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Taught by Wendy Rulnick and Bryant Tutas

12433916279?profile=originalThis sound familiar? You’ve never had to deal with a short sale in your life – until a few years ago, when foreclosures became so common it was rare that you had a seller without one. Now you can no longer avoid short sales.

So you sign up and get your CDPE and your SFR designations. Maybe you have even closed on dozens of short sales. But still...........'re missing something. You are struggling when it comes to dealing with the lenders. You're stressing out over your transactions. And no one seems to be able to tell you how to do it quickly, with no stress.

Well, except us.

Short sales are the new norm. They’re often treacherous, and they can be extremely painful for buyers, sellers, and agents alike.

But they don't have to be. We’ve spent years figuring out how to make short sales less painful all around. You need to know how to handle a short sale, and we’re more than happy to share everything we’ve learned the hard way – so that you can learn the easy way.

This training series walks you through an entire short sale, from the very moment you realize you need one to the final signature on the deal. We’ve included every single trick, technique, and time-saver in our book to make short sales easy on you and on your seller.

You’ll have all the time in the world to learn at your leisure, too, with audio files, Q&A sessions, worksheets, and sample documents. Learn how you want, when you want, the way you want.

Ready to get rid of Short Sale stress and get yourself into Short Sale Superstardom?


"This is by far the best step by step instruction that I have received in my over 10 years experience in real estate" Petra Norris, Lakeland FL

What Do You Get?

· Two Experienced Practicing Short Sale Brokers, renowned in the short sale industry, walk you through an entire short sale from start to finish

· 13+ hours of easy-to-follow teleseminars along with insider tips and secrets for an extra edge

· All the forms, approval letters, and sample documents you need for your next short sale

· mP3 audio files of all seminars so you can listen at your leisure or refresh your knowledge later

· Q&A for as long as you need to get all your questions answered - unlimited access

We’re here to help you. We’ve been dealing with short sales for several years, and we know it can be rough on homeowners and agents alike. We want to make sure this process is as easy for you as possible, and that starts with getting you the education and short sale training you need to make the right deal.

The best part? It’s only $197.You'll get to listen in as two short sale industry experts walk you through the process of making a short sale happen, and then get the extra support you need, when you need it, by having direct access to Wendy and Bryant via

That's 13+ hours of training for one low price– and a real bargain at less than $15 an hour for the best consulting on short sales available in the market.


"Thanks for sharing your joint experience in the minefields of Short Sales, the web forum, and all you have done. The training has been fantastic. I look forward to sharing with you and the charter members as well. This will be an awesome resource site for all of us as we work through the Short Sale maze. Short sales will be around a long time and there is great opportunity for all. The seminars have been fantastic." Don Duft, Realtor, Virginia

What Do We Talk About?

If you’re wondering exactly what we cover in each of the short sale training sessions, here’s a quick layout of what we’ll talk about and the specific strategies you’ll learn:

ALL training seminars. (Audios are 45-90 min each)
  • Why a Short Sale?
  • Qualifying The Seller
  • Pricing and Marketing The Property
  • Negotiating Techniques 1
  • HUD1 Tips
  • Escalation and Communication Tips
  • Disputing Bad BPOs
  • Cash Contributions and Prom Notes
  • Negotiating Junior Liens
  • Lead Generation
  • 10 Short Sale Mistakes
  • VA, HAP and FHA
  • Getting Short Sales Closed

Additional Benefits

  • Short Sale Listing Package
  • Expired Listing Letters
  • Lis Pendens Letter
  • FSBO Letter
  • Sample HUDs
  • Sample BPO Disputes
  • You will become a "Featured Member" under "Find Agent" for leads
  • Private Member Forum
  • Direct Access to Wendy and Bryant For Short Sale Help

****After the Training is delivered to you please be sure to join so we can activate your membership into the Advanced Training Group. All course materials are available in that group as well for easier access. This is also where you will get your continued support from Wendy and Bryant.

Start to finish, the perfect short sale. You’ll receive audio files of the course so you can listen to them as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable that you can pull off a short sale as perfect as ours.

We know you can – all it takes is a little training, and the help of a few seasoned experts.

Becoming a Short Sale Superstar is just that easy.


"Both Wendy and Bryant's presentation skills are fantastic and between them they have a wealth of experience with short sales. Thank you Wendy and Bryant I really appreciate all your hard work and help in mastering the intricate details of short sales.Best wishes" Sharon Senger, Sharon Senger & Associates

Who Are Your Short Sale Instructors?

