This is an open letter to our President, Vice President, Attorney General, the FBI, The Inspectors General, The Justice Department, The Department of Homeland Secutiry, our State Senators, the current candidates for President, the news media and the general population.

Can anyone explain to the American public how someone who is running for THE highest office in the land, one of the most influential and supposedly respected political offices in the world, is allowed to run for that office while she is being investigated for violations of US security measures at best and possibly treasonous acts at worst?!?!?!  I understand the concept of innocence until proven guilty, however, clearly she has lied (over and over again).   What would the consequences be if 1) she’s indicted prior to being nominated for President or 2) if she’s still under investigation and indicted AFTER she (god forbid) won the election? Isn’t there some type of law, regulation, or statute that prevents someone currently under investigation from running for office? It’s beyond my comprehension (and I’m a fairly intelligent person), that this is happening.

  • WHO is making sure that the laws that govern the receipt/ dissemination/ transmission/ storage of classified information are being followed to the letter of the law??
  • WHO is covering this up/delaying the process?
  • WHO is being protected (maybe Obama or former AG Eric Holder because they knew about this and didn’t act on it? Of COURSE THEY KNEW. Her email address was not .GOV !! Did the President or the AG NEVER send an email to their Secretary of State? Hogwash !!!)
  • WHY is the FBI and Justice Department dragging it’s feet on this matter?
  • WHY has she not been prosecuted yet, when just last week the State Department released approximately 3,000 additional pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email account, including 66 that were deemed as classified, increasing the number of such emails to 1,340 and also included a thread in which then Secretary of State instructed an adviser to transmit secure information using non-secure email.
  • WHO is protecting Hillary till after the election (Obama, the FBI, or us Attorney General Loretta Lynch?).

Here’s proof it’s a distinct possibility:

The FBI knew from the summer of 2012, (including FBI Director Robert Mueller and US Attorney General Eric Holder) about General Petreus’s affair and possible disclosure of classified information of them to his mistress BUT decided to withhold information until after the presidential election on November 6. It was two months before Mueller and Holder finally allowed FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce to notify the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper late on November 6 about the discovery of the affair. Agents had confronted Broadwell on November 2, 2012. The report did not reach headquarters until November 5. Mueller and Holder reviewed it on November 6 (election day), and decided that it was time to inform (Director of National Intelligence) Clapper.

As for Hillary, in 2009, she started using the private server, shortly after her swearing in as Secretary of State. As part of her appointment to the SOS position she was supposed to sign a “Sensitive Compartmented Non-Disclosure Agreement”. (see Executive Order 12958 Section 4.2( (a)(2) below)

Here’s the rub: She was mandated to sign this but there’s controversy about whether she actually signed it or not. Question: If she was supposed to sign it and did, then clearly she was in violation of that agreement; If she was supposed to sign it and DIDN’T sign it, WHO and WHY allowed this to happen?? Another example of how the Clinton’s are above the law?

This agreement says “I (meaning Hillary) have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation.”

Further it states, that “I have been advised that my breach of this agreement…that any unauthorized disclosure of SCI by me may constitute violations of United States criminal laws…” [see Title 18, Section 793(f)(1)]

It further references several US Codes: Title 18, Sections 793,794,798,952 and Title 50, Section 783(b) and Executive Order 12958


Let’s look at the US Codes cited:

Title 18 Section 793(d) says:

Whomever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or having access to any document, writing…or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation willfully communicates, delivers, or causes to be communicated, delivered or transmitted….

Section 793(f)(1): who through gross negligence …permits the same to be…delivered to anyone in violation of his (her) trust (THE AGREEMENT AND THIS CODE)….SHALL be fine or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

Section 798(a) says: Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information – (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government;


Executive order 12958 says:

Information may not be considered for classification unless it concerns:

(a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations;

(b) foreign government information;

(c) intelligence activities (including special activities), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;

(d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;

(e) scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;

(f) United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities; or

(g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects or plans relating to the national security.


Part 4 of E. O. 12598 says:

Sec. 4.1. Definitions. For purposes of this order: (a) “Safeguarding” means measures and controls that are prescribed to protect classified information.

(b) “Access” means the ability or opportunity to gain knowledge of classified information.

(c) “Need-to-know” means a determination made by an authorized holder of classified information that a prospective recipient requires access to specific classified information in order to perform or assist in a lawful and authorized governmental function.

(d) “Automated information system” means an assembly of computer hardware, software, or firmware configured to collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process, store, or control data or information.

(e) “Integrity” means the state that exists when information is unchanged from its source and has not been accidentally or intentionally modified, altered, or destroyed.

(f) “Network” means a system of two or more computers that can exchange data or information.

(g) “Telecommunications” means the preparation, transmission, or communication of information by electronic means.

(h) “Special access program” means a program established for a specific class of classified information that imposes safeguarding and access requirements that exceed those normally required for information at the same classification level.

Sec. 4.2. General Restrictions on Access. (a) A person may have access to classified information provided that:

(1) a favorable determination of eligibility for access has been made by an agency head or the agency head’s designee;

(2) the person has signed an approved nondisclosure agreement; and

(3) the person has a need-to-know the information.

(c) Classified information may not be removed from official premises without proper authorization.

(d) Persons authorized to disseminate classified information outside the executive branch shall assure the protection of the information in a manner equivalent to that provided within the executive branch.

(e) Consistent with law, directives, and regulation, an agency head or senior agency official shall establish uniform procedures to ensure that automated information systems, including networks and telecommunications systems, that collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process, or store classified information have controls that:

(1) prevent access by unauthorized persons; and

(2) ensure the integrity of the information.


(f) Consistent with law, directives, and regulation, each agency head or senior agency official shall establish controls to ensure that classified information is used, processed, stored, reproduced, transmitted, and destroyed under conditions that provide adequate protection and prevent access by unauthorized persons.

Part 5 E.O. 12983 says:

Sec. 5.1. Definitions. For purposes of this order: (a) “Self-inspection” means the internal review and evaluation of individual agency activities and the agency as a whole with respect to the implementation of the program established under this order and its implementing directives.

(b) “Violation” means:

(1) any knowing, willful, or negligent action that could reasonably be expected to result in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information;


Sec. 5.7. Sanctions. (a) If the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office finds that a violation of this order or its implementing directives may have occurred, the Director shall make a report to the head of the agency or to the senior agency official so that corrective steps, if appropriate, may be taken.

