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Families shouldn’t be forgotten in a short sale

One of the toughest things about working short sales is knowing you are helping a family who is in trouble. For some reason, they can't afford to live there anymore. Many times it's because of life changing situations such as divorce, job loss, death, or many other reasons. But, now they have to sell their home and don't have the equity to pay us or what is owed to the bank.

photo courtesy of  spekulator

The loss in value in the last two years has made it impossible to sell a house for the same price they bought it for plus 6%-8% to cover our commission and closing costs. Now, every one of these families I've met has never had a desire to move. They would prefer to live in their home they bought and continue to live the American dream, to raise their kids in one school district and never have to move again.

The stress that this situation puts on a family, including the kids, is tremendous, but I truly believe what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. These families are some of the strongest and proudest families I have ever met and having to admit they can't make it and to make that first call is the hardest thing they have to do.

I believe that if you treat these families with respect and tell them the whole truth up front, then you are doing everyone a great service. I love it when I tell my clients to talk to their CPA and lawyer prior to making any decisions or signing anything. EVERY time they come back to me and say, "Everything you told us that the lawyer and the CPA were going to say is exactly what they said and thank you for being completely upfront with us."

I've had many of people cry when telling them the facts about what is going to happen with the banks, but I feel I would rather have them know up front than be surprised later. If you are a person facing a foreclosure, you need to know that the bank doesn't have it in for you despite the way they sound on the phone. They just are reading a script. You just need someone in your corner that understands the process and who doesn't want to make you feel that you are unimportant, because you're not. You are very important and deserve respect because whatever your situation, it is only temporary.

If you want to be treated like a human and be treated like you deserve to be treated during this tough time, give me a call. I would love to sit down with you and discuss your situation. I may be even able to help negotiate a loan modification if the situation truly is very short term.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 9 commentsRespect Realty LLC • September 29 2008 12:10AM


Hi Todd... EXCELLENT POST!  You have hit the nail squarely on the heaed with this one,  I feel exactly the same way.  I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with care and compassion.  And that we should always treat our clients the way that we would hope to be treated under the same cicumstances.  Thanks for sharing this post!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 11 years ago

My heart breaks when I show a home that is still occupied by people who are loosing it.  One had the children sitting in the living room floor with thier toys...all furniture was gone.  I cried as I left the house with my clients but I had my sunglasses on. 

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) over 11 years ago

Wow Todd - I love your way with people........respect, honesty and information are the best things we can provide them with......

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor over 11 years ago

Great post.  I have had sellers cry out of relief when I asked if they were having difficulty paying their mortgage payments and showed them compassion.  I think they often try to do the best they can and don't have anyone with whom they can freely discuss their situation. 

Posted by Renee L. Norton over 11 years ago


Great post. Seeing and hearing how hard it is from such families puts why we are people persons really into perspective.

It is very sad to see.


Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Todd - Thank you for showing such compassion for these families. There is enough guilt and hard feelings being passed around in this market and these families need people like you to help them in a most difficult time.

Posted by Judy Tuscano, NH Real Estate Professional (Prudential Verani Realty) over 11 years ago

Great post...this is a lot like the depression.  We need soft hearts for those going through difficult times.

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 11 years ago

Todd-'s all about the golden rule and ethics. Besides.... I could very well be the short sale victim in a few more months!

Posted by Lori Franks, Brookings, Oregon (Real Estate Consultant) over 11 years ago

Steve - I just think that too many agents treat it like a numbers game, when it should be treated like a family business. We are supposed to be in the business of putting families in homes, not putting them out on the street.

- I don't blame you, I think I would have been close to tear myself as I have kids and I can't imagine how your buyers felt.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

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