Wendy Rulnick

Wendy RulnickWendy Rulnick is a licensed Real Estate Broker for over twenty years, and has sold hundreds of short sale and pre-foreclosure properties. She has been featured in Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine and Florida Realtor Magazine as a short sale specialist Wendy also teaches Short Sale seminars and has developed a special agent training and resource site with her business partner, Bryant Tutas -

Bryant Tutas


Bryant has been in Real Estate for 18 years and is the Broker/Owner of Tutas Towne Realty, Inc located in Kissimmee FL. He is also the co-founder of Short Sale Superstars and co-broker of REGrow, LLC. Negotiating Short Sales is the cornerstone of his business. He does it often and he does it well.

We know firsthand just how rough the short sale process can be on sellers, and we’ve been working for years to fine-tune a process that’s easier on them – and on us.

Now we’re making it easier on you. We’re just that kind of people.

12433916852?profile=original"Thanks so very much for all the wisdom, and Relaxed atmosphere. I love listening to yours and Wendy's conversations. I feel like a fly on the wall!! " Ginger Moore, Gastonia NY

What If I Don’t Like It?

Then you get your money back. It’s just that simple. We know we have the knowledge that helps you become a short sale superstar, but if you don’t feel the same for any reason, then we’re happy to refund your money. We want everyone who takes this course to feel they got their money’s worth.

After we refund your money, we’ll ask you how we can improve for others. We’re that devoted to making sure this is the best training course on short sales out there.

Ready to become a Short Sale Superstar?


Taught by Wendy Rulnick and Bryant Tutas



"Your webinar was very impressive and informative. I feel that it didn't come across as a lecture, but good and clear conversation. The short sale is a very complex process, but you have made it much clearer and there was a lot of useful information." Richard Barton Real Estate Investor England

"I have signed up for your class and I have to say it is very helpful. My current focus is working with buyers and this really helps me understand things from your (listing agent) perspective and I am sure it will help me seek out the “good short sales” for my buyers. I wonder if you could create a designation like “Short Sale Expert”? You could even have it endorsed by ECAR or FAR. I will certainly write a letter of recommendation for you." Clayton Bonjean, Realtor, Destin FL



"I've enjoyed having my morning coffee with you every Saturday for the past 5 weeks as I listened in and tried to absorb all you had to offer. What an amazing gift you and Bryant are giving - the experience that you share is of such great value and I'm so grateful to be in your circle. I've learned to not be afraid of this process and begin embracing the possibilities. As you mentioned, I think short sales are here to stay for a while. Also, I've really appreciated the personalization of your setup and how you were able to answer our questions.I’ve completed lots of training but feel yours was most valuable in your method of approach and delivery. The dialogue made it feel like I was in an actual brick and mortar classroom with real live scenario" Wendy Weber, Realtor, Scottsdale, AZ

