The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

How To Turn a Profit on a Short Sale

Dear Wells Fargo Short Sale Negotiator,

I’m writing to alert you to an error in logic and reason you’ve made regarding the conditions of a potential short sale approval you’ve issued to a seller. It’s possible it’s an error in math, instead, but as the negotiation expert to a large financial institution I’m going to assume your adding and subtracting skills are beyond my sixth grader’s.

On second thought, we all know what assuming does, so I’m going to walk you through the math, too, just in case that really was the problem. I’ll go ahead and round to big numbers to make it really simple:

The seller owes $135,000 to you, the First loan.

The seller owes $86,000 to someone else, the Second loan.

The buyer’s offer was for $150,000.

After closing costs, Realtor fees and $6,000 to the Second loan (which they have agreed to accept in lieu of full payment), the amount you will net with this is $130,000.

Just so we’re clear, that’s $5,000 under what you’re owed for the seller to be released from the loan without a short sale approval.

You came back with several conditions to the approval that you will not move forward without:

  1. The Second loan only gets $3,000, instead of the $6,000 they’ve requested.
  2. Several closing cost fees must be reduced to the tune of $1,000.
  3. The seller must agree to either a $5,000 cash contribution at close of escrow OR a $10,000 personal loan for the next 5 years that you’ve graciously agreed to fund for zero interest.

OK, so let’s just review this counter-offer you’ve made. If the seller agrees to this, you will actually net $139,000 if they pick the $5,000 cash contribution option OR $144,000 if they don’t have that money to scrape together right now (which is likely since they’re doing a SHORT SALE) and have to go with your loan option. So you will profit $4,000-$9,000 more than you’re owed on this loan to begin with.

Did you really mean to say: We will not approve this short sale? Because that actually makes a little more sense than this MC Escher logic/math problem you’ve turned back to us.

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and let you correct one of your errors. OK?


The Realtor Who’s Really Hoping You’re Just Not That Bright, Instead of Evil

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