(b) Officers and employees of the United States Government, and its contractors, licensees, certificate holders, and grantees shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently:

(1) disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified under this order or predecessor orders;

(2) classify or continue the classification of information in violation of this order or any implementing directive;

(3) create or continue a special access program contrary to the requirements of this order; or

(4) contravene any other provision of this order or its implementing directives.

(c) Sanctions may include reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions in accordance with applicable law and agency regulation. [see Title 18, Section 793(f)(1)]

(d) The agency head, senior agency official, or other supervisory official shall, at a minimum, promptly remove the classification authority of any individual who demonstrates reckless disregard or a pattern of error in applying the classification standards of this order.

Interestingly enough the final paragraph says:

Sec. 6.2. Effective Date. This order shall become effective 180 days from the date of this order.


THE WHITE HOUSE, April 17, 1995.

Back to Hillary lying.

July 2015”

She said “First, let me say that I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,”. That same month TWO inspectors general determine in a memo that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.”

August 2015:

  1. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign acknowledged there was material on the server was later classified, but noted that “all the examples were of other people sending information to her.” A spokesman called her “a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified”. Clinton then personally revised her statement about classified email a second time, stating that she never sent or received any that were marked classified.



In 1995, The State Department updated the Foreign Affairs manual to state that “sensitive but unclassified” information should not be transmitted through personal e-mail accounts. “It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS [Automated Information System], which has the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the resident information,” the manual says.

The manual says that it is up to officials themselves to determine which e-mails should be considered federal records:  “E-mail message creators and recipients must decide whether a particular message is appropriate for preservation.”


  1. State Dept. tells Judge Sullivan that Clinton did not use State Dept. issued or secure Blackberry device; Blackberries used by Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin were likely destroyed.


Huma Abedin is a former employee of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, which shares the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal of establishing Islamic supremacy and Sharia Law worldwide

Dr. Zyed Abedin, founder of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) is the father of Huma Abedin. The IMMA, has a manifesto that reads in part:

  1. Recruit individual Muslims who live in non-Muslim lands and transform them as a collective unit by establishing Islamic centers, educational programs, mosques, and organizations (like the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Students Association) that serve to prevent Muslims from assimilating into the cultures of their non-Muslim host nations.
  2. 2) Encourage these Muslim residents of non-Muslim host nations to shift the demographic scales in their own favor by means of population growth—and separatism—thereby enabling them to more effectively advance an agenda based on fundamentalist Wahhabi teachings and the legitimation and spread of Sharia Law in the West.
  3. 3) Eventually the proliferation of Muslims in the host nations will hit critical mass, tilting those societies toward majority-Muslim status..

The State Department — during Ms. Abedin’s tenure —had ties to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist. Huma Abedin’s mother, Saleha, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s female division (the “Muslim Sisterhood”), is a major figure in not one but two Union for Good components. The first is the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR). [It is banned in Israel for supporting Hamas.] and the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC).  Dr. Abedin’s IICWC describes itself as part of the IICDR. Coincidently the IICWC charter was written by. . . Sheikh Qaradawi, along with several other members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Read more at:

September 2015:

  1. Mrs. Clinton says she’s “sorry”for her use of a private server in an interview with ABC News’ David Muir.


Most recently in January 2016 The Inspector General for the intelligence community Charles McCullough told members of Congress that several dozen additional classified emails have been identified including some with a higher classification than top secret, regarding highly sensitive programs.

Eighteen emails, including eight email chains between Clinton and President Obama, are being “withheld in full” to “protect the President’s ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel. ” They are being described as “too damaging to release” {and probably contain incriminating information and correspondence between Hill-lie-ary and the POtuS]

Withheld in full”,  with not even partial redactions, surely challenges the claims by the State Department (and Hillary and her staffers) that none of the intelligence in the emails was classified when Clinton received them on her personal server. (EVEN IF NOT MARKED AS SUCH, A POINT HILLARY IS SO FOND OF MAKING TO GET HERSELF OFF THE HOOK. HOWEVER, AS I  POINTED OUT PREVIOUSLY, ACCORDING TO THE US CODE IT WAS HER RESPONSIBILITY AS SECRETARY OF STATE TO MAKE THAT DETERMINATION)

All this deceitful, untruthful, deceptive, misleading and outright dangerous activity is proof that Clinton is not even qualified to be dog catcher- yet, this woman is still being allowed to run for President of the United States???  She campaigns as if she doesn’t have a care in the world, shows no remorse for her deceptions, it’s almost sociopathic. WE THE PEOPLE need, no deserve, to have this travesty explained, investigated and prosecuted to stop her in her tracks NOW !!!


There, I said it !! I AM A SORE LOSER AND PROUD OF IT.

Not because my candidate lost (well partly), but because of what this country has lost and will lose in the next four years. I am afraid we will lose our freedoms and rights under the constitution, in favor of a government in control of every part of our lives. I am afraid we will no longer be the country where people of all nations want to come (legally) to make a better life, but because of all the benefits given to illegals, which used to be reserved for tax paying citizens.  I am afraid we will lose the respect of our allies and give additional confidence to our enemies,. I am afraid we will lose our status as the most powerful country in the world. I am afraid that the majority of voters will allow the mainstream media, who skew the “news” for headlines, viewership and ratings, to give them  information they think they need to make a wise decision.  I am afraid that the younger generation, who are the current and future voters/leaders of America, and have NO clue as to our history or how a democracy/free enterprise system works (ask them a question its scary the answers you get), are drinking the left wing Kool-aid which has painted a rosy little picture of a utopian society where everything should be shared equally among everyone.  Sounds an awful lot like communism to me.

My biggest concern, is the growing sense of entitlement I see in people. Especially after the coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement giving a bunch of nut’s their more than 15 minutes of fame but riveting the public non the less. (BTW, if all those people who protested for days and weeks on end were out looking for a job instead, maybe they too could become part of the 1%, or even the 50%, instead of leaching off us hard working Americans).

We have become a nation of whiny little three year-olds…“I waaaannnt this”, “I neeeeeed that”, “If he/she has one then I want one too !!”…. (stamping my foot),  with no sense pride in earning those things. I may even be dissing three-year olds.  Even they understand the concept of action and reward.

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship”…(author unknown).

