The Hardest Part of Being a Northern Virginia Short Sale Seller

By
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA VA License # 0225089470

Most people think that the hardest park of being a Northern Virginia Short Sale seller is getting the bank to approve a contract.  While getting short sale approval can be lengthy and seem to test even the patience of a saint, for many, that is not the largest hurdle to jump.  There are many home owners facing short sale that major hurdle to get beyond:

EMBARASSMENT.

I can not tell you how many times I have sat across from a potential short sale seller and been through my listing presentation to find this mental roadblock.  Maybe there has been a job loss.  A devastating illness.  Perhaps it's a death in the family.  No matter what the scenario, the shame of not being able to pay off a mortgage is a great embarassment to many short sale sellers.

It doesn't help for that short sale seller to know that their particular situation is one of many playing out in a severely declined real estate market.  There is a guilt that the selle can not hide from.  They feel they need to do the best they can for their bank to recoup the loss.  This may force short sale sellers to overprice their property to lessen the loss to the bank.

As a Northern Virginia short sale listing agent, I can tell you that overpricing a short sale listing is not going to do anything to help anyone, lest of all the bank holding your mortgage.  Pricing the property to current market value, or within 10% of market value, is the best course of action.  You see, it is estimated that the cost of foreclosure, which many short sale sellers may ultimately face, costs the bank $40,000-$50,000 in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Pricing the property right, and getting a serious buyer quickly can eliminate many of the pitfalls of a short sale, which can also eliminate the chance of your home going to foreclosure.  Those pitfalls include appraisal issues, buyers not waiting for approval, or pricing yourself out of the market.

You may never have thought that you would find yourself upside down in your mortgage and unable to afford your home.  I can assure you, you are not alone.  Do not dwell on those feelings of guilt.  Hire a Realtor® to you help you navigate your short sale to a successful conclusion and know that you are doing the best thing for the bank that holds your mortgage.

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Rainmaker
317,505
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

We see this, also, Chris. You're right, the Sellers shouldn't feel guilty, but just get on with it.

BTW, I love your blog header- really pretty photo.

Jan 09, 2010 05:36 PM #1
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Leslie:  That guilt can lead to unrealistic expectations on price and bad listing decisions. 

Jan 09, 2010 05:37 PM #2
Rainmaker
746,106
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Chris Ann, I'm going to see homeowners tonight and hopefully keep them from a short sale. I spoke with their bank and they agreed to let me try to sell their home in 90 days before doing anything. I had to practically beg and plead with them. I'm hoping I can. I'll even greatly reduce my commission in order for them to pay off their mortgage (no 2nd bank thank God!) and hopefully they can walk away with some money in their pockets.

They are very embarrassed and ashamed. I can understand that 100%!

Jan 10, 2010 08:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Chris Ann: That is the reason I start each of my short sale listing presentations by explaining to the sellers that they are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of other sellers are in the same boat. It is not their fault that they lost their job, had an illness in the family or otherwise cannot afford to pay a mortgage on a home that has dramatically declined in value.

Many of these sellers are people who bought a home in a new subdivision in 2004 through 2007. Their neighbors, unless they paid cash, are in the same boat. But the sellers are actually lucky that because of their hardship they qualify to put this tragedy behind them. They are taking responsibility. Their neighbors aren't so lucky.

Having empathy for these short sale sellers and finding that silver lining in an otherwise very sad situation is one of the reasons I get so many short sale listings.

Jan 10, 2010 09:40 AM #4
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Jackie;  I did a deal like that last fall.  I hope yours works out.

Elizabeth:  100% agreed.  If you don't address those feelings, you are getting nowhere.

Jan 10, 2010 09:59 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Lynn Pineda
Keller Williams Realty - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs REALTOR- Promises Delivered

Chris, your post is so accurate.  It's a shame that Sellers have to be so concerned of what others think. This goes well beyond the Short Sale.  Actually, they should feel the opposite as they're taking steps to lessen the losses instead of just walking away. Misfortune and life events can take Sellers down a path of having no control over their situation and they should not be filled with guilt about that.  Good post.

Jan 10, 2010 04:44 PM #6
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Lynn:  Short sales bring up a lot of emotion, that's for sure. 

Jan 10, 2010 07:15 PM #7
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Northern VA
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