Inside a B of A Short Sale: The Game is Afoot

Here’s where short sales become fun, at least from an agent’s standpoint.

On July 12, I put 3205 W Buckhorn Drive in Phoenix on the market.

Within four days, it was under contract.

On July 18, the short sale package and signed contract were sent to Bank of America.

Within the week, the BPO (broker price opinion – akin to an appraisal without being an appraisal, performed by a real estate agent) was ordered and complete.

The past 10 days has been spent working through details – whether the hardship was unemployment or underemployment, a date on the hardship letter on the top of a page but not next to a signature (yes, really), having “Trail” spelled out when B of A’s system listed the property as being on “Trl”. A couple of extra forms on top of what we had originally received. In short, nothing out of the ordinary.

The last of the paperwork was cleared up on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, a mere 35 days after the package first was sent to Bank of America, we received the initial counter offer from Bank of America.

As I said, this is the point where things become a little more enjoyable, a little more akin to why I’m in this business – the opportunity to negotiate, the opportunity to help my client get the best deal possible, in this case working against their lender. David vs. Goliath, as it were.

Deciding what to counter, what to push, what not to push, what likely will get the deal done and what likely will cause the bank to reject the offer … pitting my own experience and knowledge against that of the bank and their bottom-line algorithm.

This is why I do this. And the fact this period has come up this quickly is just an added bonus.

Not all short sales work like this. Another buyer of mine has been waiting for a decision from Everhome for more than two months. Recently, after discovering that the original negotiator had fallen into a deep, dark hole where communication couldn’t happen, a new one was assigned. The change has been almost imperceptible as we’re still sitting here waiting for someone to pick up the file and see what’s being offered.

Still, for someone facing foreclosure, a short sale remains one of a handful of viable options. You can find someone with a CDPE designation who has learned what forms to file and such. Or you can find someone with a SHK designation (school of hard knocks, in case you’re wondering), who actually has worked through these files with the banks and, in addition to handling the paperwork side of things, knows what they’re doing when the time to negotiate is nigh.

When you’re talking six figure issues, wouldn’t you opt for someone with the experience?

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at