alaskan bush and one of them living in South Africa and the other one being a fisherman who was on a boat somewhere down in Antarctic waters and who has just been washed overboard and his wife lives in some small town in Greece and they have two children, one of which is on vacation in Switzerland and the other one is in school somewhere in Memphis.

The janitor cannot help you.

One thing that I feel is relevant to the current environment is this: Washington State is a wonderful place to live when it comes to consumer laws and consumer protection. Consequently, one might assume that there is now a law on the books relating to distressed homeowners. Well, that's true (and maybe the same holds true in other states) and that new law provides for very specific things having to happen if there is even a remote chance that a property might become financially "distressed." And from a legal standpoint, as an agent, because of that law, I prefer to no longer even want to think about attempting to get involved in a short sale transaction.

The way I see it, an agent has two strikes against him when he walks up to the plate to play in the short sale game. And the third strike often comes swiftly once the owner of the property begins to throw in the towel because he or she is slowly realizing that snowballs don't last long in warm country.

However inpassionate this article might appear to be, it is just one more article that can be referenced when it comes to short sale scenarios in the light of reality.

Comment balloon 0 commentsTim Maitski • August 24 2008 08:39AM
An experienced take on short sales
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Because of the legality and complexity of contract law, it is my opinion that short sale proponents need to get a grip on reality. By now, I feel that I can safely assume that almost every real estate agent in this country has had at least… more
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