This is exactly what is happening.  It has become the norm to “want it all…now” and ask the government to give it to you. But it’s also become the new national pass time to denigrate people who have exactly what the OWS/ entitle-ists want for themselves. Folks, ya can’t have it both ways.

What ever happened to the days where people were willing to WORK towards achieving their goals, having pride in their own accomplishments, instead of expecting the government to supplement their laziness, lack of ambition, and sense of entitlement. Why is it so objectionable to people that some of their fellow citizens have “more stuff” then they do?

You aren’t either a “have” or a “have not”, but a DO or a DO NOT. (I was going to quote Yoda but chose not to). The opportunity is there to become a “have” by DOING, the path may just be harder for some than others. Need a helping hand to get started…NO PROBLEM. Need a little supplement to make ends meet…NO PROBLEM. Want to be a “have” without ever “doing”?…  Sayonara baby. Get a grip, get off your ass and DO…  

However, once you become a have, will you be willing to “re-distribute” your “have” to the have-nots you once associated yourself with? I doubt it.  (unless of course you didn’t work for “it” and got “it” from the government, then you can always get more…right???). I have heard waaayyy to many people say the voted for Obama because “he’s gonna give me stuff”…SMH

We have lost the capacity to acknowledge and celebrate success, whether financially or otherwise, (unless of course it’s a celebrity/sports figure) which once was the basis of the “American Dream”.

I have had many a heated argument with people of differing views on this subject. 

They brought up Mitt Romney’s wealth…over and over. Yup, he has quite a few shekels in the bank. They said this wealth makes him out of touch with the “middle class”. I heard Eva Longoria (a staunch Obama campaigner) say after the election that she was “moved to tears”, because “…it proved the middle class won”, and “these people didn’t get to buy America”. Blah Blah Blah…

Just who are “these people”.  The 1% ers; The Republicans; the mid-westerners, the men, the  45 and older group?  WHO?

REALLY, I mean REALLY???…like Eva Longoria or the hoards of “celebrity Obama endorsers” have a clue as to what it’s like to be middle class.  Let’s take a look at a random list of some of their net worths.  (yeah, yeah I know they all contribute to charity, or have charitable foundations, some more so than others, but don’t give me a hard time, facts is facts):

Bill Gates                   66 BILLION

David Geffin               5.5 BILLION

Steven Spielberg      3 BILLION

Oprah Winfrey           2.7 BILLION

Jeffrey Katzenberg    860 Million

Brangelina                 300 Million

Bruce Springsteen    200 Million

SJP/Matt Broderick  135 million

Morgan Freeman      90 Million

Bill Clinton                  80 Million

Ben Affleck                65 Million

Whoopie Goldberg   45 Million

Eva Longoria               35 Million

Angela Bassett          28 Million

Bill Maher                   23 Million

Barack Obama           12 Million


Mitt Romney               $250 Million

…..such hypocrisy is really hard to swallow.  His net worth puts him somewhere between Brangelina and Springsteen, but he’s not allowed to be rich, and is out of touch with the middle class because he made money in “business”?

Eva Longorias net worth of 35 million, is 636 TIMES the average middle class income of $55,000/year (and that’s being conservative…some reports say $44K, others between $19-52K).

The celebrities above ARE part of the 1% (which the Occupy Wall Street dunderheads classify as anyone making $500K or more). They didn’t build anything (well maybe Oprah did, but it was a school in Africa not in the USA.). The majority of the “middle class” don’t have mansions, chauffeurs, cooks, assistants, nannies, designer clothing (the cost of which could feed a middle class family for a month or more) or even get to go on vacation. I would venture a guess that most middle class Americans never traveled more than 50 miles from their hometowns.

Another argued there is a difference between building your wealth and having it handed to you from your father or mothers family, referring to Mitt Romney’s fathers wealth…however Mitt was already a wealthy businessman at the time of his dad’s death and he gave all the “inheritance” to BrighamYoung University. Maybe the family wealth helped him go to law school, but you have to perform once there, so who cares.


Let’s forget the fact that the Dems were wrong about where Mitt got his money…but still…how do you imagine his father got his wealth?  It surely wasn’t handed to him by the government. He WORKED for it…long and hard.

The hypocrisy and irrational line of reasoning of the Democrats rears it’s ugly head yet again. Let’s use the example of a favorite Democratic  go to reference…JFK.  HIS family had wealth and power that was passed on to him. It was his father’s money and connections that got JFK into the White House (no mean feat considering he was a Roman Catholic).  While his father made money in many legitimate enterprises, he was also a liar; a stock broker who was accused of, what today would be called, insider trading; an alleged smuggler/bootlegger; an  anti-Semite; and a womanizer. Yet, there are those who still hold the entire family and the name as the equivalent of American royalty. Can you imagine if JFK had to address his feelings on abortion or gay marriage if he were running for President today?? He probably wouldn’t get elected. However, a hard working, honest, morally sound, spiritual, enterprising man, was derided for his father having had money, and for the values each one of us should aspire to as individuals and a nation. (by the way I am pro-choice, but one issue does not a President make)

I had one friend who said Mitt Romney’s business wealth (he’s a “corporate raider”) was a different kind of wealth than the fortune built by Henry Ford (a company that employees thousands and builds things). I replied by reminding them that Henry Ford was vehemently anti-union, (isn’t that a critical component of the Democrats voting base and platform) (

….and an anti-Semite. (

I reminded them that Ford was one of the pioneers of “outsourcing” jobs by opening plants in 10 foreign countries, starting in Britain and Canada in 1911. He understood it was cheaper to build in the countries he was selling to rather than export the products.

His highest estimated wealth at age 57 was the equivalent of 1.88 BILLION in 2008 dollars. Not too shabby and a boatload more than Romney.

( )

They brought up Romney’s former company Bain Capital in light of Sensata, a Bain subsidiary, closing a factory and laying off 170 workers to send their manufacturing to China. (another Obama and media firestorm to feed Kool-aid to the masses).

