Short Sales

Market Update through the end of October 2011. Please note that the Valley Wide graph represents all of the MLS.

(you can click on the chart to see a bigger version)

This chart shows you the percentage of distressed properties that are being listed and sold.

  • Short Sales represent 29% of the Closings for October (compared to 26% in September)

  • Short Sales represent 37% of the active Listings currently on the market.

  • Distressed Sales (Short Sales and REOs combined) accounted for 64% of the total sales for October.

  • The listing success rate for Short Sales is 60.0%!

How many REOs are selling in metro Phoenix?

From our own local God of Statistics, Mike Orr of, a breakdown of the market share of each type of home, as of August 16, 2011.

REO sales across Greater Phoenix (all types) averaged $59.26 per sq. ft. (down 0.9% from July 16). They gained market share, moving from 43.9% to 44.2%.

Pre-foreclosures and short sales averaged $73.78 (up 3.1%). Short sales and pre-foreclosures were the losers this month, moving from 24.1% to 23.2% after a strong spike at the end of June.

Normal sales averaged $105.32 (down 3.6%) and they gained a little market share, moving from 32.0% to 32.6% of sales.


REO = (other) Real Estate Owned -- these are foreclosure homes where bank has already repossessed the house from the former owner. In Arizona, there is no "redemption period" after the foreclosure wherein the former owner can reclaim the house.

Short sale = owner still owns the house, is probably facing foreclosure, and is trying to sell at today's market prices which will not pay off the entire mortgage balance(s). This seller must get his/her lender's approval on the sale or the sale will not happen.

Equity sale = this is a "regular" sale where the owner owns the house free and clear, or at least has equity in the home. This homeowner - if he has a mortgage - can sell at today's market values and still pay off the mortgage in full.

Need more information?

Need more info? Want to talk to a  professional about your housing options? Contact us by phone, email or text. We're licensed, professional Realtors in metro Phoenix and are happy to help you with no sales pitch and no high pressure sales tactics.

Heather Barr - 602-999-8831 or
Chris Butterworth -

Short Sell your Phoenix home

If you're underwater, you're in a very crowded, very unhappy club. Possibly tens of thousands of Phoenix homeowners are underwater. Whether you bought too much house, or carefully avoided over-extending yourself; whether you borrowed equity for vacations or for home improvements... sometimes through no fault of your own, you're underwater on your home mortgage.

If you're thinking about walking away, or about trying a short sale, you almost certainly need a lawyer's help through the process. You're going to need a Realtor too, because you're in a double whammy situation:

  1. You have a real estate problem AND

  2. You have a legal problem

The real estate problem is obvious: you need to pay somebody something in order to get your home listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) so buyers can find it online. Moreover, the paperwork involved in a short sale is so bloody complex you're going to want to tear your hair out before it's all over. Hire a professional Realtor who handles short sales regularly, and let them do some of the hair pulling. The Realtor's fees are going to come out of the proceeds of the sale anyway, so it'll end up costing you nothing (or next to nothing, depending on your situation) to have an experienced professional Realtor handling your listing, marketing and sale. Lucky you! We're Realtors and we have people at our brokerage who do nothing but short sale listings and closings. Contact us for more information.

The legal problem is a little harder to grasp. Think of it this way; your mortgage is a contract. When you walk away or attempt a short sale, you're breaching a contract. And your mortgage was probably the single most valuable contract you'll ever sign in your entire life. Breaching that contract shouldn't be undertaken without professional advice.

You know that the banks have scores of lawyers on staff, protecting them when their mortgage contract is breached. You should have at least 1 attorney in your corner. Best of all, the attorney's fees are generally going to be paid for out of the proceeds of the sale of the house, not out of your pocket.

So, to boil it all down: you can hire 2 professionals - a Realtor and an attorney - to guide you through the short sale process, and in almost every case, it won't cost you a dime out of your pocket. It's a win-win.

Contact us for advice about listing, marketing and selling your home. We'll also hook you up with 1 or 2 of our trusted, tested local attorneys who specializes in short sales.

Disclaimer: this article was written about metro Phoenix, Arizona homes sales in the Summer of 2011. If you're reading this article from far away, or long after the fact, consult a professional in your area!

Underwater in Scottsdale. Do you need a lawyer for a short sale?

