Seems like there are a lot of you on this site that have successfully accomplished short sales and provided helpful advice to other buyers!  I'm a buyer not a realtor.  My husband and I put in an offer more than two months ago on a short sale in WV, Wells Fargo holds the mortgage.  But we heard nothing until two weeks ago when apparently an appraiser was going out to the property.  Then last week we heard that documents must to be uploaded again into Equator.  I've read that this "resubmit the paperwork" is just the bank's way of stalling so they can continue to write off the accumulating missed mortgage payments.  Is that true?  Should we be optimistic that things are moving?  I know that 2 months is short compared to many short sales.  Here's my main question:  is there anything that we as buyers can do to speed things along?  We have been told that we are not allowed to contact Wells Fargo directly, but that's so frustrating. There is an atty working with seller to submit all the paperwork but that doesn't seem to be speeding anything along much.  Would any of you recommend us trying to contact Wells or is that counterproductive?  Thanks for any suggestions you can share.

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Unfortunately you can not contact Wells. they will not talk to the buyer or buyer's agent. When you offer on a short sale you have to have patience or it is not the right kind of offer for you to be making. Some go quickly, some can take a year.

Hi Linda,

You are not alone in this type of situation as a buyer.  Unfortunately due to financial privacy laws the only person a lender is able to discuss the financial details of a defaulting loan is with the borrower or a person with the signed "Letter of Authorization". 

There are many lenders that will work with anyone on the signed letter of authorization but won't provide any information without a seller's authorization.  Many times when an attorney is representing a client, even the listing agent is limited in what they can do so as not to interfere with the process.

There is a specific package and process for a short sale with a little variance to the process.  Follow up is the key so hopefully the processing attorney is in communication with the parties weekly.  Equator is time sensitive and has undergone many improvements in the last few months.  If the doucments are not uploaded timely the request will expire and the task will need to be reopened.

I hope this is helpful to your situation.

Marcy and Lorraine are correct. As well, the BPO "Broker's Price Opinion" may expire. Banks will order another updated BPO, and may ask at that time for update financials, and other addenda that may have expired from the homeowner. In dealing with short sales banks may want an updated BPO every 3 months, may have some variance in certain situations or encumbrances (some 30-45 days). Patience with the bank, and trust in your Realtor may be great assets. Good Luck to you Linda =)

Thanks so much Catherine, Lorraine and Marcy for your replies and helpful clarification.  Bottom line, patience!   That helps us have confidence in our realtor and we do know that the atty is checking weekly.  Thanks again.. 

You're very welcome!

Good Afternoon Ms. Walker,

I am not certain, about WV, but here in Florida we now have a short sale addendum to the contract that does allow for the buyers' agent to contact the seller's lender. This addendum is signed by buyer and seller. When I am working with a buyer, I will often times ask the seller to add me to the Third Party Authorization form, which would include his own agent, title company and/or real estate attorney. I am not always able to get it, but it has come in handy on may occasions, when the seller's agent has been out of town and needing to get information in a time manner to the lender. The key of course is that both realtors work together in a professional manner to assist the process through. There are still stumbling blocks when it comes to short sales, but thankfully, I have been having the positive experience that they are move a lot quicker. The key is finding out the exact documents the lender wants, and how they want them, and ensure that is it done in that manner. Sometimes, it is the luck of the draw in who the lender's assigned negotiator is. Good luck with your purchase, hopefully you will get the positive news soon!!

I think your best bet is to stay on whoever is working the shortsale - not just dumb questions like "have you heard anything". You want to have a conversation over time. "What are we waiting for?" The negotiator is reviewing the file. "Which part, you mean for the seller?" Everything. So, we are past the seller stuff and he is looking over the contract. "Yeah" When should we hear the result. "blah blah jump over the moon blah blah" What is the bank's guideline for that timeframe?" 30 days "So we should know everything in 30 days from when?" ....

