Negotiating a short sale is one of the most challenging jobs in real estate today.  As an agent representing a short sale client you are responsible for helping them get out from under a huge financial burden and save their credit, and responsible to the new buyers for closing the deal in a reasonable length of time.  Not only is it often stressful, but it can be downright frustrating;  re-faxing documents to the bank that you’ve sent three times, waiting for responses to phone messages and emails, and trying to find someone at the bank who actually cares about getting the transaction completed.

One of the short sales that I’m currently working on is especially trying as there are two different lenders involved on a 1st and 2nd mortgage, and as in similar cases, the 2nd mortgage holder won’t really look at the file until we have approval from the 1st.  After weeks of sending documents the 1st lien holder comes back to the table with an offer of approving the short sale, if the borrowers paid them $9,000.  Impossible!  If my clients had an extra $9,000 they wouldn’t be selling their home!  We counter at $1,000.  The bank then comes back at $3,000, insisting that according to their financial statement the borrowers can afford to contribute $3,000.

Hmmm… clients are insisting that as much as they would like to sell their house short and avoid foreclosure, they can’t afford the $3,000, especially as they just did their 2010 taxes and learned that they owe close to $10,000!  Aha!  More ammunition to make their case!  We submit their tax return and two days later have a short sale approval from the 1st lien holder with a $1,000 contribution!  Exactly what we countered!  The approval has been submitted to the 2nd lien holder and we’re pushing for a speedy response.

The bottom line is that my clients are thrilled and half seriously asked if I could help them negotiate their tax liability!  Ha!  I think I’ll stick to short sales.  Banks are tough enough…..I can’t imagine negotiating with the IRS!