Summing Up a Phoenix Short Sale: “I Don’t Even Care Anymore”

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentSuch was the statement of one of my clients trying to purchase a short sale here in the Phoenix real estate market. “I don’t even care anymore,” he said. “If they accept the offer, fine. If not, fine.”

Does this sound like the anticipation you would expect to find in someone purchasing a home? But that’s exactly what happens when you embark down the short-sale road and find yourself still waiting for an answer seven weeks later.

Seven weeks.

This property happened to be priced well making it the rare deal in the short sale set. Most aren’t. Most simply are homes that were purchased for too much money once upon a time and now are available at market value.

Market value minus appliances and with deferred maintenance, more likely than not, but market value.  And you get the added bonus of a lender with employees who truly don’t care whether the home is sold (or not sold) on the courthouse steps.

In the case of the home we’re trying to acquire, the lender has everything they’ll need to make a decision. It should take about an hour – 90 minutes tops – to run the numbers and come to some sort of a conclusion.

Can’t be bothered, though.  And that’s the norm.

More and more buyers and agents are seeing the short sales for what they most often are – an exercise in futility. And more and more I find myself wondering why the sellers bother agreeing to a attempt a short sale. They’ll net nothing since they owe more than the home is worth. And it doesn’t really do a great deal to save your credit.

When neither buyers nor sellers benefit and lenders couldn’t care less, what’s the point to the whole concept?

It’s almost better to let the lenders take the homes back and put them on the market with a legitimate list price, not the “let’s throw darts at the MLS and find an imaginary price” that seems to happen right now.

Most of these homes are destined to be REO (real estate owned – aka bank-owned) properties. The sooner they get there and actually can be sold, the better.

[tags]short sales, Phoenix real estate[/tags]

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


  • REI Pipeline 10 years ago

    haha- yup. Story of my life. I had a property listed out in MARICOPA, of all places. It was a short sale. Took Countrywide 3 months to accept the short sale package and go get an appraisal on it. They came back at $285k (newer home, great condition, etc). Fine. I brought them a buyer for $285k, pre-qualified, rearing to go. Yup- a full price offer in MARICOPA. 7 weeks? HA! Try 7 MONTHS! Yes, 7 MONTHS later, still no answer. They eventually came back and DENIED the offer! They claimed that the loss they would take from the short sale is more than what they wanted to lose, so they were going to auction with it. What morons. I will not short sale countrywide every again- until I see some SERIOUS changes in their policies over there. I haven’t checked into it- but I KNOW they took a MUCH larger loss than the full price offer I was bringing them. Oh well, banks are stupid…

  • REI Pipeline 10 years ago

    ha! I just checked it out. That same property is now listed and pending for $219k, offering buyer concessions from the bank. LOL! So, once again, Countrywide takes a HUGE hit, and still hasn’t sold the property. It makes me want to contact the closer I dealt with and ask them how the $285k offer looks now…

  • azamanda atgmail dot com 10 years ago

    I personally had a home go through the SS process. and I can attend to the fact that a good negotiator makes all the differance. I had a lady who didn’t know her butt from a hole in the ground and my deal sat for 2 months…. WAITING for countrywide….. I switched to using Avalar who specializes in foreclosures and short sales. There Mitigators ROCK THE HOUSE….. and they told me they would have an approval in 2 weeks…. try 1 week…. Done deal!!! Yahoo!!!!!

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    I don’t know, AZAmanda.

    My experience has been that the short sale negotiation specialists often are a little dodgy. Negotiation involves two interested parties, not one side that says “we’ll get to it when we get to it.”

    Sometimes there may be better contacts but it’s a hit and miss scenario. Hopefully some others will chime in with their own experience about the so-called mitigators.

  • Thomas Johnson 10 years ago

    I am of the opinion that the workout staff is under strict orders to keep these houses in limbo until the parent company has a good handle on how much gravy is coming from you and the taxpayers via the smoky room payoff.

    We have all seen the coming ARM explosion chart for 2008-2009. If they push the non-performing loans into 2008, they will not butcher management bonus pools or the balance sheets.

    Year end reports 25% hits to the profolios. Hi Ho could have been worse get my retirement package ready, would you? I’ll be back in 18 months as a consultant to show the fed and treasury where the nuculear SIVs are stashed.
    Right now they can borrow against their toxic paper at the Fed discount window at 75 cents on a 1.00 dollar par amount. Real worth is 30 cents at best. Talk about collateral fraud!

    How long can Bank of America borrow from Abu Dabai for mortgage capital at 12.75% keep the cash in the system and everyone will have dollars to convert to Euros to pay for Arab Oil at $150/barrell.

    Is it for the blogsphere to show the coordinated destruction of the dollar at a time when domestic oil produvtion should be accelerating from the Gulf, from the CA continental Shelf and off Florida? Has anybody noticed that the OPEC has bought a freeze on North Slope development. They are our friends indeed as long as we keep them in power. And they let us sit in the freezer.