This company invested in, among others:

Bright Horizons Day Care (this was when Romney was till active in the company)

Dominoes Pizza

Toys R Us


Dunkin Donuts

Burger King

Michaels Arts and Crafts

Burlington Coat Factory

Some of the companies were on the verge of going under, others just needed a boost to make them grow bigger, and were a good investment. Of course some companies didn’t rebound, but it’s like investing in video tape manufacturing just as DVD’s were coming into vogue. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Does Romney have a monetary interest in the company?  Yes. Did/does he run the company? No.  …(in)  August 2001, (when) he finalized a retirement deal with the active Bain partners and transferred to them his shares of Bain’s management entity. ( )

I am soooo very tired of hearing that the middle class is getting shafted by the rich.  There are approximately 313 million people in the USA.  If just ½ of them are adults able to work, the 1% of the population who are sooo rich are just over 1.5 million people out of 150 million people able to work. (yes I am also painfully aware that there is a job shortage and high unemployment)

The rich didn’t write the tax code that allows the wealthier few more deductions.  (well maybe they did since many of the career politicians are as wealthy, if not more so than Romney, and business owners as well).  But not everyone owns a business to get their “loop hole” deductions, some are salaried. If they made 1 million dollars in a year, married filing jointly using the standard deductions ($11,900) and two exemptions ($7,600) they would owe $312,314.50 in federal taxes alone. That’s 1/3 of their salary.  Seriously?

Obama’s new tax plan, supposedly designed to redistribute the wealth, combined with letting the Bush tax breaks expire on January 1, 2013, is NOT going to hurt the top earners. “This is a tax increase will be on a significant share of small business owners,” said Raymond Keating, chief economist of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.  The Obama plan would raise the top two tax brackets from 33% to 36% and from 35% to 39.6%. ($200,000 if single and $250,000 is married)

Bear in mind this is only FEDERAL taxes, we still have to factor in state and local taxes too.

My family lives a good life now. Not privileged, but good and more comfortable than some, and we feel blessed.  We don’t make the $500K defined as the 1%, but I probably will be considered “rich” by Obamas new standards. I spent my life from the age of 15, the the last 40 years, working to make my life better. Neither my parents or my in-laws went to college.  My parents never made more than $40,000/year. My husband and I had to take out student loans for our undergraduate degrees, and another for his graduate degree.  He worked days and went to school at night for the first 3 years of our marriage to get that graduate degree. We managed to pay for a home, a car, three student loans, and have two children (and feed and clothe them) because we had a plan, the ambition and the drive to make our lives better. We scrimped and saved, cut coupons, and budgeted our money to make things work. He worked 60 hour weeks when the kids were little.  I worked 50 hour weeks when 7-8 months pregnant (standing all day BTW), to make extra money before my maternity leave. We will have no inheritances. NOTHING I have was given to me. Everything we own, WE EARNED. We contribute to numerous charities because we know we are blessed. I volunteer my time on a township board BECAUSE I didn’t want to be one of those people who complained how government wasn’t working and didn’t do anything to change it… I wanted to make things better.  I completely resent that fact that there are apparently many people who expect me to eagerly pay more still to “ redistribute the wealth” because they find it easier to live on the dole, because they are entitled.

I know I am going to get a lot of flack on this, but I am NOT a fan of Dual Agency unless it’s totally unavoidable.

Although the listing agent can legally represent both the seller and the buyer in New Jersey, (called disclosed dual agency), the listing (SELLERS) agent acting also as a buyers agent has split fiduciary duties to BOTH the seller and buyer.  As a disclosed dual agent, they cannot always “legally” advise/counsel you (not “give” legal advise) as well as if you had your own buyer agent working for you. These limitations are listed in the “dual agency agreement”, some form of which you SHOULD be signing before entering into this type of transaction

Let me also clarify something. Although an individual “agent” lists a home, they technically work for and represent their “broker of record/agency”. That means that if Mrs. Smith of XYZ Realty lists a home, whether you call Mrs. Smith, or even if you use Mr. Jones of XYZ Realty to help you write a contract and buy the home, XYZ Realty “owns” the listing and the agent AND company represent the seller and buyer equally.

It doesn’t serve you as a buyer any real purpose to contact a listing agent/agency to buy their listing. You don’’t save money since the seller pays commission anyway. The person who profits most is the listing agent, because he/she gets both sides of the commission (sell side and buy side).

Most of Northern and Central New Jersey areas use attorneys to further negotiate and modify the contractual conditions, once the seller and buyer agree to price (called the attorney review period).

Imagine if, during the attorney review process, both the seller and buyer were using the same attorney…you’d say conflict of interest, right? In my opinion, its the same thing as using the same real estate agent representing the seller and buyer.

With a “regular” sale, there are several steps along the way that a sole buyer agent can help you with, which a dual agent cannot. First would be preparing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of recently sold similar properties to help you determine your offer price. As I said, in a dual agency situation, the agent (acting on behalf of both parties), has limited abilities to advise either party.

My company Dual Agency Addendum states:

  • We cannot disclose any price the seller may take other than the listing price without the written permission of the seller,
  • We cannot disclose any price that the buyer may be willing to pay other than the offer price without the written permission of the buyer.
  • We cannot recommend or suggest an offer price to the buyer OR a counter-offer price to the seller.
  • We can provide information on comparable sales so that both parties can assess the property’s market value.
  • We will explain real estate terms and principles.

Especially if you are a first time buyer, with no IDEA of how the process works, imagine sitting down with the CMA, trying to make head or tails of it and not being able to ask “so what should our offer be”. Or, as a seller, getting an offer, and not being able to ask “should I counter-offer and if so, what should I counter at?”

The agent can only present the CMA and let both parties make a decision on their own.

Then there is the home inspection which the buyer pays for out of pocket. Imagine if there are several issues in the inspection report, and you as a buyer need some guidance as to what may be important and what is negligible, or not what the purpose of a home inspection really is for. The dual agent can only “explain about real estate terms and principles”, but cannot counsel you on what, if anything, you should ask to be repaired. Split fiduciary duties. I often wonder what you would need an agent for in the first place if a good portion of the beginning of our “job”, like preparing a sound offer strategy and negotiating the contract, and counseling on the inspection issues, are taken away from us.

Short sales are another matter. The sale price is set by the bank, so there really is no price negotiating. You get the CMA, make an offer based on the CMA, but the bank is the ultimate decision maker of the sales price (regardless of the fact that the owner signed the contract). The offer is sent to the bank…the bank will look at the offer, and say, “yes we will take the offer”, reject the offer outright, OR they will counter-offer with the price they will take to make the short sale work. These sale are most often “as is” sales, so usually no inspection issues are corrected/repaired, so the “dual agent” really doesn’t have the need or opportunity to advise you on price or counsel you after an inspection. PLUS, since the sellers agent is usually the only one who has permission to contact the bank on the sellers behalf, to get updates on the progress of the sale, so you have one agent in the loop, informing both parties as to the progress.