For a number of years, many homeowners in tony Scottsdale thought they would be insulated from the real estate crisis. For years, they were right. Not any longer. In general, Scottsdale median home prices are down about 43% from their peak in late 2006. Many Scottsdale homeowners are "underwater", owing more on their home than it's currently worth.

Are you underwater on your home? If you plan to stay in your home for another decade or so, and you can still afford the fixed-rate mortgage payment, this might be no big deal. It depends on your financial situation. You might be able to ignore the dismal media headlines, love your house, raise your family, pay your mortgage and live your life.

But if you have other financial issues compounding your housing value issue, you might need to think about your options. We here at The Phoenix Agents strongly recommend you retain an attorney. As Kevin Hardin of  Thomson Conant law firm says, "you don't have a real estate problem, you have a debt problem."

Your mortgage is a contract and if you're thinking about walking away or trying a short sale, you're actually contemplating breaching a legal contract. You're going to want a lawyer to help you do that.

Don't be fooled by people who casually toss around the phrase, "Arizona is a non-recourse state."  What they mean is that in general, a mortgage lender can't sue a homeowner after a foreclosure. But there are serious loopholes in that law, and the biggest loophole applies to short sales. Arizona's law covers foreclosures, not short sales. There's also a giant loophole on the topic of second mortgages and equity lines/loans.

If you short sale your home without getting precise language in the Short Sale Agreement from your lender, you might be leaving yourself wide open to a gigantic lawsuit for many years to come.

We happen to know several great short sale and foreclosure attorneys and accountants. Give me a call and I'll give you their names and numbers. Once you've spoken to an attorney, if you're ready to try a short sale, we'll help. Our broker has several agents on staff who focus on short sales and have remarkable track records of success.

Heather Barr, Realtor
The Phoenix Agents at Thompson's Realty
602-999-8831   or


California says "no" to lender lawsuits after short sales

Holy cow! The California legislation just passed a law preventing banks and other lenders from suing homeowners for unpaid mortgage balances after the lender agrees to a short sale. (hat tip, Kris Berg of the San Diego Castles blog). The way I read it, the new California law also prevents the lender(s) from requiring the homeowners to pay a lump-sum settlement at the short sale closing.

[The California legislature just passed into law] Senate Bill 458, prohibiting a deficiency after a short sale for one-to-four residential units, regardless of whether the lender is a senior or junior lienholder. ....  Both senior and junior lienholders cannot require a borrower to owe or pay for a deficiency in a short sale. This law also prohibits any deficiency judgment to be requested or rendered for senior or junior liens after a short sale of one-to-four residential units.

Click here for Reuter's coverage of the event

Click here for a roll-call vote tally of the California Senate, to see who voted for, and against

Will it ever happen here, in metro Phoenix? Don't count on it. Politically, Arizona is far more "red" than California. Some years we're purple, but we've got a very, very long way to go until we're as blue as California.

Note to Arizonans:  Arizona does not have a law on the books yet that protect homeowners in these kinds of situations. In Arizona you can be sued by your 2nd lender for the unpaid 2nd mortgage balance, for up to several years after a short sale, even if the lender gave permission for the short sale! So what should you do if you're underwater, considering a short sale, and have a 2nd mortgage or equity credit line/loan? Call an attorney! Call or email me and I'll be happy to refer you to the attorneys who handled my short sale.


The difference between Bank Owned, Foreclosure, REO, and Short Sale

July 2011. This is an update and reprint of an article from June 2008. Reprinted because, sadly, it's still relevant. Updated because things in real estate are always changing. This information pertains to metro Phoenix, Arizona in 2011. If you're reading this from another locale or long after the publication date, please consult a professional in your area. We are Realtors, but we are not your Realtors; get local, professional advice.

REO, a.k.a. Foreclosure, a.k.a. Bank Owned -- the bank has already foreclosed and the former homeowner is long gone. In Arizona, there is no "Redemption Period" after a foreclosure during which the former owner can reclaim the home. Once the bank has foreclosed on an owner, it's game over. The bank owns this house outright and is selling it, almost always using a Realtor and an MLS listing. (There are extremely rare situations where a bank forecloses and doesn't obtain clear title to the home. How rare? In a combined 13 years of practice in metro Phoenix, we at ThePhoenixAgents have seen this happen once.).

Pre-Foreclosure - Treat these as "Short Sales".