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Since writing Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field: Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) for Short Sales, more information has come to light. Or lack of thereof! I have received numerous calls and emails looking for clarification on how the program will be implemented, and how it will affect PCS sellers (military relocation term meaning "permanent change of station"). Currently, the issue is there is no directive from the Department of Defense as to how to process HAP applications, nor many program specifics. My area, from Navarre to Destin, Florida and up through Niceville and Crestview has approximately 3000 airmen relocating to other bases around the country and the world. Many of those airmen purchased homes during 2004-2006, and do not have enough equity to sell their houses when they must relocate and pay off their mortgage balance. HAP is supposed to help, but as of yet, there is no help.Here is the latest result of my HAP research:Mr. Frazier, of the HAP Savannah District told me:There is no true timeframe by which the DOD directive with program details will be published.Rumor is at the end of May, but it is far from confirmed.Applications can not be "processed" at this time, but you can mail one in.HAP will not buy homes.When the DOD directive is implemented, he said:Qualified military members may sell their homes at market value or 90% thereof.At time of contract, use a 90 day closing date, HAP will try for sooner.Make the offer contingent on HAP approval.When a contract is entered into, call your HAP district for instructions.Additionally, I inquired by email and received this communication from HAP Realty Specialist, B.M. Reed, summarized and with emphasis added:Ms. Rulnick,The Department of the Army, in coordination with the other military departments, is in the process of finalizing implementation guidance for the expanded HAP, including determining eligibility, restrictions, and disqualifications. Based on the current HQ timeline for review and official approval of the guidance, it may not be until late May before the implementation guidance is at district level. When the implementation guidance is issued, it will be published on the official HAP website, which can be found at, without the referenced implementation guidance any attempt to provide detailed information on the Stimulus Bill HAP eligibility, disqualifications, benefits, or how benefits will be calculated would be merely speculation.Under this program the Government might be able to reimburse applicants part of the loss from selling their home (private sale benefits) or assist applicants if they do not have enough proceeds from the sale of the home to pay off the mortgage at Closing (private sale augmentation). Benefits may be based on the difference between the prior fair market value (PFMV) of the property and the current fair market value (CFMV). The PFMV may be determined by an appraisal effective 1 July 2006, or possibly the purchase price of the property might be used; the CFMV may be determined by the appraised value at the time of sale or possibly the selling price itself. The Government could pay an amount up to a stipulated percentage of the difference between the two figures used for the computation. Again, guidance has not yet been published so a completely different scenario might be used to compute benefits.The term 'private sale augmentation' merely means when an applicant's benefit payment is brought by the Government to a Closing in order to assist the applicant with the payoff of a mortgage and typical seller closing costs so that the sale can be finalized. In order to be eligible for a private sale augmentation, an applicant must maintain current payment status on his/her mortgage from the time an application is submitted through Closing.While the implementation guidance is being finalized, potential applicants are free to apply now by visiting the HAP website to fill out, print and mail in an application to the appropriate district for the area in which the property in question is located. Instructions on how to apply can be found at've attempted to provide you some information as best I can without having yet received implementation guidance on the program from the DOD. What information there is available on the Stimulus Bill HAP (ARRA) can be located on the Army's official HAP website at There is wealth of information under the section of FQAs at M. Reed, Realty SpecialistHAP Section, Acquisition Branch,Real Estate Division (RE-HA)US Army Corps of EngineersPO Box 889Savannah, GA 31402-0889What a predicament for relocating servicemen. How can you put a home on the market contingent on HAP approval, unless you get a buyer willing to wait with no closing date? What if you have already changed bases and cannot continue to make mortgage and/or rent payments in both locations? According to HAP, you must stay current on your mortgage payments to qualify for the program.I encourage servicemen to contact their state and federal representatives to hasten a resolution of the HAP quandary. Meanwhile, stay tuned for the latest updates.
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If you wanted to know what the HAP site USED to have on it, before they TOOK it down read on,,,,The Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) for the military has just received the Department of Defense directive that will affect military PCS sellers who are upside down on their mortgages. I have published a series of updates on HAP, and this just-released update is summarized from the HAP website due to the urgent need for Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field airmen who have received orders:Although DoD guidance has been established, we are unable to begin processing applications until we comply with rule making procedures established by the Administrative Services Act. District field offices are reviewing applications for compliance with DoD guidance and will notify applicants of eligibility as early as possible.Implementation Rules and Eligibility Criteria for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Expansion of the DoD Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP)The overall goal of the HAP is to minimize the amount of financial harm, risk of foreclosure, credit damage, or bankruptcy experienced by servicemembers and DOD civilian beneficiaries when they are compelled to move in an unprecedented real estate market as a result of their service to the United States. In that vein, the following policies provide a solid basis for determining eligibility for the ARRA HAP expansion and ensure this effort is managed efficiently and successfully.• As the second priority category, the new policy will expand the HAP BRAC benefit by removing the requirement that the homeowner show that the BRAC closure or realignment action was the cause of the drop in the value of the home.• The Department is also creating a temporary benefit for qualifying Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves• In all cases, the benefit is for a primary residence only, and the benefit may only be used once.• Use Purchase Price as the Prior Fair Market Value (PFMV) for all beneficiaries, including BRACo Current Policy: PFMV is determined at the date of the BRAC announcement.o Description of Change: The BRAC announcement date is not relevant to many new HAP beneficiaries. The best equivalent PFMV is to use the purchase price of the home. For BRAC and PCS moves, the home must have been purchased prior to July 1, 2006.o Outcome: Avoids unnecessary claim costs because BRAC announcement date was near the peak of housing market and BRAC announcement date is no longer relevant.• Set the allowable Private Sale reimbursement to 90% of Prior Fair MarketValue for BRAC (non-causation) and PCS move beneficiarieso Current Policy: Prior HAP allows for 95% Private Sale reimbursemento Description of Change: Losses on private sales will be reimbursed at 95% of PFMV for Wounded Warriors and Surviving Spouses, as well as BRAC communities that can prove causation. It will be reduced to 90% of PFMV for all other beneficiaries.o Outcome: Communities that can show BRAC causation have an incentive to do so; reduces per-claim costs for BRAC (non-causation) and PCS moves; maximizes assistance to the fullest extent for Wounded Warriors and Surviving Spouses, and makes overall policy consistent with 10% individual loss eligibility threshold.• Government acquisition (or mortgage payoff) will be 75% of PFMV for all beneficiaries (except Wounded Warriors/civilians and surviving spouses) who have made reasonable efforts to market their home and cannot sell under reasonable terms and conditions. Wounded Warriors, wounded civilians, and surviving spouses who cannot sell under reasonable terms and conditions will receive 90% of PFMV.o Current Policy: Government acquisition is 75% of Prior Fair Market Value.There is no standard level of effort a homeowner must make before the government acquires a home or pays off the outstanding mortgage.o Description of Change: While statute allows purchase up to 90%, current policy limits government acquisition to 75% of PFMV. Only wounded warriors, wounded civilians, and surviving spouses would receive the full 90% of PFMV for government acquisition of their houses. As previously noted, losses from private sales will be reimbursed up to 95% of PFMV for wounded warriors, wounded civilians, and surviving spouses. These changes also strengthen current policy by specifying government acquisition is allowed only if applicant is not able to sell home after 120 days of marketing it at a price level deemed appropriate for its local market circumstances by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and therefore the applicant is in danger of foreclosure.o Outcome: Prior HAP experience with government acquisition of homes has shown significant maintenance costs from acquired homes and resulted in reduced HAP resources being available to pay other applicant claims. Incentives have been built into the existing HAP program over time to favor private sales rather than government acquisition. Strengthening current policy discourages government purchase of homes and costly carrying expenses. It also allows HAP resources to go further and assist more applicants.• Cap the Maximum Home Purchase Price as an eligibility thresholdo Current Policy: There is no maximum home value established for a beneficiary receiving a HAP benefit.o Description of Change: Links the maximum cap to the 2009 Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Conforming Loan Limits (as amended by the ARRA of 2009), which range from $417,000 to $729,750 (depending on county or Metropolitan Statistical Area). The 2009 Conforming Loan Limits would apply to all homes in the program from FY 2006 to FY 2012.o Outcome: Prevents taxpayers from ‘bailing out' million-dollar homes, but is adjusted by region to account for cost variations.4• Claims Processingo For BRAC or PCS moves, the ARRA requires that home must have been purchased before July 1, 2006.o For BRAC moves to be eligible, the property must be sold by September 30, 2012.o For PCS claims to be eligible, the home sale must result from PCS orders issued on or before December 31, 2009, and the application must be recieved by March 31, 2010.o Outcome: These policies are designed to ensure that regardless of when a claim arrives, there will be sufficient resources available for Wounded Warrior, wounded civilian, and Surviving Spouse claims, as well as for BRAC claims (most of which will occur in FY 2010 and FY 2011).• Pay PCS claims for home sales resulting from PCS orders issued by December 31, 2009, or until available ARRA resources are depleted.o Outcome: Uses allowable statutory authority under the ARRA to set an end date for the PCS portion of expansion program based on projections of when the available funding will be depleted. The PCS home sale deadline will be reviewed as initial claims are processed and can be extended, if resources allow, based on a close monitoring of claims payment history.Here are the program sales price limits, based on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field and the rest of the United States,Also, read Major Jason Trew's letter to Congress regarding the HAP July 2006 cut-off date for assistance.We expect more details to be forthcoming, check back on this blog. As always, consult an experienced real estate agent to help you with selling your PCS property.It's Wendy!Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
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HAP Program Has Arbitrary Cut-Off Date

