Archive for the ‘Short Sales’ Category


11164 Harmon Heights, Beaumont – 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2935 square feet – $199,900


11798 Avalon Avenue, Yucaipa – $199,000 – 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1668 square feet with built in swimming pool.


2995 Jo An Drive, San Bernardino – $195,000 – 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 1624 square feet, with built-in pool.


1223 William McGrath Street, Colton – $200,000 – 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2192 square feet.


29405 Sunrise Place, Highland – $198,900 – 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1725 square feet. New carpet and paint.  HOA dues: $117.00 per month.

I spent Thursday morning with a few hundred realtors at Bank of America’s short sale class.  Over the past several months, BofA has made changes that have eased the process.  I have been pretty vocal about my criticism of Bank of America; however, this morning, I was very excited and impressed with the changes they are implementing over the next few weeks.  In the past, it was difficult to get a short sale approved unless you had an offer in hand.  They are now making it much easier to get the short sale approved without an offer, and they will give us their approved sales price, so that we can accurately price the property.  Typically, the agent and seller set the price of a short sale, and then we hope and pray that the bank will take it, or at least counter back with a reasonable price.  Now we will know their bottom line before we ever put the property on the market.  Every 21 days, the property will be reviewed and if no offers are forthcoming, they will most likely reduce the asking price.
Also in the past, first the short sale agent submitted all of the sellers’ documentation to the bank, i.e., bank statements, pay stubs, mortgage statements, hardship letter, etc.  Once that step was completed, the bank would go forward with the valuation process.  After that was done, they would submit the package to the investor(s) for a response to the buyers’ offer.  Now, they will perform these steps concurrently, rather than consecutively.  This has the potential to save us a lot of time and makes more sense.
B of A is implementing many other new steps to streamline the process, so don’t dismiss short sales.  I have people say to me all the time “I hear short sales are really bad,” or “I hear you shouldn’t buy a short sale.”  That’s not at all the case.  If you have to find a home immediately, I would avoid short sales, but if you have a little time, a short sale could very well be the way to go.  Because people don’t want to wait, fewer offers are made on short sales, so you as the buyer have less competition.  If the seller receives 3 offers, and yours is the best, your offer will be the one sent to the bank, so within a few days of making your offer, you’ll know if your offer is the one the bank is considering.  If you can be patient, your patience could very well pay off in you purchasing a beautiful short sale home.

I’ve encountered a lot of roadblocks, showing property lately.  I have buyers that are driving in from the desert, so their time here is limited.  When I attempt to make appointments to show them homes, a lot of the homes do not have lock boxes, so we agents are dependent on either the seller or the agent to grant us access.  When I call to set the appointment, I hear from the homeowner, “we’ll be gone all weekend,” or from the listing agent “I’m in Pasadena, and I have appointments that day.”  If this is a standard sale and the seller is not very motivated to sell their home, maybe this is somehow acceptable.  However, if it’s a short sale and the foreclosure clock is ticking, it could be a fatal mistake.  I understand some people don’t want a lock box, but a seller is shooting themselves in the foot when they choose that route.  You can’t be home 24/7 to show your home.  Also, the busiest day of the week to show property is Sunday, followed by Saturday, and you’re going to be gone all weekend?  And if you work during the week, you have reduced your chances of showing your home to next to nothing.  If you choose an out-of-area agent, unless they’re partnering with a local agent to help market your property, this agent is thinking of themselves instead of their seller.  The trifecta of failed home showings is: (1) no lock box; (2) an out-of-area agent; and (3) a seller that’s not available to show their home.  A huge advantage when hiring a local agent is that they can show your home within minutes of a phone call.  As much as we would like to have appointments set the day prior, buyers are excited and people’s time is limited, so sometimes they call us and want to see a home on short notice.  Sometimes, they’re actually sitting in front of the house!  While it’s not always possible to accommodate these types of showings, it’s in the sellers’ best interest to be as accommodating as possible.