See this link to read about the Short Sale Process:

With rentals too, for the most part dual agency isn’t such a problem. More often than not, the listed rental price is what the renters are willing to pay, and even if the renter decides to offer a hundred or so less, the negotiation is less intense.

Bottom line is, if you are buying a typical resale, get yourself an agent from a company OTHER than the listing company, and proceed that way. It serves your best interests and helps each side be represented individually and to the best of each agent’s abilities.



SO, we all hear how it’s a buyers market from every pundit, news media outlet, statistic company, and blog around. So WHY are sellers showing their houses in the worst light possible, and making it so darn hard to show their houses.

I have been showing houses (a lot) the last few weekends, and I am amazed at the condition sellers leave their homes in when buyers are coming through. These houses are in the $400-$600K range too !! Filthy kitchens with dishes in the sink, filthy(er) bathrooms, clothing all over the place, unmade beds, fingerprints/crayon/marker on walls, black crud on switchplates, hastily repaired leaky ceilings, dirty floors/rugs, EATING lunch or dinner or cooking while we are there, and clutter everywhere.  What do they think the buyers are going to suppose?  That the house is a mess and dirty which therefore translates to not well maintained. You want me to remove my shoes? NO problem, but it’s warm out and I am wearing sandals. When my bare feet are sticking to the floors, or there’s crumbs under my feet, it creeps me out, so  I imagine my buyers feel the same way.

As a Realtor for a few years now, I have had my share of not so terrific listings, but always look at the house with the eye of a buyer and make suggestions (within reason) for the sellers to prepare their home for showing so it looks as good as possible. Minimally, I remind them to keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, counters cleared and carpets vacuumed.  I KNOW, it’s a pain to do this every day, but the ladies (sorry girls it’s true) always look at the kitchen and bathrooms, while the men always “kick the tires” looking at the utilities/siding/roof etc. In my experience, it’s usually the ladies who make the final decision on which house to buy based on “emotion” and a filthy house just doesn’t inspire the “I LOVE IT” emotion at all.

I suppose it’s their Realtors fault to a point also, but I bet the sellers, even IF their Realtor gently, then firmly, suggests they spruce it up just don’t heed the suggestion. I also imagine that some Realtors just don’t look at the house and how it will show, but just take the listing and hope it sells.

If it is truly a buyers market, with all the competition and so many houses to choose from, WHY would a buyer make an offer on a house that was yucky, when the house around the corner is immaculate? I know sellers have to LIVE in the house, but taking time to keep it clean and neat will go a long way in selling it faster, and probably for more money too.  Unkempt translates to worth less in a buyers mind.

As far as showing the house…it’s the spring/summer market, a time when the number of sales dramatically increases. If I cannot show your house on a weekend (MOST people work during the week), or only on Sunday, or only before/after 2 PM Tuesday and Saturday, or only then there’s a full moon (OK I am being sarcastic there) how do you suppose your home will sell?  SHOWINGS = SELLING.

I have tried to make appointments for 6-7 homes each weekend, and was amazed that at least three houses each time were no showing this weekend, or not during the timeframe my buyers can make it, or only on a specific day or after a specific time or a combination of those.  Of course I understand there are extenuating circumstances (working nights, babies in the house, a party at the house etc), however, a seller MUST be willing to sacrifice their schedule to accommodate a buyers, or the house won’t sell.  

Selling a home is a tiring and stressful time, but it is also tiring and stressful on the buyer agent side to have to tell your buyer that they can’t see a house because of the sellers restrictions, ESPECIALLY when it’s the house they really wanted to see. Not having actually SEEN the house, they will indeed look at the ones they can, and 9 times out of 10, buy one of those.

The peak time frame for selling a house is April through July, so the window is a small one.  Sellers need to be aware that the house WILL linger on the market, and probably suffer through several price “adjustments” if they don’t show the house in it’s best possible condition and when it suits the buyers schedule.

Buying a home is undoubtedly the biggest investment you will ever make, and it natural to be intimidated by the number of zeros at the end of your offer and your mortgage.  However if you are using a Real Estate agent and not paying attention to the wealth information and assistance they provide, based on their knowledge and experience, you will never buy a home.


Reason # 1-Unrealistic expectations of what you get for a certain price point.


A majority of homebuyers use the internet as their first source of information on the housing market. The internet is a terrific source of information to get a fairly good idea of what a house sells for in a specific location, and more importantly, what you get for the price. I have had buyers contact me to inquire about a specific home in a specific area, tell me they have been searching on the internet for weeks/months, then go on to say, “but I want more bedrooms, another garage, a finished basement, upgraded baths, upgraded kitchens, etc.,  for the same price”.

When I politely tell them that it’s going to be tough to find all that without paying more for those amenities, they either get angry, or are sincerely baffled that this may be the case.

If your belief is that Realtors can work miracles and find a home for $300,000 similar to one that would typically sell for $400,000… you will never buy a house.


Reason #2- Unrealistic offers/lowball offers


Buyers and sellers all want something in a real estate transaction.  Sellers want the highest possible price and buyers want the lowest possible price. If your agent does a market analysis of homes similar to one you are interested in (let’s say it’s listed at $350,000) and provides information that others similar homes recently closed between $330,000 and $340,000, offering $300,000 (“because “it’s a buyers market”, or “the housing market is so bad right now” or for “more room to negotiate”) may not be the best approach. Lowball offers often insult the seller and/or make them assume you are not serious. (I call these offers fishing expeditions…let’s cast out a number and see if the sellers bite).

As a buyer you have to remember that the same comparatives your agent provided to you to establish a fair offer price are the SAME comparatives the sellers agent presented to them to establish the list price !!  Sellers are keenly aware of what their house is worth (most of the time).  I have seen time and time again, buyers insist on a making a low offer, despite my counseling that the house will probably close for “X” based on the comparatives, and lose the house, or houses, with lowball offer after lowball offer. Follow up of the sales usually indicates that I was (fairly) correct as to sale price.

There is a time and place for making an offer on a home that is significantly lower than the list price.  Overpriced listings (also based on comparative sales), some fixer-uppers, short sales etc, often have a better outcome with a low offer.

