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May 2009

Tips on Writing Short Sale Offers from Las Vegas Short Sale Specialist - Leslie Carver

Teamcarver Leslie Carver of Team Carver, presented Short Sale Tips for Buyers Agents today at our weekly sales meeting.  Team Carver was the # 1 Top Producing Team in the Prudential Americana Green Valley office in 2008 with 182 closed units and $56 million in closed sales volume.  The Team ranked 19th in the entire Prudential network of over 62,000 sales associates.  Team Carver specializes in REO, short sales as well as traditional real estate business.  Leslie is a Certified Short-Sale Professional who has a high rate of successful closings - due primarily to her excellent qualifying techniques, negotiation skills and efficient systems in place. 

If you are a homeowner contemplating a short sale or an agent wanting to refer a short sale, contact Leslie at 702-436-3615, or her email at


What is a Short Sale?

  • When the value of the home is less than the loan amount and the lender accepts a payoff for less than owed. 
  • On a short sale, offer aacceptance is between Buyer and Seller, with a contingency of short sale approval.
  • Not to be confused with an REO offer, where the seller is the lender and offer acceptance will ultimately come from the bank/lender.

In order to educate your buyer and help them understand the nuances of the short sale process, a critical step is to determine the expertise, experience and procedures of the listing agent.  As always, let your buyer make the ddetermination to proceed with an offer once you have ascertained the experience of the listing agent. Here are some questions Leslie uses to qualify the short sale listing agent.

Questions to Ask the Listing Agent about Short Sales:

  • How many short sales have you successfully closed?

  • Who is the lender (s)?

  • Where are you in the process?

  • Has the BPO been ordered?

  • How often do you contact the lender(s)?

  • What is your policy in accepting offers?

  • Do you put the property in contingent status

Leslie includes the following contract language when representing a buyer.  Her business philosophy is to treat others the way she would like to be treated.  So, this language allows a buyer to cancel and receive their earnest money back with written request and without a signature from the seller after the agreed-upon time period has elapsed.

Earnest Money language for the short sale contract:

If Seller is unable to perform 90 days* after acceptance of offer, Buyer has the option to cancel this transaction for any reason and receive a full refund of earnest money deposit without any further signatures required. Escrow Holder, Equity Title of Nevada, is not to be held liable or responsible for any loss or damage which Buyer(s) or Seller(s) may sustain by reason of the above addendum to the contract, nor for failure of any of the conditions of this escrow, nor for the recovery of said money for any reason whatsoever should this transaction cancel under the terms above. All parties hereto are aware and understand that Equity Title of Nevada will follow the instructions to cancel this transaction and all other instructions as it relates to the cancellation upon written instruction from the Buyer(s) to proceed with the cancellation and return of the earnest money as set forth.

*The amount of time given is determined by you!  This language should be in an Addendum to the offer.


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Why Becoming a Short Sale Professional is Critical Right Now

On May 14, 2009, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced new details of the Making Home Affordable Program which included a Foreclosure Alternative Program (FAP)

Download the Program Update Fact Sheet:
Download 05142009FactSheet-MakingHomesAffordable

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

"Foreclosure Alternatives
provide incentives for servicers and borrowers to pursue short sales and deeds-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure in cases where the borrower is generally eligible for a MHA modification but does not qualify or is unable to complete the process, which helps prevent costly foreclosures and minimizes the damage that foreclosures impose on borrowers, financial institutions and communities. The new details will simplify and streamline the process of pursuing short sales and deeds-in-lieu, which will facilitate the ability of more servicers and borrowers to utilize the program. The program provides a standard process flow, minimum performance timeframes and standard documentation, and it offers financial incentives to servicers and borrowers to pursue these alternatives to foreclosure."

The Foreclosure Alternatives Program calls for incentives to the servicers for completion of a short sale and relocation expenses for the homeowner:

Incentives.  Incentives include:  (1) $1,000 for servicers for successful completion of a short sale or deed-
in-lieu of foreclosure; (2) $1,500 for borrowers/homeowners to help with relocation expenses; and (3)
up to $1,000 toward the cost of paying junior lien holders to release their liens (one dollar from the
government for every $2 paid by the investors to the second lien holders).

Other program highlights:
Standardized Documents. 
The program will include streamlined and standardized documents, including
a Short Sale Agreement and an Offer Acceptance Letter.  The goal is to minimize complexity and
increase use of the short sale option.

The Short Sale Agreement must specify the reasonable and customary real estate
commissions and costs that may be deducted from the sales price. The servicer must agree not to
negotiate a lower commission after an offer has been received.

Here is a press release from NAR summarizing the FAP:
Download Government_affairs_short_sales

The big question for Real Estate Agents?  Have you embraced the short sale process yet?  Now is the time to get educated and be a part of the solution.  Make short sales your niche and help homeowners avoid foreclosure! 

The Obama Administration is leading the way and pushing down from the top to streamline the process and encourage the banks to approve short sales. 

Have you noticed that the Las Vegas inventory has continued to drop?  REO listing agents are hearing from their asset managers that more inventory is coming - and they have been hearing that for months.  It appears that several of the larger banks have been delaying the release of REO inventory and continue to slow down the foreclosure process.  I feel that the banks are making the adjustments in personnel training and operations to streamline their process as they attempt to integrate loan modifications and short sales in the mix. 

I am passionate about education and coaching.  I have been encouraging the real estate agents that I manage and coach to integrate short sales as a specialty in their real estate practice.  I have seen the hand-writing on the wall and continue to believe that short sales will be a major factor - especially in Las Vegas. That is why I teamed up with Las Vegas trainer Steve Kitnick to conduct the Certified Short Sale Professional designation Course.  Our first class sold out and we certified 49 Realtors.  Our second class is also sold out - May 20th.  We have scheduled two more course dates in June - 5 & 20.  To get all the details and register, just visit

Our goal is to educate and certify as many real estate agents as possible in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure and to stimulate our local economy with increased sales and movement of the inventory.


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