I am privileged to represent Major Jason M. Trew, a pilot with the United States Air Force, as a real estate client. Major Trew is stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. I have Major Trew's home listed for sale in Freeport Florida because he is being required to relocate by the Air Force to a new base. Like many others in the military, his property value has declined to an amount lower than his mortgage balance. Major Trew is not a property flipper nor a speculator. He earnestly relocated to the Emerald Coast of Florida for the military, as directed by the United States government, and invested in a home for his family in March 2007. I am printing his letter to Congress, with his permission, of grave concern regarding the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and its affect on our military by establishing an arbitrary cut-off date for aid to military members who purchased homes with values now below mortgage balances:The Honorable Dave ObeyChairman, Committee on AppropriationsRoom H-218, The CapitolWashington, D.C. 20515Dear Mr. Chairman,Section 1001 of the ‘‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009'' includes a provision extending temporary homeowner assistance for members of the armed forces permanently reassigned during this mortgage crisis. However, I strongly disagree with the stipulation that the property must have been purchased before July 1, 2006.When the Military Officers Association of America asked the Appropriations Committee staff for the rationale for that cutoff date, the committee indicated the sense that the home market decline was underway at that point, and the intent was to protect people who purchased homes before they had any warning to expect a decline.Contrary to this assumption, the fact that home prices had decreased was an incentive to purchase a home. In fact, the National Association of Realtors launched a $40 million campaign in fall 2006 to encourage home purchases. Within the Florida real estate market, a survey released just after the July 1, 2006 cutoff date found that:-Only 16% of homeowners listed a "fear of a price bubble"-Only 5% said they were concerned about falling home values overall-58% were optimistic that home values in their own community would continue to increaseIn January 2007, a Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) report that indicated "the market correction has plateaued and the local real estate industry is likely on the rebound." That same month, the FAR president stated that, "now is the time to take advantage of homeownership opportunities."After reading articles like these, we purchased a home in March 2007 because we assessed that the market's decline was near the end and we did not expect a further decrease. Obviously, we purchased at a bad time in the real estate market, just as those who purchased before July 1, 2006.Starting last summer, we attempted to sell our home for a loss that we could personally absorb. In seven months, no one inquired about the house and a recent comparative market analysis estimated the value at $70,000 less than our mortgage balance and $120,000 less than the appraised value at the time of purchase. We are now pursuing a short sale and deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure. Either option will significantly impact our credit for many years.As an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the current wording of the ARRA provides us no relief as we prepare to move to our new assignment. Many other military families are in the same situation.The 1 July 2006 date was a faulty decision that sacrificed effectiveness for the sake of simplicity and I request that you to introduce legislation that corrects this costly mistake.Respectfully,Jason M. Trew4 Attachments:1. New York Times article, "Realtors Say the Stars Are Aligned for Housing" (6 November 2006)2. Orlando Sentinel article, "Poll: Homeowners fear storms, not lower values" (8 July 2006)3. Bradenton Herald article, "Realtors predicting home sale uptick" (26 January 2007)4. PR Newswire article, "Florida's Existing Housing Market: Median Price Up, Sales Down in 2006" (25 January 2007)cc:Senator Bill Nelson (D- FL)Senator Mel Martinez (R- FL)Representative Jeff Miller (R - 01)
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Suntrust Approves Short Sale in 75 Days