In other words, don't take bull. And remember when you cal the next week because he will have to start being honest with you. At the same time, he'd rather be done with you than have to start making up big things, so he will push the negotiator to stop the donut break and get moving, too. That's what I mean by staying on someone - intelligent questions, a running dialogue. So, now if it has been sent to the investor, you should hear that it is expected back in a week - sometimes investors take longer - maybe 3 wks because they don't care and just take vacations, etc., but you'll be getting the truth as this guy knows it - at the same time, he doesn't want to have to keep telling you that he didn't bother to call the bank in 2 weeks and that the 30 days has no reason for turning into 60 because he was on their case --- with 1 call in the last 30 days, etc.

Other than that, you'll just muck things up. It takes extremely little to derail things. I have a listing agent who had his own side conversation with the negotiator no matter how many times I said I needed to see EVERYTHING going both ways. Well, negotiator has been bounced and new one doesn't have the documents - guess what, neither do I! And this is with someone who should have a clue. You stepping in and saying the wrong thing - like, "Well, if you aren't going to tell me, I'm walking" could be enough tor a negotiator or rep to log that you walked and the deal is dead. So, since I deal with banks all the time, I'm glad that they don't discuss things with anybody at any old time - it is a nightmare enough..

Wow, Joe that's a lot of good info!  Thank you.  We will heed your advice, not mucking things up by trying to circumvent the process, but instead trying to make sure that specific questions are being asked.

Hi Linda

Wells Fargo joined Bank of America some time ago on a data/short sale management system called Equator. It is a flawed system with many drawbacks, which I would be happy to tell you about, but I doubt you have 24 hours to listen to me gripe.  But there is some good news. Equator is a highly bureaucratized, rigid system. When you do step one, and only after you have done step one, you are directed to do step two. These steps may be different depending on the deal.

What you can do is ask: (1) What tasks have been assigned to you in Equator, (2) what tasks have you started but not completed (3) what tasks have you completed (4) has Equator recognized/acknowledged that you have accomplished those tasks (5) what outstanding tasks are listed on Equator for you to do (6) What messages have you received in Equator (different from tasks, but may relate to them) (7) What responses have you made in Equator (8) If you are not working through Equator, why not.

If the seller side negotiator (seller agent/3rd party/attorney) is negotiating with seller's lender outside Equator, the above questions can still be put to him/her, with slight modification.

You can do all the above, and it may even help, if you have the time and patience and sophistication to get into the minutia of the responses you will get, if answered honestly and thoroughly. Problem is, unless there is dual agency, you have no right to contact the seller's agent (and certainly not the negotiator or Wells Fargo itself). All these issues must be addressed by you with your agent who may, depending on his competence and backbone, follow up with the sellers agent. His hands are tied just like yours, unless you do things differently in WV to KY.  

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. The screechy one gets tossed into the metal recycle crusher. Be nice.

The symbol below represents strength, patience and faith. Welcome to Short Sale Land

Thank you Neil for this helpful information!  We will be politely squeaky, not screechy.  And I will print the symbol as a reminder to be patient.  It's the destination, not the journey in this instance that matters...but I've learned from you all that we might potentially be able to influence the journey by asking specific questions.  Thanks again to all who responded.

Hi Short Sale experts - does Wells allow pre-settlement occupancy agreements under a short sale?  We are interested in this, and the owners (who moved out 6 weeks ago) are interested because the house is getting overgrown and they prefer to have someone live there to avoid vandalism.  But would Wells need to approve this?  Could they deny it since the seller would be showing income from the property from this agreement?  Is this too risky all around?  I know there are uncertainties, but if we make sure a real estate atty helps us with the agreement to cover all the liability issues, we think it would be ok.  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

It's risky for the sellers because there is a chance the deal could fall through and you would still be living there.  Then they would have to try to get another buyer with a disgruntled buyer living in the property .. not a good situation.

I had a buyer request this in the past .. behold they ended up not having enough money to cover their closing costs and the deal fell apart.

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