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2 Short Sale Nightmares and What You Can Do to Resolve Them

Nov 4, 2021

Perhaps you had enough nightmares or horror stories at Halloween. And, I am sure you are not surprised to hear that there are horror stories associated with real estate transactions. From last minute water leaks to unqualified applicants to homeless squatting in vacant homes, the team at Short Sale Expeditor® has seen it all. 

Here are two short sale related nightmares and what you can do to make sure that they do not happen to you.

Two Years Working a Deal that Will Never Close

An agent in San Diego County took a short sale listing for a highly desirable property. “Simple,” she thinks. “I can definitely handle this myself.” She works on the transaction and negotiates with the mortgage companies for about 3-4 months, and ultimately gets short sale approval. She then opens escrow and turns in all of her paperwork, only to be notified by the title company that the property has 14—YES 14—liens. Suddenly, nothing is simple any longer.

What she should have done:

When you take a short sale listing, before you even put it on the MLS, you need to carefully assess all the liens and mortgages. This means having the title company research all of the liens attached to the property and then having all of the owners on title, submit a statement of information to confirm that they do not have judgments against themselves that must be paid off at closing. In this case, the owners had all sorts of different tax liens, including several that could not be negotiated. Additionally, they had medical judgments and other items attached to their social security numbers. Knowing this up front could indicate when to take a listing and when to talk away. This is a situation where the agent should have walked away.

That Horrific Black Mold

Short sale has an accepted offer and everything is submitted to escrow. Everyone is pleased that things are moving forward… until the buyer’s home inspection. At the inspection, the inspector notes some moisture in the downstairs bathroom and mushrooms growing between the floor tiles. A special mold expert is called in who identifies black mold. Everyone runs for the hills!

What should have occurred:

While there is no right or wrong and very few people reading this are mold experts, but there are several solutions to this problem: 1) When you take a listing, conduct a visual inspection. If you see mushrooms growing between tiles, then do some research because this is generally an indication that something is amiss. 2) When something is uncovered at an inspection, it can be easily dealt with. In this case, the seller could make an insurance claim and the remediation company will fix the problem and provide a clearance on the home. 3) In the event that this issue reduces the home’s value, a negotiator could go back and renegotiate with the lender on behalf of the buyer and seller. Documents need to be provided which demonstrate the decreased value, and all parties must be patient during this process. Nevertheless, it could have a positive result.

Short sales and nightmares are often synonymous. That’s where Short Sale Expeditor® can help. We will work on negotiating the short sale while you focus on what you do best—list and sell property. If you or anyone you know needs short sale support, please contact our office.
  • Download Our eBook

    Master the Art of Short Sale with our 6-step guide, including valuable tips and tools from our experts.