Would You Let The Buyer Negotiate Your Short Sale?

I received what looked like a form letter today about one of my new Destin Florida short sale listings. The property address was inserted in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Here is the email:

"I noticed your listing at STREET # STREETNAME. DESTIN, FL, is it still available? If so, I am very interested in buying the property. I realize it is a short sale and may take many months to get bank approval but I am willing to wait. I am local and I buy 10 properties a month.

I can guarantee you a full listing side commission, regardless of what commission the bank approves; my only stipulation is that I am able to negotiate with the lender. Please email me the specifics of the property and some times that we may be able to meet so I can discuss an offer with you."

Hmmmm.... Maybe I should jump because it is not a cheap property. It has only been listed one day. Plus, he will pay me my "full listing side commission" and I don't have to do anything!

I know how I responded. How would you?


It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy: [email protected]

Destin FL Real Estate

Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.

Read Wendy's Destin Real Estate Blog

Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". Call Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner,to list and sell your home or condo on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County- Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.

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Comment by Smitty on July 3, 2010 at 1:38pm
I'm a bit shocked at some of the comments here. I've worked with an investor for the past two years. When I get a short sale I call my investor to see if it's a property they are interested in and then if so, present it to the buyer. The average time it takes this investor to close from signing to purchase is about 4 months (sometimes less/sometimes more) - It's been a great experience and I've closed every short sale I've brought to this investor. I actually love that I don't have to negotiate and that they take care of it. I used an attorney before and it took FOREVER to get answers...forget it. This investor is like clockwork. The homeowners love it because so far, they've all walked away with no deficiency and they could care less who negotiated. My goal is to get the home sold in the quickest way possible...THAT is my responsibility to the homeowner because the longer it doesn't close, the longer they are in debt. Before I started working with this investor I had a home on the market for 14 months. I lost THREE buyers because no one could wait for the negotiations and ultimately the bank foreclosed. It was the worst experience ever. Not anymore. Most properties of the properties I get the investor wants...very seldom do they not want to work with a homeowner.

I think I'm surprised at the narrow thinking that only an agent has the homeowner's interest at heart. I can tell each an every person here that if you've EVER actually closed a few properties with an investor then no one here would be saying what they are. Seriously. I definitely encourage anyone here to talk to one of their local investors and see how it's done before you start judging. This investor came in and gave a presentation at our office...well, I haven't turned back since!! :) Maybe I'm just working with one of the good ones, and I'm SURE they're are shady investors out there, but let's face it, there are shady agents too.
Comment by Catherine Smith on June 29, 2010 at 1:29pm
Hi Wendy,

As realtors, we've tried these as well and they DO work. However, just make sure you know who is negotiating the short sale. It can be beneficial because they do put in an offer immediately to start the short sale for your sellers. It all depends on how far your sellers are in, are they close to foreclosure or has a civil suit been filed? If it has and there are no offers yet then you might not have anything to lose. Ultimately since you are representing the seller your duty is to help them at all cost get the short sale done not get the most for the short sale. Short sales are always evolving and as long as you think they may be competent to do the negotiations. There are no guarantees as with anything involved with short sales there are never any guarantees. Really the choice is up to you but we've accomplished some this way before but we knew that the negotiators were VERY competent and knew what they were doing and they not only were competent but they were willing to do what was right for the homeowner even if it meant they had to step out of the picture to get it sold to someone else. Good luck with your decision. I hope this helped.
Comment by Laura Marshall on June 24, 2010 at 10:52am
I work with a lot of investors, and also double end some of my short sales. My clients are "never" are involved in the negotiations. I was also presented with this situation....by a local broker! My duty is to my client first. I personally do not care if someone is able to flip a property and make a few dollars, as long as it is not at my clients expense. In California, I am not getting involved in "double escrows". Also, there is no guarantee that the investor is actually going to purchase the property....once the final approval is in.(read the offer). It's hard enough getting a "regular buyer" to stick with it. I'm sure that everyone in this group understands the crazy approval processes, and I can't imagine handing it off to an unknown person...to negotiate on their own behalf...when I am supposed to be watching out for my clients. I think this letter may appeal to agents who do not have a clue what to do with a short sale listing. They can pass it off and hope it works out....so much for their client.
Comment by Kevin Vitali on June 24, 2010 at 8:06am
I get a ton of calls from organizations/buyers like this on my short sales. They usually hang up on me very angry.

I think it is unethical for me to recommend a short sale seller accept an offer from an organization like this. If they are negotiating with the lender... Who's interest are they looking out for?Theirs!! I have competent legal representation negotiating on behalf of the seller. They are more than welcome to put in an offer on a property and have the short sale negotiated by a party representing the seller. I also do not want to be in a dual agency situation or be promised a future listing. Won't do it!! I work for the seller, not the investors.
Comment by Vanessa Calhoun on June 21, 2010 at 1:44pm
I've found that most of these are "investors" who'll write "option contracts" on short sale properties. While the short sale is in review, they'll ask the agent to find another buyer to purchase the property from them (at a higher cost, of course) after they purchase it from the seller....Here's the "gotcha", they'll also request that the seller's lender is not informed of the "buyer in the wings". I've told a couple of them to "kick rocks"!! LOL!!!
Comment by Wendy Rulnick on June 19, 2010 at 3:19pm
John - Good one, "floppers"!
Comment by John Bennett on June 19, 2010 at 2:44pm
I've been recieving these emails also. My response is 10% non-refundable deposit and that usually gets rid of them. Floppers....
Comment by Elise Fay on June 19, 2010 at 9:55am
Wendy--I was just asked that same question by a Realtor friend of mine. I think it smells bad. If your client has hired you to work his short sale for him and then you pass it off to a "buyer", who has an interest in the home, then first I think it then is not an arms length transaction and secondly what becomes of your liability regarding the seller? The ultimate goal by the "buyer" is to try to get the house for as little $$ as possible, and then flip it and make a profit. We see that alot here in Arizona. I still think a Realtor's fiduciary responsibility to the seller is to get them the most money for their home, regardless of whether it is a short sale or not. By getting them top dollar you may be helping them to reduce their deficiency liability, should that come to pass. If the sellers found out that they sold the house for "less" then wouldn't that come back to bite you if they have to pay the deficiency?
Also, would that buyer allow you to see the "Approval Notice" and the terms and conditions? We as Realtors have enough liability, I would hate to throw someone else into the mix.

Elise Fay
Comment by Dawn Barrier eXp Realty Vegas on June 18, 2010 at 5:42pm
I have rec'd the same generic type emails as well. They never responed back. Oh, and no I would not let the buyer negotiate the short sale, huge problems with liability, etc. JMO.

If they are that interested, they would have seen all the MLS info and placed a direct call,,,again,, JMO

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