Short Sale Negotiation


When should an attorney get involved and what is the fee? A qualified attorney should be involved in the transaction immediately! On a daily basis we receive numerous calls from potential clients who have spent a lot of time and energy attempting to negotiate with the bank directly only to become frustrated with the process.

There is no consultation fee whatsoever; we’d be more than happy to review your case in order to ensure you are headed in the right direction. Simply complete our Short Sale Worksheet and fax, mail or e-mail a copy to our office. Someone will respond back to your inquiry shortly thereafter.

Should our firm be retained, there is no transaction fee whatsoever; the lender will pay our entire fee! In no event, will this firm seek reimbursement from you should the lender reduce our legal fee less than what we feel is appropriate taking into consideration the time and effort expended.

The short sale process cannot begin until an executed Contract has been submitted to the lender. Contrary to what others might say, there must be an accepted offer which is then turned into a formal Contract along with a down payment held in escrow. It is important to understand that the lender will continue to foreclose until the short sale closing takes place.

It is your attorney’s job to draft and review the Contract to ensure that your rights are protected. The Contract should contain a contingency that if the terms of the short sale are unacceptable to the seller, the Contract can be canceled at any time for any reason.

There can only be one Contract executed at the same time. The Contract is a legally binding document which will contain a short sale contingency similar to the standard “buyer financing contingency”. That is to say, the Contract is “subject to” the short sale lender’s consent. If they fail to do so, the transaction is rescinded and the down payment is returned to the purchaser.

If you were to contact the lender directly, they will suggest the real estate agent gather as many offers as possible within 2 weeks and then submit all offers to them. This does not have to happen provided you submit an offer that represents today’s “fair market value”. In fact, to date, we’ve never submitted multiple offers to the lender; only 1 which reflects a reasonable purchase price.

Obviously their incentive to suggest the real estate agent solicit multiple offers is to ensure they get the best offer possible (i.e. the highest offer). Typically, “all cash” offers are not as impressive as the bottom line proceeds they will receive at the end of the day. However, as previously stated, a realistic offer is all you need to proceed with a short sale.

Lastly, the phone hold times to contact the short sale lender average around ten minutes. Further, the status of the short sale must be checked on a daily basis, otherwise the process will be delayed substantially. Remember that the loss mitigation departments are overworked and predictably can only work on the files that they receive calls on. That is why at the Weisberg & Associates, we call every single lender every single day regarding approximately a dozen files each. This gives us a time effective approach towards resolving our clients’ transaction in a timely fashion as well as increased bargaining power.