Short Sale Case Study – Animal lover and single mom of two

Animal lover and divorced mom of two gets a fresh start

Name – Susan A. from Algonquin, IL
Occupation – Licensed nurse practitioner
Income – $70K
Combined Debt Load – $175K first mortgage, + $45K HELOC = $220K
An ancient dog greeted me with enthusiasm at Susan’s front door at her home in Algonquin, in defiance of his advanced age.  A quickly thrown chew toy was required to gain proper entrance to the kitchen.  Even the cats came out to see what the fuss was about and promptly plopped into my lap as we sat down at her kitchen table.  This home was bursting with cherished pets, but it was plain how much stress Susan’s current situation was placing on her.

“I thought once the divorce was final, things would get easier.  Now it is final, but my ex won’t cooperate with the house.  I can’t get him to agree to the sale of house, but he won’t pay the mortgage and I can’t do it all on my own,” she said.  “I don’t know what to do.”

Reason for selling:
Still struggling to come to terms with a twenty year marriage ending in divorce, Susan was stuck.  The house was in poor condition, and it needed many repairs.  Susan wasn’t in a financial position to pay for fixing it up to sell it as a regular sale.  The home was underwater on combined debt of the mortgage and HELOC.  She was convinced she had no way out.


 A fellow animal lover and parent, Susan has two grown kids and no longer wanted to fix up her large, older home.  Her husband and her separated a while back before finalizing the divorce.  It was then she realized her finances were heading for troubled waters.

Although she made a good salary, she struggled with the mortgage payments on her own.  The first thing she did was work with her lender.  She arranged a loan modification for 6 months.  Once it expired, she knew it was time to make a difficult decision about her home.  That’s when Susan’s attorney referred her to the Fox Valley Short Sale team.

It didn’t take long to realize Susan was struggling under heavy payments and expensive home repairs.

“Susan, you can still qualify for a short sale on your home.  You’ve made every effort to work through this.  With a short sale, it is sold as-is, so you don’t have to pay for the repairs before selling the home,” I said.

The transformation of pure relief across Susan’s face was amazing.  For the first time in a  hour, she smiled.  Understanding that the financial burden no longer rested on her shoulders, and that she wasn’t trapped, she felt hope.

“I’m ready to start fresh,” she said.

We chatted a while once we signed the listing documents.  I explained how I would get her ex to cooperate.  When I spoke to him, I just explained  how a foreclosure would do major damage to both their credit histories and would last for years.  I also told him that a short sale has less of an impact on credit than a foreclosure.

“A short sale washes away equity and no parties will profit in the short sale because there are no proceeds,” I said.  “The home is also not worth as much as what was owed on it, which means it is underwater on value.”  I told him both he and his ex wife could get clear of the mortgage by doing a short sale.  It would also cut the final tie to their old life.  He agreed to the sale.

Find out more about short sales here:

What the Market Said:
A comparative market analysis showed a wide range of single family homes that were active in her neighborhood.  Active properties were listed in the mid $250K range and closing for $240K and higher, but these were in good, move in ready condition.  Due to the poor condition of Susan’s home, we listed it for $199,000, sold as-is, with no home warranty or repairs.


As so often is the case, getting two ex spouses to agree was the biggest challenge.  Usually the idea of losing equity from the sale of the home is the largest sticking point.  However, a short sale washes out any equity, so no home seller sees any profits.  It is a break even type of sale. No party receives any profit under the rules of the short sale. Once the ex spouse realized that neither of them would benefit financially from the home going into foreclosure, the short sale was agreed upon.

Once we got all parties on board with selling the home, the sellers received an offer from a qualified buyer for $175K.  The buyers also submitted a list of repairs the home needed, to identify why their offer came in so low.

After reviewing the buyer’s offer, the home appraisal,  the repair list, and noting the poor condition, the lender made a counter-offer at $185K, which was accepted by the buyers.   She paid for no repairs, no fees, no closing costs, no attorney fees, and no realtor commissions.


Susan has rented a pet friendly condo close by her son, who is local to the Algonquin area.  She and her dog and two cats are enjoying a fresh start, with an easy, no fuss rental and much more affordable payment.  Susan is also planning on pushing ahead her nursing career by going back to school with her new found financial freedom.  She is not certain if she ever wants to purchase a home again, but now she more options.


Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct to get on track for 2016.


Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Twitter: @jkinzle
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group



Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

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