Tom Dunlap

Tom Dunlap
Broker Associate
TomDunlap.com
BRE# 01713621

Phone: 619-929-1413
Fax: (619) 393-0200
Email: Contact Form

There is no substitute for skill, polished by years of experience, plus a thorough knowledge of the local market. And that’s exactly what San Diego real estate professional Tom Dunlap offers to his clients.

As Broker Associate and team leader, Tom’s association with real estate goes far beyond helping clients achieve their goals; he’s been active in buying, remodeling, and selling his own properties for over 25 years. And, as a true advocate of “America’s Finest City” and San Diego County as a whole, he makes it his business to know what the San Diego real estate market is doing at all times.

Much to his clients’ and associates’ benefit, he freely shares this knowledge.

An attorney in his home state of Texas, before he decided to pursue a career in real estate, he uses his legal background to analyze every angle and be ready for any issues that may come up during a transaction. Because he understands the legal process, he guides clients smoothly through complicated transactions, including those involving probate, trusts, and guardianships.

Tom is is a seasoned negotiator from a variety of perspectives. With a hand-chosen team, expensive but effective software, and ongoing continuing education, he has created a true turnkey process, managed by specialists at each step of the way. All stay up to date on the best and latest methods and market trends in each specific area.

A full-time, full-service agent, Tom has successfully weathered the ups and downs of the San Diego residential and income property real estate markets for over 25 years. He knows how to read the market, make adjustments, and continue getting his clients’ listings sold for the most money in the shortest amount of time.

Tom’s success gives truth to the old saying: “If you want something done right, ask a busy person.” He holds Top Producer status at Ascent Real Estate, often coming in at #1 among Ascent’s 175+ agents.

What do his clients and peers have to say?

“Dependable, accessible, responsive, and detail-oriented” are adjectives both clients and peers use to describe him. He’s also known for cool-headedness in the midst of the sometimes emotionally charged buying and selling process. One client referred to Tom as the “Calm during the storm.”

When Tom left his Texas law practice to pursue a career in real estate, his passion made him an immediate success. He sees this success as a direct result of his fondness for working with people and his dedication to helping his clients accomplish their goals.

 

When you want skill, experience, and knowledge on your side,
call on Tom Dunlap
.

How a Short Sale Will Affect Your Ability to Buy Another Home

Many San Diego homeowners have worked hard to preserve good credit. Some come to us with a pristine credit record, yet are saddled with debt – most of which they have incurred in order to keep current on mortgage payments. The conclusion that they need to offer their house as a short sale is a very heavy one to reach for any homeowner. And, for some, the idea of foreclosure seems painless and quick under the circumstances.

The real fact is that a lender will not like seeing either on your credit. AND, the very real fact is that you can recover your credit within 24 – 36 months after the short sale of your house while 60 months is the minimum after a foreclosure.

There are about as many opinions as people writing or speaking on this topic. The real answer is that no one really knows how a short sale will affect your credit scores.

I hear REALTORS® saying without a doubt… a short sale and a foreclosure are completely different. Then, I hear bankers and mortgage brokers saying that default is default… don’t do it. The truth is, both sides of the coin are right. What the mortgage or loan officer fails to realize is that anyone asking that question is very likely without a BETTER alternative.

Only the people at Fair Isaac, the FICO people, really know what each item does to the math on your credit score. And there are many factors that go into the mix. In addition, since each person has a different credit history, the short sale of a home will affect different people in different ways.

Let’s assume that it is you asking the question. You’re paying the bills on time, but paying off the mortgage is not an option for you. Let’s say you are either in default or headed into default OR that you have decided to keep paying the note on the asset that has lost a large chunk of value.

Let’s assume that you are thinking about the credit risk of foreclosure versus a short sale.

We know that a default is a default. And you will probably never get through a short sale UNTIL you are in default. If you are paying the bills, the lender assumes that you must have some means to do so, somewhere.

