Einstein said it best: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Chasing short sales is like hitting yourself in the head with a ball-peen hammer. At best, you will wind up with a terrible headache; at worst, you get a lap full of brains.

Nothing. I repeat NOTHING will give you brain damage faster than getting involved in a short sale. People, put the hammer down!

Not convinced yet?

Here are the main differences between a SHORT SALE and a FORECLOSURE:


1) The homeowner is still involved in the transaction. Read: emotionally involved. By the time a home is offered as a short sale, the homeowner has already stopped making payments for at least three months and is, to put it mildly, frustrated, scared and angry. (Sound like a friendly transaction is shaping up?)

2) The homeowner has zero financial incentive to accept any offer. Don’t forget, this person is already distracted and dealing with other, larger existential issues and is facing the very real prospect of a significant deficiency judgment being attached to them personally. Not to mention escaping their memory-filled home with nothing more than their tail between their legs…see where this is going?  You’ve already been tuned-out. Anyone who still wants to walk into this emotional hammermill and play the ‘real estate genius’ game by unleashing their superior negotiating skills and showing the seller’s side how large their Hippity Hop™ is should know that (in many cases) unless you are prepared to make a full-priced offer (or more), you’d be better served to continue smashing your cranium.

3) The bank has no obligation to accept your offer anyway. Don’t forget that by definition, the bank is getting “shorted” money. Meaning they must be convinced to accept less than is owed on their mortgage. Read: Zero financial incentive.  So, despite your success in getting the homeowner to sign-off on your offer, (which was a herculean undertaking and tantamount in its grandeur to getting your spouse to sign the pre-nup after the IPO) it is only your first hurdle.

4) The Over/Under on closing the deal is 3 months to never. Yes. You read that correctly. N*E*V*E*R as in not before the end of time. Why? Well, if your offer does get to the bank, it has probably been assigned to a third-party negotiator who then has to determine the reasonableness of your offer. ..along with a hundred other deals just like yours. All the while, the property will NOT be taken off the market so that other bottom-feeders have the opportunity to continue presenting their offers along the way. So, at no point in the life of the transaction can you really rely upon your status in the deal.


1) The homeowner is out of the picture. The bank has already re-purchased the property at auction and now knows exactly their financial position in the asset. They’ve written off the shortage, paid their attorneys, brought the taxes current and cleared the title of any liens. Its just business for them. Numbers pure & simple.

2) The bank wants the return OF their capital. Not a return ON it. The bank’s loss has been booked. Now they need to get as much as they can from you to mitigate their loss. (And know how much the former homeowner will owe them) The bank is now a motivated seller of real estate.

3) No more funny business. If your offer is accepted, then once you meet your contingencies, the property goes off the market and you close in +/- 30 days. The very definition of: You See. You Like? You Buy!™ Just as god intended!

So, what do you want to do? It seems like the decision makes itself.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Buy!™