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Juicy short sale incentive programs causing consumer confusion

Large short sales incentives?

I had a short sale seller call my office the other day because he wanted that humongous short sale incentive that is offered by Chase Bank (up to $40,000). In the phone call, this seller expressed anger that Chase was holding back and not giving him the money he deserved. He actually blamed his agent for her “incompetent” negotiation style to boot.

So, let’s clear the air on this big short sale incentive that is offered by Chase (and also Citi and SPS, on occasion).

First off, my disclaimer: I do not work for Chase Bank. Never have, and everything I say here is based on my own experiences working with banks and closing hundreds of short sales.

Nobody at Chase bank was trying to get this seller’s goat. And, while I do not know anything about this listing agent, I’d bet dollars to donuts that the seller did not qualify for the short sale incentive; that is why he did not get it. Plain and simple.

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Qualifying for the incentives

Chase is a servicer, and while they likely service many of their own notes, they also service notes for other investors (e.g., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and many private investors as well). There are certain guidelines that loans need to meet in order to qualify for the ginormous incentive. Not all loans at Chase meet these guidelines, and the employees at Chase (once your short sale package hits the bank) are more than happy to tell you whether your seller’s loan will qualify for the incentive.

I’ve seen a seller with a purchase price of $145,000 receive $20,000 at closing. I’ve also seen a seller with a purchase price of $638,000 get an incentive of $35,000 at closing. I’ve also seen lots of stuff in between. In many cases, the sellers receive a letter in the mail that offers them the incentive, and for others (who likely did not even open their mail) the bank negotiator has advised us that the seller will qualify.

The thing is that just because your seller has a loan with Chase does not mean that s/he will qualify for the money. What’s the saying… “You can’t get blood from a turnip”?

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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.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. ginny lacey gorman

    March 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Well maybe it is getting blood from a stone too?? But I do find that the Chase incentives are there for the short sale sellers who qualify but haven’t seen the huge ones you have in CA. As you always do Melissa is put it in perspective…it is not a given! Great share.
    Ginny Lacey Gorman
    Phillips Post Road Realty

    North Kingstown short sale agents

  2. Dodo

    March 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I have a loan that originated with Wells Fargo and was sold to JP Morgan. It is underwater and I am considering a short sale. What type of program is available to me in California. Which bank to I go through. Wells has been very unhelpful and has refused to assist us because they only service the loan and we are current on all of our payments.
    Any advice?
    Thank You,
    Dodo

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