So, if you want to Buy a Home After a Short Sale…

A foreclosure will remain on your credit report in the public records section for 10 years. In addition, you will need to answer these questions on any loan application:

  • Have you ever had property foreclosed upon or given title or deed in lieu thereof?
  • Have you directly or indirectly been obligated on any loan which resulted in foreclosure, transfer of title in lieu of foreclosure, or judgment?

There is no such question for short sales.

Again, the real fact is that a lender will not like seeing either a short sale or foreclosure on your credit. But the second very real fact is that you can recover your credit with 24 – 36 months after the short sale of a home while 60 months is the minimum after a foreclosure.

If you’re ready to short sell your house, or simply have questions related to short sales, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

We have a track record of 98% success in selling and closing the short sales we list – and we’ve helped hundreds of San Diego homeowners just like you avoid foreclosure and get on with life.

We’ll be happy to explain the process and answer all your questions.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Don’t use your Visa to make your San Diego home mortgage payment!

Holding on to your home is an honorable goal, but going deep into credit card debt to do so is a sure path to economic ruin.

Your credit cards will only go so far, and then what? You could lose the house to foreclosure and be left with a huge high-interest unsecured debt.

Don’t wait and let the situation get worse.

If you wait, the financial fallout can be even more dire…

If you are in financial trouble or think you may be headed that way, consider getting out from under that house debt through a short sale. Under California law, the banks that own your home loan or loans cannot come back to you for the deficiency if you sell. If you allow the house to go into foreclosure, your second lien holder can sue you and obtain a deficiency judgment.

Meanwhile, if you’ve run up credit card debt that you can’t or don’t want to pay, the credit card companies can also sue and obtain judgments.

The only way out of those judgments is to pay them or file for bankruptcy.

Once you’ve listed your home as a short sale with an experienced San Diego short sale agent, you can stop making those payments – giving yourself space to breathe and to accumulate some funds.

Experienced is the key word. Don’t list with an agent who lacks the experience and expertise to not only find a buyer but to negotiate with the banks to bring your short sale to a closing. This is the time to enlist the aid of short sale specialist.

The economy is still in an unsettled state, being buffeted by forces neither you nor we can control. So conserve your cash and make decisions that will aid in your long term financial health.

To learn more about San Diego short sales and how a short sale will affect you, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com for personalized answers to your short sale questions.

We’ve helped hundreds of San Diego homeowners avoid foreclosure and have a track record of 98% success in selling and closing our short sale listings.

Every situation is different, so use this opportunity to get specific answers for your specific situation.

Call today. We’re here to help.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

What hardship prevents you from making mortgage loan payments?

Before the bank will consider your San Diego short sale you’ll need to show that you’ve suffered a hardship. Thus, short sale hardship letters are a necessary component of a short sale request package.

Does your hardship qualify? Unless you clearly demonstrate a hardship, the bank will assume that you do have the ability to continue making payments, and your short sale request will be denied.

What constitutes a hardship?

A change in circumstance that affects your financial state. For instance:
• Death of a spouse/partner who contributed to the mortgage payments
• Illness that has prevented a person from working
• Layoff
• Divorce
• Change in loan payment due to an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

Short sale hardship letters, which explain what has changed and why, are submitted along with financial information such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and a run-down of monthly expenses.

Have you suffered a qualifying hardship?

If you need help deciding whether your situation qualifies as a hardship for a short sale in San Diego, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

Because we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners successfully sell their homes, we have become well acquainted with each bank’s preferences. We know what needs to be included in short sale hardship letters – and how to say it. We’d be pleased to share that information.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Want the bank to agree to a short sale of your home? You’ll probably need to stop making payments.

San Diego homeowners who have been trying to preserve their credit rating but need to short sell are often dismayed to learn that they’ll probably need to stop making their mortgage payments in order to be considered for a short sale.

This is because the bank wants to see that continuing to make payments is a hardship. If you continue to make payments, no matter how far you’re going into debt to do so, they can’t see the hardship.

Once you stop making payments, you’ll get the attention of the analysts, negotiators and investors at your lending institution(s).

