Short sale approved…where is truth in advertising when you need it

Short Sale Approved !

So, you are searching for a home on line. You go to one of the ten million sites that provide you with “up to date multiple listing service” information. You have entered the search criteria. You scan through the listings. Hmmm, it seems there are a lot of short sales. You go through them one at a time. Suddenly, magic words appear in the agents remarks.

“Unbelievable Short Sale approved by Bank for $215,000.”

If you believe that, you will be left like a wolf howling at the moon

The fact of the lie is hidden inside the kernel of truth. Lets break down what the agent shares and what is the truth.


Well, the agent warns you with the first word, all that follows is unbelievable. The next words are probably very accurate, short sale approved by bank for $215,000. Here is the crux of the matter. The bank approved somebody else and the house is back on the market. You may submit an offer for $215,000, but your offer has to go to the bank and it has to go through the approval process all over again. Just because it was approved once for that price, does not mean that it will be approved again.

I am not sure what is inside the brain of agents that mis-state the truth

but I have a pretty damn good idea

But wait, you argue, there are more just like that one. You scroll down the screen and point at this entry.

“Short sale was approved at sales price, no closing costs will be approved, other terms and conditions apply, call LA for details.” The home is listed for $190,000. It sure likes like all you have to do is offer $190,000 and it is a done deal.

Not so fast Grasshopper

When I pull up the same listing, the secret agent remarks tell a little different story. “Back on the market!!! Buyer’s financing fell through. Short sale approved! Closing cost help of $5,700 was approved, other terms and conditions apply, call LA for details. Very nice townhouse conveniently located, shows well on the inside and upgrades were made. . Sales price and commission subject to third party approval.Commission will be split 50/50.”

Seems like having one lie in your listing is the equivalent of having two lies in your mouth. The entries do not have the same information and are targeted at two different people that have the same purpose.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

when first we practice to deceive

Again, the fact that the first buyer fell through only means that they had a contract, the bank may have approved the price and the house is back on the market. You can surmise anything you like. The facts remain. Any new offer must go through the approval process. There are no guarantees.

You really have to be careful when searching for a home on line. Remember the fine print, “information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.” In the listing above, the consumer reads no closing help available. The secret agent remarks indicate that $5,700 were approved before. What is the truth.

The only thing accurate in any listing is the address. Sometimes even the address is wrong. Any listing agent in the State of Maryland asking a consumer to contact them, should be ashamed. The agent knows before the contact is made that they represent the seller and can not represent the buyer. Asking an unrepresented consumers to call seems to be borderline unethical. The listing agent can not do anything for them. The interest of the listing agent is with the owner. I wonder if anyone finds it peculiar that comments can be so opposite on the same home?

Looking at listings on line.

Remember whom entered the listing

And please understand, a short sale approval is transaction related. That means, the approval is tied to a contract. If that contact falls through. The approval process must be begun again with the next contract.

If you would like help, sifting through the information about listings, feel free to call us. We represent buyers! You are more than welcome to visit our website and view homes.

MacArthur – Tudela


all rights reserved @ tudela macarthur

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