Short Sale - In this case, a homeowner is trying to sell at today's prices which will not completely pay off his/her mortgage, and seller won't or can't bring enough money to the closing table to pay off the mortgage. The seller's lender will be left with a short payoff, hence the name.  If the seller can't get his/her lender's approval of the short sale, the sale will not happen.

Short Sales are sometimes great bargains for buyers, but these homes are frequently sold without any disclosures about condition, and are almost always sold As-Is. Buyers can inspect the house but Sellers/Lenders won't do any repairs.

Then, there's the Short Sale Waiting Game. Lenders are overwhelmed, they were never set up to operate a real estate brokerage in the first place, and will probably take a month or more to even acknowledge receipt of a Buyer offer. Total wait time can vary wildly depending on which bank you're dealing with. What are "normal" wait times? I've seen 2 to 9 months, with a personal record of 13 months from offer to closing (30-day escrow).

Want More Info? See all posts in our Short Sale category, or our Foreclosure category. Get even more information, and search for area short sale and foreclosure homes.

What documents do you need to attempt a short sale?

Here’s a letter we send to our short sale seller clients, describing the documents needed to attempt a short sale of your home. If you find the information useful and feel a short sale might be right for you, please contact us.

- - - - - - - - - -BEGIN LETTER - - - - - - - - -

Dear Mr & Mrs ________ ,

Thank you for choosing The Phoenix Agents @ Thompson’s Realty to list your home as a short sale. We’re pleased to be given the chance to assist you through this difficult transition. We have family, friends and numerous clients who’ve been where you are, and we know how to make the process easier, quicker and more successful.

Your home will appear in the MLS within 24 hours, and you will be given a chance to approve the MLS entry for accuracy. Meanwhile, please forward the following to us within the next 14 days so we can complete your file and be ready when a buyer makes an offer:

  • Current mortgage statements from every loan on the property

  • Paycheck stubs for the past 2 pay periods

  • Tax returns for the past 2 years

  • Completed Sellers’ Property Disclosure Statement

  • Sign the enclosed letter to your lender authorizing us to speak with them

  • Begin working on the enclosed Financial Worksheet detailing your income and expenses

Marketing Your Home

Our goal is to get an offer on your home within 30 to 45 days, by aggressively marketing it in the MLS, dozens of other national websites and our agent network.

Negotiating Your Short Sale

Once we have an offer, we’ll work with your attorney to submit the offer and the above documents to your lenders. We’ll actively manage the communication process with your lenders with a goal of getting a short sale decision within 60 to 90 days, and a closing within 30 days after that.

Protecting You Now, and in Future

We strongly recommend you hire an experienced short sale attorney to assist you with this transaction, and work with an experienced CPA as well. These two professionals can help us to help you to avoid future taxes and lawsuits in connection with your short sale. In almost every case, the attorney and accountant fees are paid through the process of the sale, with no out of pocket costs to you. We recommend Scottsdale Law Group and Thomson Law. We also recommend Brad Huss and Associates CPAs who can help you avoid being taxed on the unpaid mortgage balance.

- - - - - - - - - END LETTER - - - - - - - - -

Wondering if a short sale is the right option for you?  Contact us anytime; we’re here to make this difficult process easy.

This information pertains to metro Phoenix, Arizona in 2011. If you're reading this from another locale or long after the publication date, please consult a professional in your area. We are Realtors, but we are not your Realtors; get local, professional advice.

Avoid foreclosure: tips to short sell your home

If you live in metro Phoenix, chances are that your home might be "underwater" - you owe more on it than it's worth in the current real estate market. Is this a problem? That depends.

cartoon image of brick house with "for sale" written on roofIf you don't want to move for many more years in the future, it might not be a problem to be underwater. If you can afford the mortgage payment, it might not be a problem to be underwater. But, if you're struggling to make your mortgage payments and/or you absolutely *must* move, you might need to consider a short sale of your home. (see our series on when strategic default sometimes makes the most sense)

There are serious tax and credit consequences of foreclosure. Some lenders and credit experts estimate that foreclosure can knock 250 to 300 points off your credit score! In addition, some experts believe a short sale is less damaging to your credit than a foreclosure. For many metro-Phoenix area homeowners, a short sale can be a viable alternative to foreclosure.

Here are a couple of tips for successfully requesting and completing a short sale with your mortgage lender.