Home at 1694 Valparaiso Blvd., in the Pinecrest subdvision in Niceville Florida, has just been approved for short sale!Summary:Lender: Suntrust - both first and second mortgageServicer: First American Loss Mitigation ServicesLoan Type: Fannie MaeHardship: Job Loss1st Mortgage Balance: $192,0002nd Mortgage Balance: $40,000List Price: $149,000Cancelled Debt: appr $83,000Time for approval: 75 daysIt's Wendy!Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc. .Destin Florida
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5 Tips to Get Your Short Sale Buyer to Walk

Today I was talking with a title agent in my Destin Florida market who handles short sale negotiations for agents. He lamented that he had two contracts recently fall apart, with buyers walking.“Why?” I asked.“ Well, the agents don’t have the seller sign the contract, so it is just an offer. There is nothing to hold them.”“Stop doing that!” I told him, “I would never send an ‘offer’ in to a short sale lender.”Which brings me to my point- " How can you increase the chances of your buyer “walking” from a short sale?" Just follow these tips:1. Don’t have the seller sign the contract. Then it is not a contract, just an offer, and the buyer can bail without repercussion.2. Never ask for an earnest money deposit. Why ask the buyer to put anything on the line to show his investment in the contract? Then he can walk free, usually, with nothing to “lose”.3. Use a 60 day closing and 30 day short sale approval time line. Sure, that will be enough time to get a typical short sale approved- Not! Oh well, if the time frame passes after hours and days of work invested, and the buyer doesn’t “stay”, you can always start all over on a new transaction.4. Write in the contract that the buyer can “Withdraw at any time”. That should simplify things.5. Finally, let the contract be submitted to the lender with others, just like an auction , because the short sale lender will abide by contract provisions and honor the "primary" offer first, right? That tactic will make your buyer stick like glue.Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to decrease your chances of closing on a short sale.Or, get a buyer with realistic expectations, a good deposit, one strong offer, and an "executed" contract, and be on your way to a successful short sale closing.It's Wendy!Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
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Standing up for your commission!