However, this is not the end of the world. If your other payments are up to date and you manage your money carefully, your credit scores will begin to improve as soon as the short sale of your home is final. In as little as 2 years you could be eligible for another home mortgage.

The thing to remember is:Every short sale situation is different. If you’d like specific answers that relate to your situation,call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to ask questions and get answers that relate to your specific situation.

You may even be able to get the short sale of your home approved with all payments current. This largely depends on your lender and how much weight they give to short sale hardship letters. Each asset manager and each homeowner’s situation is different.

If you need help figuring out if you should stop paying your mortgage so you can do a short sale in San Diego, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ve studied each bank’s guidelines, know what carries weight for them in short sale hardship letters, and have developed a working relationship with most bank negotiators – so we can guide you in making that decision.

If you’d like to talk it over, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

The Value of Persistence in a San Diego Short Sale

Robert Ringer, former real estate agent and best-selling author of “To Be Or Not To Be Intimidated,” and “Looking Out for #1,” writes a lot about success. One of his consistent themes is the necessity for persistence.

In one book he tells the story of dealing with call centers. In one instance he wanted to change his account information with a phone company. The representative told him he’d need to print a form, sign it in front of a notary, and mail it in.

But he didn’t want to go through all that, so he hung up and re-dialed. The next representative changed the information in the company computer system and he was done.

Another time he wanted to buy a product in bulk for a certain price. The representative said no, that couldn’t be done. So, once again he hung up and re-dialed.

The next person he talked to agreed to sell him the product in bulk for the price he wanted. He got what he wanted a lot faster and easier than if he had spent time arguing with the first person.

So what does succeeding with call centers have to do with closing San Diego short sales? Both require persistence.

Negotiating the successful short sale of any home begins with having the expertise to properly prepare both the paperwork and the argument in favor of the short sale. It requires having the facts to back the argument, and the persistence to make sure those facts are heard and understood. If the first person we talk with isn’t willing to listen or cooperate, we ask someone else.

Success also requires unrelenting follow-up, so that our clients’ files don’t get shoved aside or forgotten. This persistence increases our odds of success – and it’s a procedure that inexperienced agents don’t even realize they need to use.

When we list your San Diego area house as a short sale, our goal is to help you wipe out the upside down debt and remove the threat of foreclosure. We also want to keep you in a position to get a new mortgage loan in two years rather than the 7 to 8 years you’ll have to wait if your home goes to foreclosure.

Success in those goals requires the kind of persistence that refuses to take no for an answer. And that’s just the kind of persistence that we’ll use on your behalf.

If you are considering the short sale of a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego, call the team that doesn’t give up.

To get your questions answered quickly, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be happy to explain the real estate short sale process and answer any questions you might have about the possible short sale of your San Diego area home.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

For Bank’s Short Sale Negotiators, Common Sense is not a requirement

San Diego real estate agents – and agents across the nation – have a hard time understanding the actions of bank’s short sale negotiators. Often, their decisions and demands are completely lacking in common sense.

A conversation that was related to me by another San Diego real estate agent illustrates the kind of thinking that makes us wonder about their real objectives. Here’s how it went:

Bank’s short sale negotiator:
“I can’t process this short sale without the TPG form filled out with the seller’s full name.”

Agent: “Based on my calculations, this short sale will help your company avoid a $17,000 loss, but you’re telling me that unless I can get you a corrected TPG form, you’ll reject the short sale of this home and subject your company to a potential $17,000 loss.”

Negotiator: “That’s right.”

Agent: “But $17,000 is a lot of money. Don’t you agree?”

Negotiator:
“I don’t care about the money. The TPG form is company procedure.”

You’d think there was a serious mistake, wouldn’t you? But no, that wasn’t the case. And the negotiator was the only one with a problem. The Title company and the buyer’s lender were completely OK with the paperwork as it was.

The problem was a discrepancy in the seller’s name. His full legal name was something like “John W. Doe II.” But one form had “John Doe” entered for the seller’s name. The short sale negotiator was going to reject the short sale of this home unless his name on that form was changed to “John W. Doe II.”