(1) Hire an experienced Realtor and then share your financial information fully with him/her. (see this prior article for a partial list of information homeowners must send their lender in a short sale situation). This might be tough advice to take, but your Realtor must know your complete financial picture in order to successfully advise you the best way to proceed in a short sale situation. Realtors are bound by a strict Ethics Code that requires they keep their clients' sensitive information absolutely secret from anyone not authorized to view the information. Don't feel you can trust your Realtor not to share your sensitive financial information with unauthorized people? Hire a different Realtor.

(2) Consider hiring an attorney. Arizona is an "anti-deficiency" state. This means that generally, lenders cannot sue homeowners for the money lost during after foreclosure. Example: your Realtor helped your short sell your home for $125,000 but you owed $225,000. In most cases in Arizona your lender cannot sue you later for the "lost" $100,000. BUT! There are loopholes in the Arizona anti-deficiency statute. We here at The Phoenix Agents highly recommend you consider hiring an attorney to help you determine if you fall into the Arizona foreclosure anti-deficiency loophole. An experienced attorney can probably help you avoid being sued later for the debt anyway. Do you need a referral to an attorney experienced in handling metro-Phoenix area short sales? Contact us, we know several.

Need more help? This blog is run by Chris & Heather, The Phoenix Agents @ Thompson’s Realty. We’re a boutique brokerage of 20 or 30 dedicated, full time professionals. We really do have a good track record at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure by completing a short sale. Give us a call, a text, an email or a Tweet. We’re here to help and look forward to speaking with you about your unique situation.

Image credit - Image ID 1235157 from Stock Exchange user meerlap

Can I remove a short sale from my credit report?

[caption id="attachment_8877" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Don't be the victim of a credit repair scam"]two human hands grabbing a set of stacked coins[/caption]

Had an interesting question this morning from someone who's using our The Phoenix Agents Search All Homes feature. Thought I'd share my answer in case any of our readers have also been presented with this credit repair scam.

Question - My wife has a previous short sale on her record and we've recently discovered that the lender reported the last payment 30 days late.   A California lawyer promised to help us correct our credit report. He said he couldn't get the 30-day late payment off the record but could work towards getting the entire short sale expunged for a mere $2600.  It makes me nervous.

Answer - You should be very nervous about anybody who claims they can remove a short sale from your record, especially if they want money for it.  See these websites which explain no one can remove negative information from your credit report if the information is accurate.

Browse our other Credit Management articles.  Or, visit some of the credit management sites listed on our blogroll.

New Bank of America loan modification program reduces principal

new logoBank of America announced today it will begin offering loan modifications under an Arizona foreclosure-prevention program funded by which is funded by $268 million from the Treasury Department's Hardest Hit Housing Program.

The program is run through the Arizona Housing Department. The state provides money to pay off up to $50,000 of a mortgage if the bank agrees to forgive an equal amount,

This week, BofA will begin mailing notices to Arizona homeowners who are eligible for the loan modifications, bank spokesman Rick Simon said. The bank is encouraging customers to wait for those notifications in their mailbox instead of contacting the bank to find out if they qualify.

Do You Qualify for Bank of America’s loan modification with principal reduction plan?

Based on reporting in other public news sources (links below), these are the qualifications for consideration for Bank of America’s new loan modification with principal reduction program.

  • Bank of America will send letter in the mail to borrowers who are at least 60 days' delinquent.
  • Borrowers must be able to show their income was cut through unemployment, underemployment, illness, death or divorce, but they must have some income.
  • Borrowers must owe at least 20% more than their home is worth.
  • Borrowers who took out a second mortgage that wasn't used to buy the home are not eligible.

Although most of the money in the Hardest Hit program is intended to encourage loan modifications, a second portion will cover up to $50,000 in mortgage payments for unemployed or underemployed residents.

this data was originally reported by the Arizona Republic

(interesting note: my business partner Chris Butterworth predicted 2 years ago that loan principal reductions were needed in the hardest hit foreclosure cities)

Want more information? Want help?

Are you interested in trying to sell your home as a short sale? Please contact us for more information.

Are you looking to buy a short sale home? Click here to search all Phoenix short sales.

Why does the bank want the first 5 digits of my Social Security number?!?

