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Quick tip to save yourself from a major short sale headache

Freddie Mac Short SalesSometimes I hear stories about stuff going on in the field of real estate and I think, “You can’t make this stuff up. Even if you wanted to.” Today I was looking through old Agent Genius posts to figure out if I had ever written about the loan lookup tools offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and I stumbled upon an article about agents mistakenly eating pot brownies at an open house. Also, my friend Jane told me about how a client’s little dog jumped into a buyer’s lap to say hello and immediately left a deposit in the buyer’s lap.

Well, when it comes to short sales, I cannot believe some of the stuff that I experience. In hindsight, I couldn’t make up my experiences either. Most recently, like many busy short sale agents, I have been facing significant challenges with the processing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales—especially if we are in the final two months before the trustee’s sale (a.k.a. foreclosure date).

You see, when it comes to short sales, Fannie Mae is not in the giving mood. If you are a few days from the foreclosure date, they may (or may not) postpone that sale in order to entertain that short sale offer. I have one particular transaction that was stuck in review for HAFA (it’s a Fannie Mae deal) for a couple of months. When I finally got it moving (after sacrificing my first born), I was told that we may not have time to close because the sale date is imminent.

So, what’s a short sale agent to do?

Here’s what you need to do. Before you go to the listing appointment, you can check and see whether your client’s note is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. That way, you will know what you are in for. I knew what I was in for when I began processing this short sale listing. I just never thought that a short sale negotiator would say to me, “If I give you the approval today, can you close tomorrow?”

Like I said, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Photo: flickr creative commons by pretendtious.

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Written By

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.



  1. Noah Grassi

    August 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Melissa- I feel your pain…somewhere along the way "logic" in short sales got removed. As agents we are doing all we can but there are too many variables out of our hands and sometimes we just need more time. I can see how banks might get suspicious when things carry on and on…but I don't work with sellers that play that game. I am here to get their short sales completed asap!

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