She was willing to subject her investor and/or the banks’ shareholders to a minimum $17,000 loss because she wanted a different piece of paper.

You know that no business person dealing with their own money would take that attitude. But the short sale negotiator wasn’t dealing with her own money. So all she cared about were the procedures and the forms. Common sense didn’t enter the picture at all.

The result of this kind of nonsense is that many banks turn down short sales only to lose more money through a foreclosure.

Had this agent been unable to secure the required form, the house would have gone into foreclosure within 6 months. By then, due to the rate at which market values were falling at the time, it would have lost $13,500 in value by the time of the foreclosure. By the time it went through the foreclosure listing process, it would have lost another $7,000 to $14,000.

But the bank’s negotiator was willing to take that loss unless the form was filled out correctly and re-submitted.

If you were a stockholder in that bank, would you have approved?

This scenario leads us to 2 conclusions:

  • First, the banks need to train their negotiators in the art of using common sense and looking at the bottom line.
  • Second, agents who represent sellers in short sales need to learn how to “head these problems off at the pass.”

Short sale request packages need to be submitted in the manner that pleases the bank. And each bank has a different way of being pleased. Short sale agents need to do their homework.

In addition, agents need to check and double-check the forms before submission. A name discrepancy is minor, but in this case, it nearly put the seller in foreclosure.

Our careful attention to detail and knowledge of what each bank wants is one of the reasons that in nine years of dealing with short sales, we’ve been successful 98% of the time.

So if you need to short sell your house in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

We’ll be happy to meet with you to explain the real estate short sale process and answer any questions you might have.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

In San Diego Short Sales, Knowledge is Power

Sometimes you have to wonder if the bank negotiators even know their own investor’s guidelines. And if they do know the guidelines, why they put roadblocks in front of San Diego residents trying to short sale their homes.

Each investor does have their own guidelines for short sales, which is why a short sale agent’s first step in preparing a short sale package is learning who owns the loan. The next step is knowing that investor’s guidelines.

If the agent doesn’t have that information, an uncooperative short sale negotiator can “run a bluff” or tell an outright lie, and the San Diego short sale agent won’t know the difference.

When it comes to short sales, our knowledge is your power. Call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to tell us your situation and get the answers you seek.

A short sale saved by knowledge…

Not long ago we closed a Kensington short sale owned by Fannie Mae. The bank’s appraiser said this San Diego area home was worth $620,000.

Because we’ve closed short sales on Fannie Mae owned homes in San Diego many times, we knew their guidelines and what they would accept as a percentage of that value.

But, when we presented an offer for $6,000 more than the price we knew was acceptable under those guidelines, the short sale negotiator countered the offer. She said the investor would not go that low and buyers must pay more. They had seen other homes they liked and in fact had a “fall back” home in mind if the bank refused this offer. They weren’t going to pay more.

Because we knew this was an acceptable offer, we were able to persuade the negotiator to accept the offer as it was presented. Had we not known the Fannie Mae guidelines, this sale would have fallen through and the home would have become yet another San Diego foreclosure.

Knowledge is one of the reasons why after 9 years of negotiating San Diego area short sales, we have a 98% success record in keeping homeowners out of foreclosure.

Every short sale situation is different. If you’d like specific answers that relate to your situation, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and to explain the short sale process.

If you’re underwater on a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and need to sell, we can help.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

In a San Diego short sale, do I have to know who owns my mortgage loan?

Yes, when making application to short sell your San Diego house, you really do need to know who owns your loan.

Generally, it isn’t the company you pay. Most loans today are sold almost immediately after being granted. In fact, they may be sold 2 or 3 times within the first few weeks or months. Many are sold to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or a Wall Street Firm.

The company you send payments to is simply a subcontractor, hired to collect payments, handle escrows and accounting, and manage their debt collections and foreclosures. These banks are “asset managers” and now, short sale negotiators, for the investors who actually own the loans.

The “Final Rule” amending Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) went into effect on January 1, 2011, and mandated that ownership must be disclosed. All investors acquiring mortgage loans are now required to provide the consumer with the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner, and the transfer date. They’re also required to provide the homeowner with the name, address, and telephone number of the party who is authorized to receive the mortgage loan payments.