 If you aren’t willing to listen to your agents’ advice, and don’t believe the numbers and statistics placed in front of you…you will never buy a house.


Reason # 3- Thinking something better will come along


Over the years I have had buyers come and then go because they just couldn’t commit to buying a home no matter what they said out loud.  Time and time again I have showed 10 to 20 homes to a buyer, and by that time they (should have) have gotten a clear indication of what you get for a certain price point, area, amenities etc.  They finally find one they love and can see themselves living in, but want to wait to make an offer because “something better may come on the market”.  Invariably, nothing “better” comes along and when they decide to make an offer on the home they loved, it’s already been sold. 

If you have a good realtor who is showing you homes that meet most, if not all, of your needs and criteria, and hesitate to make an offer….you will never buy a home.


Reason # 4- Listening to family, friends and co-workers to get real estate advise


I was told by one of my buyers after a home inspection, where the furnace and water heater were functional but older, “I want the seller to install a new furnace and water heater. I am entitled to a new furnace and hot water heater”. When I asked where he got that idea, he said “my friend told me the seller must give me a new one”. I reminded him that his home inspector mentioned in the report and recommended budgeting for a new one in the future, not replacement. I asked if his friend was a Real Estate agent, attorney, licensed inspector, plumber, HVAC expert etc.  When my buyer answered no, I questioned how he can give advise on the subject, my buyer said “he knows all about this, he just bought a house too”. The seller refused to replace items that were in working order, and the transaction fell apart.


Another buyer looked at a truly move in condition, fully (and high end) updated home, listed at $460,000, which met all his requirements, and was in an area he loved.. He wanted to make an offer on the house.  So I ran the comparatives, and went over the numbers with him, telling him the house would probably sell for $435-$445K. His offer was $415,000 and he would not come up a cent.  When asked why, he said, compared to the other similar homes we saw , this one doesn’t have a basement, so I have to take off $30,000 from the asking price. I referred him back to MY analysis, which had already adjusted for the lack of basement. His reply was “my friend is a builder and said it costs $30,000 to build a basement in a new construction home”.  When I reminded him that the adjustments for existing conditions are not the same as building costs, he decided not to make the offer at all. The house eventually sold for $437,500.

If you don’t trust your Realtor knows how to give you the best comparative market analysis, how to prepare and interpret  them, and how to advise you on offer/sales price based on their knowledge of the area sales…you will never buy a house.

Our job as Realtors is to bring together a buyer to buy a home and a seller to sell their home.  The best negotiated price is a fair one based on current market comparable sales, and usually one where both the buyer and sellers aren’t 100% satisfied.  There will be compromises along the way on both sides, and getting an offer accepted is only the first of many. Remembering you hired a professional agent to help you find a home is akin to hiring a professional attorney, plumber or electrician.  If you don’t trust their advise based on their knowledge and experience, it never works out for anyone.


Reason # 5- Listening to the hype in the media


The media is rife with information about how bad the current housing market is, and has the statistics to prove it…or do they?

Sure the market is not the best right now, and worse in some places then others, but that’s on national standards and averages. Real estate is SO very local those national averages just don’t apply across the board.


According to the US Census Bureau, the average national sales price in 2011 was $242,300 and the median (the middle where 50% were higher and 50% were lower) was $212,300


In my town, there are 3 zip codes, and each one has it’s own micro-statistics. In my entire town, the median sales price of a home was $303,500 based on home sales from Jan 12 thru March 12, 2012. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 5.6%, or $16,000. 


However in one of the ZIP codes, from Jan 12 thru Mar 12, 2012the median sales price was $410,000. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median sales price increased 23.5%, or $78,000.


Hmmm, not the same news as what we see on TV or read in the papers.


This actually ties into reason # 2, making low ball offers because the market is “so bad” right now.


If you are not willing to listen to your agent and believe the statistical numbers obtained from the local MLS sales records, and don’t believe the old adage about “location, location, location”, ….you will never buy a home.





I am having a serious problem with the “wealth distribution” part of this groups unofficial list of demands.

The following is a (very) brief synopsis of some of what Karl Marx wanted to do in Russia (and we all know how that eventually worked out).  Marx’s philosophy, was the world revolved on a capitalist economy where people with money hire people without money to make things and provide services. Marx proposed that capitalism should be replaced with a system where work is performed for the common good rather than for money provided by a privileged class—in other words, he proposed communism. Marx believed that the problem with the socialism of his day was that it did not deal with economic issues. He proposed that his new (communist) economic system, which called for redistribution of wealth, was more equitable.

Sounds awfully like the OWS movement doesn’t it???  

But it’s clear that this system did not work either,  partly because it requires people to be completely altruistic. Unfortunately, working for the benefit of others over the self is not consistent with human nature.

Below is a short quote and other information from the OWS movement:

 “Wealth for the Common Good and Resource Generation, two groups dedicated to working for “fair taxation and just wealth distribution.””

Demonstrator B.B. a truck driver and punk rock musician who studied philosophy in college, said since the protests began almost three weeks ago, “I have heard a thousand different things people are concerned about — inadequate teacher pay, no jobs, the rich not paying their fair share of taxes and all of it was about how we working people are not getting a fair shake.” 

(NOTE: there is NOTHING wrong with being a truck driver, or a musician, or having studied philosophy in college, but seriously, did this guy expect to be anywhere NEAR the “1%” with that kind of resume? Life choices, it’s all about life choices.)

Here is the OWS website:

 A citation directly from the OWS web site:

Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that “We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”

We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends (Note: see their “agenda” below)…”


This OWS movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians to build a better society.

So it got me to thinking, if this is a leaderless resistance movement, what is it that these people actually think they are “fighting for” or demanding of the “greedy and corrupt” 1%?.  I searched the web, and found this interview by a reporter:

So, what do they want? One possible answer is: A Lot.

The laundry list of things individual participants tout as priorities to them are nearly as diverse as the occupation supporters themselves. Better banking regulation, tax reform, campaign finance reform, wage increases, unemployment, the healthcare system, outsourcing, military spending, environmental concerns … the list goes on indefinitely. It is difficult to think of any political or economic issue that has been on anyone’s radar in the last few years that I didn’t hear mentioned at some point in my day spent at Liberty Square. As people kept reminding me, though, one of the things that distinguishes this from any other mass demonstration movement is that there isn’t atrue party platform. There isn’t a set agenda or list of formal demands.