Image ID 960307, PARTIAL by Stock Exchnage user svilen001  First, an important disclaimer: This article does not create an Realtor-client relationship with any reader. In other words, although I am a Realtor, I am not your Realtor.  Please contact a Realtor, attorney, or accountant/CPA in your community for personalized advice. 

Why does Bank of America require the first 5 digits of your Social Security number if you’re trying to buy a short sale home from them?


  • This situation applies if you – as buyer – are trying to buy a home that is a short sale and the seller’s lender is Bank of America.
  • Bank of America uses a software program called Equator to track their short sales. It (usually) makes the process faster because the software automates response deadlines from the bank.
  • The Equator software system requires that the seller’s Realtor agent enter the buyers’ social security data at the time an offer is made  and submitted to the Equator software system.

Here’s a screen shot of the Equator system at the point of entering a buyer’s offer on the short sale home being managed by Bank of America.

equator screenshot


So what is Bank of America doing with the first 5 digits of your Social Security number?!

I don’t think a bank can do anything useful with the first 5 digits of the SSN.  At least not right now.  (but see where a bunch of Realtors speculate on whether the bank can use the 5 digits of the Social Security number to pull a buyers’ credit – consensus: unknown).

  • I believe BofA is stockpiling info for later use and/or sale.
  • Bank of America is so huge it owns or services 1 in 5 mortgages in the United States
  • I believe that eventually BofA will have enough partial data on enough people to combine the first 5 with the last 4 digits for a significant number of people.
  • bingo! they’ve got all 9 numbers and you’re wide open to identity theft

This is my opinion only. It does not represent the opinion of my broker (my boss), my business partner or the local or national Association of Realtors.

What should I do if Bank of America asks for the first 5 digits of my Social Security number?

First, please re-read the disclaimer at the beginning of this article: I’m a Realtor but not your Realtor. Contact someone local.

Personally, for my buyer clients, I do not provide the first 5 digits of their Social Security numbers. I give the bank zeros:  000-00.

Using zeros instead of the real Social Security numbers has worked for several of my clients who successfully bought short sale properties with Bank of America involvement. Your mileage may vary, but give it some thought.

Need personalized real estate advice in the metro Phoenix Arizona area? Call me. Or email me. Or text me. Or Tweet me.  Just contact me. We’re The Phoenix Agents @ Thompson’s Realty – Real people… making real estate …real simple.

Just want more info without talking to an agent right now? No problem.

Image credit: Stock Exchange user svilen001 – note this is a partial portion of svilen001’s original image.

Top 3 tips to short sell your Phoenix home

Stock Exchange image ID 1098685 by user svilen001You can avoid foreclosure and instead do a short sale on your Phoenix area home. Short sales are not always easy, and not always short, but they can be done when you work with experienced professionals. Here are our top 3 tips for successfully requesting and completing a short sale with your mortgage lender.

1. Hire a Realtor with a record. It’s important to hire a professional, full time Realtor who’s got a track record of successfully selling short sales in Phoenix. Ask for information about their prior successes, but be skeptical of agents who claim to “have a 95% success rate”.  Success rate at what? As of winter 2010-2011, only 15% of the short sale homes listed in the MLS actually close. It’s unlikely that any agent has a 95% success rate at closing every attempted short sale. Don’t rely on claims of success: ask for references from past clients and call them for reviews.

2. Get your documents ready early. In order to complete a short sale of your metro Phoenix home, your lender will require copies of tax returns, bank statements, proof of income and other debts, and your “hardship letter” which is a short letter explaining why you’re requesting the short sale. The earlier these things are available, the better.  Contact a professional – CPA, attorney and Realtor - for help figuring out what documents you need to attempt a short sale.

3. Know the implications of a short sale of your home. There are tax and credit score consequences of a short sale. Your credit score will sustain some damage: contact a credit non-profit housing counselor or do some online research about managing your credit. The amount of debt forgiven by your lender could be considered taxable income. As of Winter 2010-2011 there are federal waivers in place and the IRS will not treat debt forgiven in a short sale as income. But the writers of this blog are not attorneys or accountants. Please contact your attorney and/or your accountant to find out the tax rules that apply to you now.

Need more help? This blog is run by Chris & Heather, The Phoenix Agents @ Thompson’s Realty. We’re a boutique brokerage of 20 or 30 dedicated, full time professionals. We really do have a good track record at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure by completing a short sale. Give us a call, a text, an email or a Tweet. We’re here to help and look forward to speaking with you about your unique situation.