Fight for your commission. You be surprised at the outcome. The lender has no authority over your listing agreement. They do however have authority over how much of THEIR money they will pay TOWARDS a commission.If you have an agreement with your Seller to pay you x% and the lender will only allow y% then the Seller simply pays the difference UNLESS you decide to let them off the hook. The lender's decision does not alter the listing agreement. Thinking it a myth. Unfortunately it's one that most agents just roll over and accept. Not me.If you are on the Buyer side of the short sale then simply have an agreement (BBA) with the Buyer where he will pay you a minimum commission. That way if the co-broke is reduced the buyer can pay the difference. If the Buyer can get a good deal on the purchase then this should be no issue. If it is....the simply explain you can't show him Short Sales.I had a lender, GMAC, try to reduce my commission recently. They explained to me that it was their policy and there was nothing they could do about it. What I said was:"There are 3 agents being paid out of this x% commission. Why am I being asked to reduce? I did my job and I'm only making a little more than $x,000 on this deal. GMAC needs to get in line with market conditions. Realtors(r) are working our butts off to help GMAC avoid the cost of a foreclosure only to have money taken from us. I won't change it. Who can I talk to that can make that decision?"They left it alone.We are in complete control of our compensation as long as we remember who is paying us and write our commission agreements (BBA or listing) accordingly. And don't just fold when asked to reduce. Stand strong and voice your opinion. They may just agree. If they don't then discuss it with your Seller....after all that is who you have the agreement with.Now having said all this.....I have taken less in the past and I'm sure I will in the future BUT it's a decision made between me and the Seller NOT the Lender.AND.....whatever I get paid......I will fully honor the co-broke being offered in the MLS. It's the fair way to handle business. If you don't have the ability to get paid then I suggest you offer a lower co-broke. One that you know you can honor. Better yet....learn how to negotiate. Isn't that why we get paid? What say you?
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recently had a short sale contract on one of my listings in Mary Esther, Florida, where the seller had a VA (Veterans Administration) home loan. A VA short sale is called an "Offer in Compromise". The offer price was $120,000, which I thought was reasonable given the condition of the property. Wells Fargo, the short sale lender, ordered an appraisal. Not just any appraisal, but a VA appraisal, called a " Notice of Value" or NOV.The seller's short sale VA appraisal came back at $135,000, much higher than the offer and fair market price, in my opinion. The buyer backed out due to other circumstances, so I did not contest the value. I informed Wells Fargo that I would not be able to sell the property at the appraised price, and asked how long they would keep that value active. They said "Six Months!" Whoa! I've got one year inventory levels in the Mary Esther FL, and the market is still declining.It turns out that the Veterans Administration's policy that VA home loan appraisals are valid for six months extends to SHORT SALES, TOO!Notice the VA information pamphlet above states: "Rapidly fluctuating real estate market conditions may temporarily dictate the use of a shorter validity period". Well, the VA has already formally addressed this concern for new construction master appraisals, which cover the same floorplan being built in new subdivisions by one builder. The bulletin, - was released on May 22, 2009."Suspension of Master Certificates of Reasonable Value".The VA bulletin states that due to the "rapidly declining market", holding new construction master appraisals for six months is rescinded! (This was reduced last year from 12 months).Since the VA already acknowledges holding the appraisals valid for too long may be detrimental to the veteran in new construction, is it not reasonable to assume the same with existing construction AND with short sales? Both cases harm the vet by enforcing outdated values.I hope the VA will issue a formal suspension of the standard appraisal time period for resale purchases and short sales. If they do not, I have enough ammunition to fight the next time!It's Wendy!Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
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VA Offers in Compromise

The Emerald Coast of Florida has a high military population with both active duty and retired air force personnel. Eglin Air Force Base is located in Fort Walton Beach, and Hurlburt Field is in Navarre, Florida. Duke Field and NAS Whiting Field are nearby. We will be seeing an increase in short sales for GI borrowers when they must relocate during their PCS moves (permanent change of station). VA Short Sales are called "Offers in Compromise", "Compromise Claims" or "Compromise Sales". The VA may accept a Compromise Sale if the cost to the VA is determined to be less than that of foreclosure.

The VA website says: "If the borrower is unable to sell the property for an amount that is greater than or equal to what he/she owes on the loan, including closing costs, VA may pay a "compromise claim" for the difference in order to allow the private sale to go through. The borrower can sell the property to a buyer who gets his/her own financing or to a buyer who wants to assume the loan. However, with a compromise assumption, the lender does have to agree to have the amount of its guaranty reduced by the amount of the claim payment. In order to be considered for a compromise sale, several factors must be considered."

VA Compromise Sale Factors:

1. You may only sell the home for fair market value.

2. The closing costs must be "reasonable and customary".

3. You must have a valid financial hardship such as loss of income, relocation, death of breadwinner, etc.

4. There should not be a second mortgage on your property, unless it is "insignificant". If so, you might ask the junior lienholder to release the lien and convert it to a personal note.

5. You should ensure your sales contract is "contingent and/or subject to the approval of a VA compromise sale."

If you have a VA loan, and need to do a "Short Sale" or "Compromise Sale", here is what you must do to begin the process:

1. Contact you lender to see if they are an approved VA Servicer Loss Mitigation lender and/or contact the VA regional office servicing your loan directly.

2. Fill out a financial status report form provided by your lender or the VA.

3. Complete a letter of request.

4. Complete a Compromise Agreement Sale Application. You can get this form from the VA or the approved lender.

Final Important Points:

1. Your lender does not have to agree to a Compromise Sale.

2. For VA loans originated on or before December 31, 1989, you might have to sign a promissory note at closing agreeing to repay VA for the deficiency remaining after the property is sold.

3. An experienced Short Sale Realtor should guide you through the sales process, help you determine fair market value and prepare your package for submission to your lender or the VA.

For more information, contact your VA Regional Loan Center.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Search Destin Florida real estate and vicinity.