When I call an agent or a seller and they aren’t available to show their property, I have to fight the urge to say “don’t you want to sell your home?”  I don’t know why they make such complicated showing arrangements.  Are their agents too timid to tell them what they need to do to get their home sold?   If an agent can’t get his or her buyers into your home to show it, they’re simply going to pass it by and show their buyers other properties.  One more thing, please understand that when an agent is setting appointments to show property, they have made an appointment with their buyer during a specific time slot.  We are laying out the selected properties in geographical order, then we attempt to set the appointments in that order.  If an agent asks to show your home at 10:00, and you tell him you can show it at 2:30, that simply will not work, and your house will not get shown.  I know it’s not always possible to be flexible, but just know that you are significantly limiting the showing of your home.  The bottom line is that you must do everything you can, within reason, to make it easy for buyers to see your home.

Less damage to sellers’ credit, less competition for buyers.

Short sales are receiving a bad rap in today’s market.  In many ways, rightly so.  They take a lot of time, and there’s no guarantee you’re going to get the house on which you’ve placed your offer.  However, purchasing a home via short sale can have its advantages.  As long as you don’t have to move right away, a short sale could be the way to go.  Short sale homes receive fewer offers than bank-owned homes, thus you have less people competing for the same property.  In fact, yours could be the only offer they receive.  First, it will take a few days to receive a response from the seller, but that’s the easy part.  The first thing you want to know is if the seller accepted YOUR offer.  If the seller had more than one offer, and accepted another offer, and your offer is in a backup position, then you want to keep looking for a home.  However, if the seller accepts your offer, and we know that yours will be the one submitted to the bank (the bank only wants to see one offer at a time), then you have an excellent chance of getting the home.  The most important thing in a short sale is that you must have patience.  Understand the banks are drowning in these homes.  Each bank negotiator is assigned hundreds of files, and every negotiator is different, some more competent than others.  The listing agent must put together a large package of seller documentation, along with your offer, and forward it the bank.  Once they have the complete package, the bank must establish the value, and it will send either an appraiser to appraise the property, or an agent to complete a Broker’s Price Opinion (“BPO”).   After value is determined, they must forward the entire package to each lienholder.  If there is a first and second loan, both of these banks must agree to the terms.  If there is mortgage insurance, that company must sign off as well.   Once they’ve deemed your offer acceptable, they will issue an approval letter, setting forth the terms to which they agree, such as price, escrow period, what they will and won’t pay, etc.  Then we open escrow, and proceed as normal.  Prior to receipt of the approval letter, the bank’s process could take weeks, it could take months.  However, if you know they’re working on your offer, the best thing you can do is sit tight and be patient.  You have a very good chance of getting that home.  While yes, you have to wait for a period of time, it could be much less competitive than attempting to purchase a bank-owned property and bidding against several other prospective buyers.

Today is the first day of my real estate blog.  My goal is to help you with anything related to real estate in the Inland Empire.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with our area, the Inland Empire is basically San Bernardino and Riverside counties, in California.   I live in Redlands and work in the surrounding cities of Highland, Loma Linda, San Bernardino, Colton, and Yucaipa.  However, today’s technology has made managing transactions that are further away quite simple, so don’t let geography get in our way of working together.  I’ve recently represented sellers and successfully sold homes in Temecula and Santa Clarita.

Real estate transactions can be somewhat stressful for many reasons:  If this is your first time purchasing or selling a home, if you have a real estate agent that isn’t keeping you in the loop, or if there are difficult parties involved.   And now, with foreclosures and short sales, you need an agent who stays on top of the parties involved and makes sure the job gets done.  When I work with clients, I have a simple philosophy – treat them like I would like to be treated.  I know the more that I know about something, the less I stress about it.  Therefore, I do everything I can to educate my clients every step of the way, so the surprises are absolutely minimal, and that you pretty much know what to expect.   I stay in touch by whatever methods are most comfortable for my clients – phone calls, emails, text messages – even Facebook – whatever works best for you and your busy life.   I don’t let technology run my life – I use it as a tool to make mine and your lives easier.

I am a Certified Short Sale Negotiator, I stage homes (included in the cost when you list with me), and I am a GREEN designee.

Anything that you want to know, please ask it here.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to find the answer for you, or direct you to the right source.

Rhonda Stanton