Not paying your mortgage? Don’t worry, banks making money off you anyhow.

Image ID 1290133, money4 by svilen001Clients always ask me, “WHY are banks so SLOW in agreeing to short sales??”

There’s a ton of reasons; almost none of them make sense. But for about 2-3 years I’ve been adding this opinion to my list of reasons banks are slow to OK short sales.

Mind you, this is my opinion. I have nothing to back up this idea other than a rudimentary understanding of Accounting 101:

  • accounts receivable = assets

  • accounts payable = liabilities

I believe that one of the many reasons banks are so slow to approve short sales is that while they stall, they can book the mortgage payments as an accounts receivable item, whether the homeowner is actually making the payments or not. The second the bank OKs a short sale, they have to book a giant loss. Again, only my opinion, but it passes the common sense test with everybody I’ve mentioned it to.

Now, a story at Forbes magazine backs me up, sort of. (hat tip to Mish’s Global Economic Analysis blog for the story link)

Robert Lenzner at Forbes writes US Banks Reporting Phantom Income on $1.4 Trillion Delinquent Mortgages
[Due to loose accounting rules, banks are] allowed to accrue interest on non-performing mortgages” until the actual foreclosure takes place, which on average takes about 16 months.

All the phantom interest that is not actually collected is booked as income until the actual act of foreclosure. As a result, many bank financial statements actually look much better than they actually are. At foreclosure all the phantom income comes off the books of the banks.

This means that Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, among hundreds of other smaller institutions, can report interest due them, but not paid, on an estimated $1.4 trillion of face value mortgages on the 7 million homes that are in the process of being foreclosed.

Ultimately, these banks face a potential loss of $1 trillion on nonperforming loans, suggests Madeleine Schnapp, director of macro-economic research at Trim-Tabs, an economic consulting firm 24.5% owned by Goldman Sachs.

Astounding! The extent to which our entire financial system is built on castles in the air is staggering. Banks make money because they say they do. Our dollar bills have value because we all agree they do.

I’m gonna go sit down now. My head hurts.

67% of Phoenix-area sales are distressed

Image ID 1262615 by StockExchange user melissathr

Pulled some stats out of the Arizona Regional MLS database this morning, for a client who’s home shopping and wondering whether or not to bother looking at short sale homes.

According to MLS data as of today, December 17, 2010, 67% of all Metro Phoenix area homes sold in 2010 were in some state of financial distress.

Shortsales – 21% of all sales so far in 2010 in the Metro Phoenix region

Pre-foreclosures – 5%

REO – 41%

Are you a “regular” seller? You’ve got an uphill battle on your hands, fighting against the super-low prices of the bank owned and short sale homes. On the other hand, if your product property is in good shape and properly priced – and especially if it’s under about $200,000 – you might have buyers fighting to make offers on your home.

Are you a buyer? You should be prepared to see a lot of homes that need some “TLC” as the Realtors so charmingly put it in their MLS listing descriptions. Expect most of the homes you could potentially buy will need paint and carpet, at a minimum. Almost all of them will need a thorough professional cleaning. Many will need all new appliances. Lots of them will need a major landscaping cleanup.

Are you on the fence, wondering if you should get into the market, either to sell or to buy? Contact us. We practice low pressure real estate. Frankly Chris and Heather are not very good at giving sales pitches. We’re very good at listening, empathizing and giving advice that’s based on our clients’ needs, not on our own expectations of commissions.

Need some help finding your way? We’ve been selling Metro Phoenix real estate since before the boom & bust happened, and we plan to be here for a long time to come. Read what our clients say about us here, and then give us a call, text or email.

photo credit: Image ID 1262615 by StockExchange user melissathr

Pets abandoned in foreclosure homes

A shocking number of dogs and cats have been rescued from local foreclosure and short sale homes where their owners have abandoned them, leaving them to starve to death.

Your donation of food and supplies will help to save the lives of these homeless pets who have been rescued by Lost Our Home Pet Foundation.

Can you even imagine the horror of this situation for the animals involved? I’m almost ashamed to be part of the human race when I think that some people can do this to their pets. You just close the door and walk away?! You can’t even be bothered to pay the small fee to surrender your pet at a shelter?  It’s sickening.