I asked a lot of people if they foresaw an end date for the New York occupation. Who says it’s going to end?” , said one young man, as we both moved quickly to get our ponchos on as a brief torrential downpour begins. “Eight hundred people have been arrested, we’re still here. A month has gone by, we’re still here. The mayor ofNew York tried to evict us, we’re still here.” He points up at the heavy shower falling on us. “And when it snows, we’ll still be here.” These sentiments are mimicked in the weekly community newspaper circulated through the park, the Occupied Wall Street Journal. “It will not stop until the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our foreclosures and bank repossessions stop. It will not stop until students no longer have to go into massive debt to be educated, and families no longer have to plunge into bankruptcy to pay medical bills. It will not stop until the corporate destruction of the ecosystem stops …… “

The answer, as I was hearing it, is they have no demands, there is no one agenda, no piece of legislation they can be co-opted or appeased on. Their grievances are almost as diverse as America. Their platform, as they depict it, is the platform of Everyman. What they’re saying now is “Look around. It isn’t going to end.”

Now maybe it’s just me, but the “non”-agenda of the protestors still sounds a lot like communism to me.  The everyman, the socialized medicine, the wealth distribution, the vilification of men and women in the “1%”, for having money, the “I didn’t/don’t get a fair shake” mentality.

I do agree that tax reform, campaign contribution reform, accountability of our elected officials, bank regulation and the rampant outsourcing of jobs needs to be addressed, but I am a bit confused by how they protestors expect to get things done with no clear cut platform, and why they are attacking Wall Street and the so called 1%.

First and foremost, what bothers me is HOW do these people have time to spend 35 days and counting protesting?  I know jobs are scarce, but rather than ask the 1% of people who have worked long and hard to supplement the 99%  life/life choices, shouldn’t they be out LOOKING for a job, working at anything that pays a wage, going to school, or getting training, to begin to get a piece of the American Pie?

No one said that everyone in America would be a millionaire, or even a college graduate, but the opportunity IS there, along with the eventual salary. Why attack those who spent their life working hard to get to where they are, because you didn’t take charge of your own destiny? Are the 1% supposed to just hand over their money to supplement the “99%”

The opportunity is there for those who want it. For example, look at:

Michael Bloomberg, son of Russian immigrants, his father was a bookkeeper, and he put himself through Johns Hopkins and Harvard before founding Bloomberg Enterprises.

John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems (who once was homeless by the way.)

Bill Gates, son of an attoney and a teacher, founder and CEO of Microsoft

Larry Ellison, who dropped out of college, and is the Oracle co-founder and CEO

Lloyd Blankstein, a postal worker’s son who grew up in Brooklyn’s Linden Houses, his father’s job as a sorter for the Postal Service being replaced by a machine after he retired was something that frightened Blankfein — motivating him to Harvard Law and later to Wall Street.

Ursula Burns,  now Xerox CEO grew up on New York City’s Lower East Side “when it was really bad, when the gangs were there and the drug addicts were there.

Sheldon Adelson, is currently the CEO and Chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp, which runs The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. His father was a cab driver and his mother ran a knitting store.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman and CEO, who’s father worked as a truck driver, factory worker and taxi driver, eventually went to Northern Michigan University on an athletic scholarship, being the first person in his family to go to college.

Mary Petti, daughter of a bank teller, and a union printer, started working in a bagel store at age 15, worked three different jobs while putting herself through Pharmacy School using student loans. The first person in her family to graduate college.

 Florie Petti, son of a secretary and a “jack of all trades”, worked cleaning icecream trucks , as a supermarket checker, and as a teller, put himself through undergraduate courses and graduate school at NYU Stern School of Business using student loans. The first person in his family to graduate college

While the Petti’s are no where NEAR the preceding in income, and are not in the 1% (nor are we in the 99% but somewhere in the middle), success and a decent lifestyle CAN happen to the everyman with humble backgrounds too…if you have a goal and work hard to achieve it.

But it’s not the 1% causing the problems, it’s a spider-web of issues which need to be addressed.

  • the lagging economy of the country due ot loss of jobs and industry;
  • the loss of jobs and outsourcing of goods and services; (partly because we Americans DEMAND high salaries, which corporations can’t/won’t pay, and unions enforce those demands, causing a “Catch-22” situation of outsourcing of jobs and American job losses)  
  • the “buy now and pay later” mentality the gets people in over their head with credit card debt;
  • our failing education system and the subsequent lack of qualified people to do the work;
  • the mindset of some that a minimum wage job is beneath them;
  • the sense of entitlement from the government for being a so called have-not;
  • the careless, injudicious, poorly monitored  dispersal of govermnent funds to those who are not deserving (NOTE: there are plenty who are deserving);
  • the individual loss of ambition, drive and aspiration;
  • the individual loss of pride in doing a days work for a days pay, and being a productive part of society.

Does this country need an overhaul? Yes.  Do the OWS people have a good idea that it’s the masses that will drive change?  Yes.

However, as the interviewer pointed out  “they have no demands, there is no one agenda, no piece of legislation they can be co-opted or appeased on. Their grievances are almost as diverse as America.”

If they want to ” make changes from the” bottom up”, by not focusing on the 2 or 3 really important issues that need to be changed immediately, they are diluting their ability to effect any change at all. Individual agenda’s go nowhere, organized agendas often do. Presenting a united front with clear cut demands for change will go a lot further.

Be that as it may, some of the things that are “broken” are not things that can be legislated away. Part of the “1% vs. the 99% ” is all about life choices, drive, focus, ambition and hard work, which  cannot be legislated in or out of existence.

As far as I am concerned, it all starts with the individual.  
I find it amusing tha the same “ME”  generation, with the” I want it all, and I want it now” attitude, are the same generation singling out the very people who wanted it all (or better than their parents had it) and worked to get it instead of taking the  opportunity to follow their lead.  

I finish with this theory which, I know, has been controversial in it’s origin but it still scares the hell out of me.  Ronald Reagan used this in one of his speeches:

Prof. Alexander Frazer Tytler wrote, that a democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority, he said, always vote for the candidate promising the most benefits from the treasury with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship. Unfortunately, we can’t argue with the professor because when he wrote that we were still colonials of Great Britain and he was explaining what had destroyed the Athenian Republic more than 2000 years before.”