However, most homeowners still don’t know who owns their loans – especially if ownership was transferred prior to January 1, 2011. But don’t worry. This is a detail that experienced San Diego Short Sale agents will ferret out for you.

But if I’m asking for approval to short sale my home, why does it matter who owns my loan?

Because knowing which bank or entity actually owns the loan is vital to short sale negotiations.

Each investor has its own guidelines regarding the selling price they’ll accept for a short sale relative to their own appraisals. Experienced short sale negotiators take the time to learn those guidelines so they can negotiate more effectively with the bank’s asset managers.

Successful San Diego short sale agents:

  1. Develop a working relationship with asset managers / short sale negotiators at each of the banks that handle mortgage loan portfolios for investors
  2. Know each investor’s guidelines
  3. Negotiate from a position of knowledge

We’ve kept hundreds of San Diego area homeowners out of foreclosure since this crisis began. We’d like to do the same for you, so if you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and are thinking about a short sale, get in touch.

You have short sale questions; we have answers.


Call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com We’ll be glad to talk with you with no obligation.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

San Diego Short Sale Success is Often Determined by the Initial Application

Almost any conversation about real estate these days includes a story or two about a San Diego short sale that drug out for 6, 8, or 12 months before closing. Some stories are even worse – they tell of short sales that were rejected after the bank sat on the paperwork for up to 6 months.

The stories are true, but it isn’t likely to happen that way if the listing agent has both expertise and experience with San Diego short sales.

Sometimes the bank’s asset managers are simply slow or inefficient, but more often the delays and problems can be traced back to the San Diego homeowner and his or her listing agent.

It’s all a matter of procedure – and submitting the request properly the first time.

If you want to gain the asset manager’s cooperation, you submit everything they want in a package with the initial short sale request. That makes the asset manager’s job easier – and when you make anyone’s job easier, you set yourself up for a good working relationship.

If you fail to submit the required paperwork, your request will go to the bottom of the stack, and it could be weeks or even months before you get notification about the missing items. Naturally, the negotiation won’t start until the bank has everything it wants.

Over the past several years,we’ve had a 98% success rate in selling and closing the San Diego short sales we list. One reason for that success is that we’ve taken the time to learn what each of the major banks wants in the initial short sale request package. We make sure it’s all there, with the pages arranged in the specified order. In other words, we set the stage for success with the initial contact.

If you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and are considering a short sale, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be happy to explain the process and answer your questions – at no obligation, of course.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Can I buy back the house I’m short selling?

Many San Diego homeowners would like to remain in their homes – but with a considerably lower mortgage payment and a smaller loan balance.

Thus the question arises: Can a seller buy back the house he is short selling? The answer is “Probably not.” In fact, most lenders will not allow you to sell to a relative, a close friend, or a business associate.

Most San Diego short sale contracts require both the buyer and the seller to certify that theirs is an “arms length” transaction.

What is an “arms length” transaction?

According to the Dictionary of Banking terms, an “arms length” transaction is: “A transaction carried out by unrelated or unaffiliated parties, as by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each acting in his own self-interest. Pricing based on such transactions is the basis of fair market valuations.”

If you were to purchase the house yourself or to sell it to someone close to you, the bank might assume that they weren’t getting the highest possible price for the house. And of course, the highest possible price is their goal.

However, while we have not witnessed it, we have been told that some banks will approve a non-arms length transaction if it appears to be in the bank’s best interests. Thus, it can’t hurt to ask. Just don’t be surprised when the answer is “no.”

Depending upon your bank and its policies, you may be able to refinance with a principal reduction or to work out a loan modification.

If a loan modification is your choice, do come and see us before making application.

We have the same software that the banks use to determine whether or not you’re qualified – and we can tell you within minutes what it might take weeks or months to learn from the bank. If it does appear that you qualify, we can also give you information on how to present your case in a manner that gives you the best chance of success.