Contact Lost Our Home Pet Foundation
or call 602-230-HELP(4357)

This organization is supported by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing System. And also by Chris Butterworth and Heather Barr, The Phoenix Agents at Thompson’s Realty. And our broker, Jay & Francy Thompson. And about a bajillion other cool peeps in town.

Pet Food Drive Locations

  • Wet or dry dog and cat food of any type

  • Pet toys

  • Cat Litter/litter pans

  • Water or food dishes

This is an ongoing project with no end date in sight.

ARMLS Support Center: Phoenix
5033 N. 19th Ave. Suite 113
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: SE Valley
1363 S. Vineyard
Mesa, AZ 85210
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®
4221 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: 480-945-2651
Mon – Friday 8:00 -5:00 EXCEPT Tuesday
which is 9:00 – 5:00

ARMLS Main Office : Tempe
130 S. Priest Dr. Suite 101
Tempe, AZ 85281
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: Glendale
17235 N. 75th Ave. Suite E-160
Glendale, AZ 85308
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: Scottsdale
7600 E. Redfield Rd. Suite 170
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

Wells Fargo allows 1 shortsale extension

Wells Fargo is no longer granting more than one extension for homeowners to complete a short sale.
"We do allow for one foreclosure postponement provided we have a short sale in hand that has been approved, the buyer has proof of funds of financing approved, and the short sale can close within 30 days of the scheduled foreclosure sale."

If your home mortgage is owned by Wells Fargo and you’re thinking about a short sale, this means you should not waste any time in listing your house for sale. Once the bank issues the Notice of Trustee’s Sale, you’ve got 90 days plus 1 extension to get it sold, or go to auction. Or if you’ve got a shortsale in progress but you’re not going to close the sale before the scheduled auction date, you’ll only get 1 extension.

Talk to your Realtor, your CPA/accountant, or your attorney!

story source: October 4, 2010 daily mortgage email newsletter produced by Rob Chrisman; view online at

How long does a short sale take? Part 2

First, read this recent post with an eye-catching visual about how long short sales really take.

For even more commentary about how long short sales take, see the comments in this blog post about short sale processing time on the weblog REO Insider. Most comments written by Realtors, and other industry insiders.

In short, (as of 9/19/2010), over 60% of short sales were taking 6+ months, and more than 80% are taking more than 4 months.

How long do short sales take?

How long do short sales take? There’s no single answer because every bank acts differently when handling a short sale.*

But in general, short sales are not short and they are frequently not even sales. The ballpark amount of time it takes to get the seller’s lender’s approval on a short sale is about 3 months or so, give or take a month.

I like to help my clients envision this by measuring against holidays. “If you’re making short sale offers now – in August 2010 – you should expect to wait until about Thanksgiving 2010 to get an answer from the seller’s lender. If we get a “yes”, then you’ll be closing and moving in around the Chrismukkah.

That’s sobering. So is this chart.

how long does a short sale take

This is a chart taken directly out of the Arizona Regional MLS. The dates are shown in reverse order which is a bit confusing. But essentially what you see (click to embiggen the chart) is that these home sellers accepted a buyer’s offer on their short sale home on May 21, 2010.  Sellers and buyers have been waiting since then for the seller’s lender’s review of the proposed sale.

That’s 3 months of waiting. Not short, in my book.

Not all banks are utterly moronic

Last December our buyer clients found a house online that they loved in a big way. It was priced at $2,195,000 and their budget was $1,800,000 max. It was a short sale, headed for the foreclosure auction block in 2 days.

We saw it in person. They fell in love. I checked the tax records:  seller’s mortgage is held by a local savings and loan.

Bam! Foreclosure auction. House goes back to the bank.

I get on the horn and call the savings and loan in Scottsdale. The receptionist puts me right through to the guy in charge of selling the S&L’s foreclosed homes. Right through! The guy! I nearly fell off my chair.

He & I talk; he says send an offer. We help our buyer clients write up an offer and we send it over.

Long story short, about 60 days later our buyer clients moved into their dream home. Which they got for about 18% less than the true market value. And the savings and loan sold a foreclosure property without paying two Realtor’s fees or any landscaping & pool maintenance fees. Happy, happy all around; win-win for everybody.

All because someone at a bank answered the phone, in person and was ready to act when opportunity knocked. Wouldn’t it be nice if more banks operated that way?