Short Sale Pre Foreclosure Help.

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204


Wendy Rulnick specializes in real estate sales, short sales, traditional sales on Emerald Coast of Florida: Destin Florida real estate, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Dune Allen, Blue Mountain Beach, Freeport, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. Wendy Rulnick, Broker and Realtor, has been selling real estate for almost 20 years. She has won numerous awards, including the coveted ADDY for advertising design. An expert marketer of real estate listings, she also negotiates successfully to her buyers' and sellers' advantage. She is supported by a team of top buyer specialists. Wendy lists and sells homes, condos and townhomes in Destin Fl and the surrounding areas. She was ranked in the top ½ percent of all Realtors on the Emerald Coast of Florida in 2008 for resale listings sold.

All Rights Reserved. "VA Short Sale Guidelines (VA Compromise Sales)" Contact Wendy Rulnick regarding Destin Florida real estate and vicinity. Copyright © 2008 by Wendy Rulnick.This site, Wendy Rulnick or Rulnick Realty, Inc. is not providing legal or tax advice. The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that sellers considering a short sale should consult an independent legal and tax advisor for more information.

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Have you seen the new Bank of America/Countrywide short sale approval letter? It is sending shockwaves to unsuspecting short sale sellers.1. The letter states that Bank of America has "agreed to accept a short payoff". Now, how can they "accept" a short payoff, then state they "might" collect the rest? They either are or are not.2. It states "there may be tax consequences for entering into a short sale". Again, the statement concedes it is a "short sale", and alludes to the 1099-C, where cancelled debt is reported to the IRS. Either the debt is cancelled or it is not. Why would Bank of America reference short sale tax consequences if they were, in fact, collecting all the debt?Neither contradiction supports their reference to collect the deficiency in the future. Since I have had several concerned sellers who have received this approval letter, I emailed a Bank of America escalation negotiator to get their explanation. Here is what they said:Countrywide/Bank of America cannot remove the deficiency verbiage from the approval letter. We must reserve the right to collect the unpaid balance of the loan for the benefit of our investors and mortgage insurance companies that insures payment on the loan. The purpose of the short sale letter is to properly disclose this to the borrower so they may consider all of their options with respect to their mortgage loan.In my experience with short sales, I have never know anyone to pursue the deficiency once the short sale has closed.So, how can you alleviate concerns when receiving this letter? Of course, talk to your attorney if you do not feel comfortable, but consider the alternatives if you do not accept the short sale. Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which will produce the same deficiency, and be worse on future borrowing ability? Or foreclosure, with severe future borrowing constraints, liabilities and consequences? None of the choices are that palatable, but short sale is still clearly your best option.It's Wendy!Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc
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I know you are doing a double-take, but this is a true story about a four-day short sale approval from Countrywide... The key is- it was a new construction loan... Here is what happened....

My seller. "George", bought a lot in Rosemary Beach, Florida. This a one of the higher-end markets on the Emerald Coast, with a view of the Gulf of Mexico, and a five-minute walk to the beach. George decided to build an upscale home on the property to sell. It would be over 3500 square feet, with spectacular views and extravagant finishes. He hired a builder and took out a 1 million dollar+ construction loan with Countrywide.

During construction, George found out his plan to put in a pool would not work, so substituted an elevator in the design. Countrywide then sent out an appraiser to ascertain a new value. Guess what? Their value was now only $800,000. George was stuck! He would not have the funds to finish the house! It was about $250,000 from completion. What happened? In the year of construction, values in Walton County had plummeted! The house was not worth the original loan amount.

George then hired me to sell the property as a short sale. During this time, Countrywide completed numerous BPO's (Broker Price Opinions). When I talked to the BPO agent, we would both shake our heads! What is the house worth? It is unfinished - in a resort area where one could buy existing homes for $500,000..... Finally, I got a full price offer for about $300,000 a few weeks ago. That's over $600,000 less than the outstanding balance on the loan!

5/28 - We faxed in the short sale package to the negotiator who had already contacted us

6/2 - The negotiator called to say "OFFER IS APPROVED!"- 4 DAYS LATER!!

I was, frankly-- SHOCKED! I asked how they could do that so quickly. The negotiator said the construction lending department is much smaller than their end-consumer lending division. And they were much more efficient. (I could tell he had a smile on his face.) That makes sense. The loan was still in-house with Countrywide, and had not yet been re-packaged and sold to the investor market!

So, have hope if you run into a new construction short sale with Bank of America/Countrywide- and be happily surprised.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Sign up for "SHORT SALE BASICS FOR REALTORS" Webinar June 27 by Bryant Tutas and Wendy Rulnick

Destin FL Real Estate

Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.