If neither a refinance nor loan modification will work, list your home as a short sale, get it sold, and move on with your life. The sooner you make the decision the sooner you’ll be out from under the burden of high payments. Then, in just 2 or 3 short years, you’ll be eligible to purchase another San Diego home.

If you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego, and want to put it on the market as a San Diego short sale, we can help. We’ll be glad to answer your questions and explain how a short sale is transacted.

We are short sale specialists. We’ve been successfully handling San Diego area short sales for the past 9 years, with a 98% success rate. We’d be pleased to help you too, so feel free to call with any questions.

To reach us, just call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Who decides which short sale offer to accept? The Homeowner.

The Homeowner decides which offer to accept.

Because the seller’s lender has to approve a short sale, many believe that it is the lender who sees all the offers and decides which to accept. That’s not true. It’s just one of the misconceptions that’s been repeated so often that people have come to believe it.

As long as no foreclosure has been finalized, the homeowner still has the right to accept or reject any offer to purchase his or her home. The lender’s asset manager simply approves or rejects that offer after your agent submits it.

It is the San Diego homeowner who chooses the listing agent and sets the listing price, based on advice from his or her short sale listing agent. When the listing agent is experienced in San Diego short sales, that listing price will fall within a range that’s acceptable to the lender.

It is also the homeowner who chooses which offer to submit to their lender for approval.

A San Diego homeowner may reject any offer – for any reason.

San Diego homeowners aren’t obligated to entertain offers far below market value, and can in fact reject an offer simply because the buyer “rubbed them the wrong way.” It is still their house.

Unfortunately, some San Diego home buyers and their agents don’t understand this. Some believe that the homeowner must accept any offer and submit it to the lender.

Most of the time, homeowners have good reasons for rejecting an offer. Those reasons include:

  • Price: Your agent has advised you that the bank won’t approve an offer below a certain number, and this offer is lower.
  • The buyers want expensive repairs – and you don’t plan to spend any more money on the house.
  • The buyers have included excessive contingencies – a sure sign that they’ve probably submitted multiple offers and could decide to walk.
  • The buyers have not gotten a loan pre-approval – so you don’t know that they could actually close.
  • The buyer has not put down enough earnest money to make you feel that he or she is serious and they refuse to increase it.

If you are underwater with a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and are thinking of short selling, get in touch.

You can reach us by calling 619-929-1413 or writing td@tomdunlap.com.

As San Diego Short Sale specialists, we have helped hundreds of homeowners avoid foreclosure over the past 9 years. In fact, we have maintained a 98% success rate in getting our short sales closed.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Beware of Loan Modification Scams

As most San Diego homeowners know, loan modifications did not turn out to be solution that was promised.

A program that was supposed to give aid to more than 3 million troubled homeowners across the U.S. within the first year has instead, after several years, helped only about 600,000 homeowners nationwide.

So, while we know that most loan modifications fail – or end in foreclosure for San Diego homeowners – the slight chance of success gives hope to some who desperately want to keep their homes.

As a result, troubled homeowners have become the latest “easy target” for con artists. These con artists run crooked companies that promise that for an up-front fee, they’ll handle all the paperwork, details, and follow-up – and the homeowner will get a loan modification.

The truth is, many of these companies don’t even attempt to help the homeowners. They simply take the fees, which can range from $750 up to nearly $4,000. Even worse, they advise the homeowners to stop making payments – a move that almost guarantees foreclosure.

Some of these companies have been shut down and fined. Others are still in operation and still fleecing homeowners when they can least afford it.

If you are considering a loan modification on your San Diego home, please realize that you will be your own most effective negotiator. However, there are things you need to know before you start the process. The first is whether your payments, income and assets fall within your bank’s guidelines for loan modification.

If they don’t, the bank will take your application and let you wait for several months before they send you a rejection notice. By then you will have wasted precious months when you might have been considering other alternatives – such as offering your home as a San Diego short sale in order to avoid the stain of foreclosure.