The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations progressed through the following sequence:

  1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
  2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
  3. From courage to liberty;
  4. From liberty to abundance;
  5. From abundance to complacency;
  6. From complacency to apathy;
  7. From apathy to dependence;
  8. From dependence back into bondage.

 I believe we are somewhere between 6 and 7.  Our democracy is WELL past to 200 year mark cited in Tytler’s quote and the complacency and apathy that has now pervaded our society is concerning.

Complacency means ‘pleased or satisfied” with how things are, with how they affect one’s self. It is a lack of concern, in this case, about your future and doing nothing to change it.

Apathy means ‘detachment, disinterest and indifference’. It is absence of caring or passion to follow your dreams, and attain your goals.

Dependency means ‘belief, expectation or notion”,  in this case , of entitlement.  It’s blaming everyone else for your woes. It’s expecting others (individuals or governments) to supplement and augment a lifestyle you think you deserve because someone else has it and you don’t.

Scary thoughts…


Beginning the Short Sale Process

Short sales occur for several reasons, but the most common reasons are the seller has a hardship (job loss, unexpected health issues etc.), they fall behind in their mortgage payments, and they owe more on the mortgage than the home can sell for at fair market value.

The seller, when applying for a short sale approval, must compile a financial packet to submit to the bank, and they can often be quite voluminous. Every bank has their own criteria for the packet, but it’s similar from bank to bank. The seller’s short sale packet will consist of:

  • Letter of authorization, which lets the listing agent speak to the bank.
  • Preliminary HUD-1 (also knows as a settlement statement or RESPA statement).  This gives the bank a general idea of their final net, after all fees are paid.
  • Completed seller financial statement
  • Hardship letter explaining WHY the seller cannot keep current on the mortgage
  • 2 years of tax returns
  • 2 years of W-2s
  • Recent payroll stubs, or proof they do not have a job
  • Last 6 months of bank statements
  • Comparative market analysis or list of recent comparable sales

The Offer, Submitting it to the Bank, and the Buyers Responsibility While Waiting for Approval

Before a buyer writes an offer, the buyer should ask his or her agent for a list of comparable sales. Even in short sale situations, banks will not approve a short sale at ridiculously low prices.  The bank will want to receive somewhat close to market value, and often determine their “bottom line price” based on the difference between the sales price and what is owed to the them. The bank typically orders an appraisal or a BPO (broke price opinion), and this too becomes a factor in the approval process.

The short sale list price may not even be close to market value. In fact the house may be listed below.  Additionally, just because the seller accepts the offer, doesn’t always mean the BANK will.

After the seller accepts the offer, the listing agent sends the following items to the bank:

  • Listing agreement
  • Executed contract of sale and other pertinent paperwork
  • Buyer’s pre-approval letter and copy of earnest money check
  • Seller’s short sale package

If the submitted package is incomplete, the process can and will be delayed. If the bank doesn’t receive the complete package in a reasonable amount of time, the bank might even destroy the package. This is why it’s imperative to have a listing agent familiar with short sales from the beginning. An SFR certified agent is one who has been trained as a Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource and is knowledgeable about the entire process.  This doesn’t always mean they can make it move faster, but it helps when they know the procedure and how to follow up in a timely and efficient manner.

Short sales are typically “AS IS” sales. Neither the seller nor the bank will make any repairs. It is up to the buyer to obtain a home inspection (if they so chose and at their own expense), and determine if the results of the inspection are acceptable. If an “as is “ sale, the inspection is only for informational purposes, and should be done sooner rather than later (7 to 10 days from signing the contract), and definitely before the short sale is approved.

If there are such major issues as a result of the inspection that the buyer does not want to address them, the buyer can rescind their offer, however they cannot be reimbursed for the cost of the inspection.  Often times the seller also requires the buyer to pay for AND make repairs necessary to obtain, any certifications the locality may require. Typically they may include:

  • a Certificate of Occupancy (or C of O-not required in some towns)
  • fire inspection for smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers
  • the required clear Wood Destroying Insect Report (called the WDIR or the “termite” inspection).

Meanwhile, the process should be moving along as follows.

 The Short Sale Process at the Bank
It can take a long time for a reply from the bank. It is imperative for the listing agent to regularly call or email the bank and keep records of all correspondence to keep track of the progress.  Buyers sometimes get so frustrated waiting for the approval, they often threaten to cancel if they don’t get an answer soon. Unfortunately, the seller, listing agent, AND buyers agent are at the mercy of the banks at this point, and threatening to cancel the transaction does not speed up the process.

If you have no patience, or have to move into a home quickly, a short sale is not for you.

Following is a typical short sale process at the bank:

Bank acknowledges they received the short sale packet. This can take up to 1 month.

    1. A negotiator is assigned to review and negotiate with the “investors” of the lien. This can take 1 to 2 months.
    2. A BPO (Broker Price Opinion-a type of market analysis for the bank to determine the market value of the house based on comparable sold homes) or appraisal is ordered. Typically the bank will NOT reveal the results of the BPO or appraisal.
    3. The file is sent for review with the banks loss mitigation department. This can take up to a month. Infrequently, the bank may request still MORE financial paperwork from the seller to have current bank statements, etc.
    4. The bank may request that all parties sign an Arm’s Length Affidavit, stating that the buyer and seller have no “relationship” with each other.
    5. The bank issues a short sale approval by letter, email and/or phone call.
    6. The buyer rescinds the contract.

Bear in mind that the bank can, and often does, reply with a counter-offer if the BPO/appraisal values the house quite a bit higher than the offer price, and/or if the difference between what is owed and the agreed upon offer price are too far apart.

 Some short sales get approval in 6 to 8 weeks, but it can sometimes take 6 months.

As if all that waiting wasn’t annoying enough, assuming the buyer doesn’t get frustrated and walk away while waiting, waiting, waiting, once the bank DOES approve the short sale, they typically give 45 days from date of approval to obtain your mortgage commitment, (if it is not a cash transaction) AND close.

So the entire transaction is wait, wait, wait, then…. hurry up!! Again, if buyers are the type with little patience, or have to move into a house quickly, perhaps a short sale is not for them.

 Note: This is not all inclusive of everything that goes on in a short sale. Each transaction has it’s own unique problems that may arise which have not have been addressed in this article.  This article is meant to be for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as an actual schedule of events or what will happen in your transaction.