Read Destin Real Estate Blog

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home:

Call Wendy Rulnick, Destin real estate agent, to list and sell your home or condo or help you buy a home or rental property 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. Wendy is a featured "Short Sale Specialist" in "Kiplinger Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine".

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Do you think your 401K is safe? Attorneys have told me in the past that short sale lenders won’t touch your retirement money. Guess what? FALSE! Today a Bank of America negotiator asked me to have my seller liquidate HALF his retirement account to get his short sale approved.

The seller has a $400,000 loss on a property in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. We have been in the short sale process for four months. Today the negotiator said the file will not be approved unless he liquidates half his IRA for a $70,000 contribution. She said he has “some” income, although he has lost most of it because he is in sales…. His wife was laid off last week. There are no other funds. That is irrelevent to Bank of America. His wife's name is not on the loan.

I asked the negotiator, “Why would someone agree to give up half their retirement? They could refuse, then your company will have to pursue a deficiency judgment to try to get the $70,000 after a foreclosure .” She could not answer me, and I have yet to figure out the logic. $10,000, $20,000? OK, that makes sense. But half of someone’s retirement account? I can see how a seller might “roll the dice” and say “no” to the short sale, not give up $70,000, then wait and fight after a foreclosure. It might cost them $20,000 in attorney’s fees, but they might also save $40,000, not too shabby in this economy. I say if this is a trend, many sellers will take their chances with foreclosure.

What do you think?

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.


Destin FL Real Estate

Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.

Read Destin Real Estate Blog

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home:

Call Wendy Rulnick, Destin real estate agent, 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. Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine".

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We all make mistakes, but this was a big one, by a big corporation... I was in negotiations for a short sale on a Crestview, Florida listing. My sellers owed Countrywide/Bank of America about $175,000 as the senior lien and around $25,000 to Citi Financial as the junior lien. The sale price was a spot-on $150,000.

Bank of America asked for a promissory note of $5000. Although my sellers had recently divorced and had to move to separate homes, they both had stable jobs. Bank of America told me that was a factor in asking them for the note. The couple agreed, and I emailed the negotiator. A few weeks later, BOFA approved the short sale. YEA! And they did not even ask for a note!

My next problem was to tackle Citi, who had initially farmed out the listing to a collection agency, as I wrote about in "Rude and Crude- Nordon Collection Services". After I complained about Nordon's uncouth behavior, and hanging up on me, Citi took the file back. They requested $6000 as a pay-off to release their lien. BOFA would only pay them $3000, so my sellers agreed to pay the other $3000 at closing, each having to borrow money to do so.

Finally, the home closed! After months of wrangling, the sellers were thrilled to complete that phase of their lives.

Until yesterday, that is. Bank of America called asking where the note was. This is a month after closing. They sent me back a copy of my own email to them stating the sellers would agree to a note (pretty shrewd, huh?) The negotiator then called me, demanding the note be paid.

I responded, incredulously."The note?" I said, "You did not require a note in your approval letter. The sellers based their decision to borrow money to pay Citi on the fact that you did not require a note. They have nothing more to give.... Is someone in trouble at your company?"

"Yes" he responded.

It's Wendy!

Sign up For Short Sale Webinar with Broker Bryant and Wendy Rulnick

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Destin FL Real Estate

Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.

Read Destin Real Estate Blog

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home:

Call Wendy Rulnick, Destin real estate agent, featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine", to list and sell your home or condo or help you buy real estate. Serving 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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Dissecting the Financial Worksheet

Broker Bryant and I just finished teaching Short Sale Basics: Session 2, part of our 5-session webinar series about short sales. Today we covered qualifying the seller and short sale documents. There was a lot of material, in fact we went over time! Part of our in-depth analysis included dissecting the financial worksheet (one of my favorite things to do). We provided a made-up example and found “errors” for discussion.Here are a few of the possible mistakes you might find in the financial worksheet:Numbers don’t add up – that’s right, simple math mistakes adding up income and expenses.Monthly gross income used, not net incomeAnnual gross income used, not monthlyBonuses from last year are included in current yearCurrent year commission or P&L is based on last tax year, not recent incomeRental income listed when tenant is moving outGross rental income is not adjusted for expensesListing the same military base housing allowance when it is changing upon relocationIncorrectly assuming property value when listing assetsNot including current mortgage and associated expenses for short sale propertyNot including anticipated rent and expenses upon relocationSpending money on frivolous items, like tennis lessons, skydiving, vacations, etc.Not itemizing “miscellaneous" expensesFinally, when monthly net income is more than monthly expenses- there may not be a hardship at all!The financial worksheet is one of the most problem-ridden parts of a short sale package. In a questionable hardship case, you can use the financial worksheet as part of your seller pre-qualification.
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