Talk to us first…

Before you apply for a loan modification, call Tom Dunlap and make an appointment to come in and talk. We have obtained the software and the guidelines that will enable us to tell you within minutes whether your San Diego loan modification application will even be considered.

If the answer is yes, we can explain some things that the banks won’t tell you. For instance:
• How to write an effective hardship letter
• The 3 most common loan modification mistakes – and how to avoid them
• What not to do so you don’t risk being carted off to jail
• How to calculate and present your budget properly to increase your chance of success

If the answer is no, We’ll be happy to explain how you can still avoid foreclosure through the short sale of your San Diego home.

And yes, when considering foreclosure versus short sale, a short sale is the far better choice.

Over the past 9 years, Tom has successfully helped hundreds of San Diego area homeowners avoid foreclosure through short sales. In fact, he has a 98% success rate. He can do the same for you – as long as you don’t wait too long to ask for assistance.

So if you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and are contemplating either a loan modification or a short sale,call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to tell us your situation. We’ll be happy to help you determine whether you’ll be eligible for a loan modification, explain the real estate short sale process, and answer your questions about both the benefits and consequences of a short sale.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Why Won’t My Agent Show Me Short Sale Listings?

More and more San Diego buyers’ agents are steering their buyers away from short sales. One lady who called on us to show her our short sale listings asked why her former agent refused.

With short sales making up a good portion of the inventory, she felt that she was narrowing her choices and probably missing out on some bargains. And of course, she was.

Buyer agents who know short sales are always willing to show our short sale listings.
The first reason many buyer agents steer clients away from short sales is that the client has indicated a need to purchase and close in a short time frame. In that case, the buyer should avoid short sale listings. No matter how skilled the listing agent happens to be, a short sale takes longer than a traditional sale, simply because it requires approval from so many people.

Depending upon the bank’s procedures, an experienced short sale agent can usually gain approval within 30-90 days. With an inexperienced listing agent it could take 6 months or more.

Getting approval from a homeowner can take only a day or two.

Next, the San Diego buyer’s agent in question may have had a bad experience.

She may have submitted a short sale offer on a home listed by an agent who didn’t submit the short sale request properly, or who didn’t follow up. Or, perhaps the listing agent was a poor negotiator. Or, perhaps the buyers’ agent didn’t understand his or her duties in the short sale process.

The number of problems that inexperience can cause are what lead us to say “Always use an experienced short sale agent.”

However, all of us had a first short sale, so we don’t want to bash anyone for jumping into something new. An inexperienced agent can do well if they have an experienced agent as a mentor to give assistance and advice as they go through the process the first few times.

Although no one can predict what the banks will do in each new transaction, we who specialize in San Diego short sales are careful to study each bank’s policies and procedures so that we can price our listings correctly and present an acceptable package the first time. Knowing what each lender wants and expects also enables us to negotiate from a strong position.

If your agent refuses to show you San Diego short sales, ask why. If you have time restraints, then your agent is correct. You should avoid them. But if the reason is your agent’s prior bad experience with short sales, ask him or her to only show you San Diego short sales listed by agents who specialize in short sales and have an outstanding track record for closing.

If you’re a buyer looking for an agent to guide you expertly through a short sale purchase, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to tell us your wants and needs. We’ll be pleased to do a search on your behalf.

We specialize in San Diego short sales – and we’ve successfully sold and closed 98% of our listings over the past 9 years.

We’ll be happy to show you our current short sale listings. And if you’re already working with a buyer’s agent, we’ll be pleased to cooperate with that agent to help you own the home of your dreams. Ask your agent to get in touch with us.

If you have questions about the short sale process and how it differs from purchasing a non-distressed San Diego home, please do call us at 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Divorce – what to do with the house?

One of the questions that must be answered in divorce is “What do we do with the house?”

If you’ve needed your combined income to maintain the payments on your San Diego home, neither of you can handle it alone, so you’re forced to make a decision.

One choice is to keep the house and rent it out to cover the payments. Another is for one of you to remain in the house and rent a portion of it to assist with payments. However, renting does come with its own problems. One is compromising the tax status. The other is dealing with tenant issues such as collecting rents and performing “fix-up” duties after a tenant moves out. Your neighborhood zoning may also be a factor.

The other choices are selling or letting the house go into foreclosure.

Selling your San Diego home is always the best option.

If you have equity in the home, this is obviously the easiest and best solution. But even if your San Diego home is “underwater,” selling as a short sale is not only possible but will be more beneficial to both of you.

*Should you short sale or shouldn’t you? Call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to get advice from San Diego’s top short sale specialist, Tom Dunlap.

When You Let Your San Diego Home Go Into Foreclosure…

At first glance, this might sound like a good option. One of you can remain in the home without making payments until a foreclosure is final. With many lenders taking a year or even longer to complete a foreclosure, that would give you breathing space and time to put away some funds before needing to find a rental. At the very least, you’ll have about 6 months from the time you make the last payment.

But this option does have drawbacks. First, it will severely damage your credit scores and thus your ability to rent or buy a home in the future – and even your ability to get a job. And unless only one of you signed the mortgage documents, this damage will apply to both of you.

It doesn’t matter if the divorce decree gave the house to one spouse. What matters is whose signature is on the mortgage loan application(s).

Next, if you have a home equity line of credit, the second lien holder can sue you and obtain a deficiency judgment. And, just as everyone’s credit scores will suffer, this judgment will obligate anyone whose name is on the application.

Finally, if you allow your house to go into foreclosure, you’ll both be ineligible for a new mortgage loan for from 5 to 7 years.

Good reasons to choose a San Diego short sale instead

Your credit scores will take a smaller hit and notice of the short sale will “fall off” your credit report in seven years rather than ten.

The time before you can get a new loan will also be shorter. After the short sale of a home, if you meet the other qualifications, you can get a new mortgage in as little as 2 years.

Short sale consequences are far less severe than the consequences of a foreclosure…

So if you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and are facing divorce and loss of income, think seriously about a short sale.

Call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to ask your questions and tell us the situation. We’ll give you straight answers.

First, we’ll be happy to help you determine whether you do have equity in today’s market. Then, if you need to short sale your house, we’ll explain the real estate short sale procedure and answer all your questions.

We specialize in San Diego short sales and over the past 9 years have maintained a 98% success rate in getting short sales closed. So get in touch. We’d like to help you avoid foreclosure, too.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

What does it cost to list my San Diego home as a short sale?

Have you been approached by a real estate agent offering to put your San Diego home on the market as a short sale – for a fee?

Unfortunately, many have. And it shouldn’t have happened.

The truth is, San Diego homeowners who enter in to the short sale of a home don’t have to pay a dime. Reputable agents don’t charge a listing fee, and the selling costs, including commissions, are all paid by the mortgage lender from the proceeds of the sale.

The only costs that should be associated with the sale are those the homeowner incurs as a part of getting the home ready for market. For instance, you might pay to have the carpets shampooed or invest in some new paint to brighten up the kitchen.

Why would the bank pay your selling costs?

For one thing, they know that in most cases the homeowners don’t have the required funds. Secondly, the costs to the bank are far less than they’d pay as the result of a foreclosure.

With a foreclosure, they have to pay attorney fees and property preservation fees in addition to the real estate agent’s commission, title insurance fees, etc. Then, because it’s a foreclosure, the selling price will probably be lower. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, a short sale reduced a lender’s losses by 20% over a foreclosure.

Thus, paying the short sale agent is simply a good business decision on the part of the bank.

The good news is: Even though it costs you nothing, you can still obtain expert help for the short sale of your San Diego home.

We have a 98% success record in selling and closing the short sales we list. So if you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, Metro San Diego, or downtown San Diego and are considering a short sale, get in touch.

To reach us, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Testimonial 3

man standing by a truck

“My financial picture had changed. I had to sell my Hillcrest home on a short sale. You fielded all of the documents required by my lender and were able to hold my hand through the process. The market I had to work with was 110% a buyer’s market, so this was a very tough project. ”

“I don’t know what I would have done without your professionalism throughout.”