Avoiding Pitfalls: Keys to Short Sale Success

Title: “Avoiding Pitfalls: Keys to Short Sale Success”

Episode: 229

“Even if you are still working a day job, you can still do this on the side and should do this on the side until you have a pipeline.”

In this episode of Profit First for REI podcast, we interviewed David Randolph. He is a real estate investor best known for his highly profitable success in the Short Sales arena. 

He has one of the best systems that gets people real results. Now, he wants to share it with you! 

Listen as you will learn great lessons: ways of buying properties, getting into real estate, and how to do short-sale deals. Enjoy the show!

Key Takeaways:

[00:46] Introducing David Randolph [02:28] Focusing on short sales [09:07] The pitfalls of short sales [10:54] How long is the cash conversion cycle? [16:10] The team size on short-sales [20:12] Right way to run a business [26:00] “I would’ve sought expert help in the education field earlier.” [27:12] Connect with David Randolph


[08:22] “You want to run a business? You want to make money? Short sales is one way to make a lot of money.” [13:48] “Anybody in the United States can negotiate a short sale with the bank. Anybody, with the exceptions of California and Florida…” [21:19] “When you are making a lot of money, you don’t need a lot of money to live off of. So why should you be making it and paying taxes? Why don’t you do these deals in your retirement account vehicles?”

Connect with David:

Website: https://thedavidrandolph.com/ 

Tired of living deal to deal? 

If you are a real estate investor or business owner who is tired of living deal to deal and want to double your profits, head over here to book your no-obligation discovery call with me. Either myself or someone from my team will hop on a short call with you to get clear on your business goals, remove any obstacles holding you back, and map out a game plan to help you finally start keeping more of the money you work so hard to make. – David


Speaker 1 (00:00):

It’s all about when you’re making a lot of money, you don’t need a lot of money to live off of. Why should you be making it and paying taxes? Why don’t you do these deals in your retirement account? IRA vehicles instead of doing them in your LLC?

Speaker 2 (00:18):

If you’re a real estate investor who’s sick and tired of living deal to deal, then welcome home. Hear from everyday real estate investors just like you, and discover how they’ve completely transformed their business by taking a profit First approach. This is the profit first for REI podcast, where we believe revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity. It’s time to start making profit a habit in your business. So here’s your host, David Richter.

Speaker 3 (00:45):

Have David Randolph on the show today. Super excited to have him on because he can teach you a way of buying properties that if you are not doing right now in your repertoire, I would add to it. Or if you’re looking to get into real estate, this might be the way to do it because he says, and I quote, even if you’re still working a day job, Walmart, wherever, you can still do this on the side and should do this on this side until you have a pipeline. And I think this methodology works. I know several people that use this, that this is a great method of buying properties for them and they make insane amounts of money on the backend. So I highly encourage you to listen to this whole episode. Take as much as you can and learn from David. Thank you for listening to the show. Hey, so we have David Randolph here in the studio. Super excited to have him. He’s the short sale cane. There’s other people out there doing short sales. I feel like he’s got one of the best systems out there that gets people real results and big results too. So David, thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 1 (01:48):

Yeah. Hey, listen, I’m so excited to be here.

Speaker 3 (01:51):

I’m excited to have you because I’ve now met you several times throughout the years at different events and all people I respect and then I loved it. One of the meetings that we were at together, I feel like they really dove into your business and started picking it apart and asking you a million questions. That was one of the funnest things to be because you were just painting pawning every single question back to them. And here, this is what I do, and no, it’s not like that. It’s like this and it was great. But before we go into the nuts and bolts of that, what made you focus on short sales specifically when there’s so many exit strategies or ways to get into real estate or ways to acquire?

Speaker 1 (02:28):

Well, my wife and I started in real estate together back in 2009, and as you recall, that was a pretty big crisis in temporary

Speaker 3 (02:37):

At that time. Yeah, quite a big one.

Speaker 1 (02:38):

Foreclosures were everywhere. And so we said, okay, look, we’re new to real estate. We have to have a method to buy houses. How do we want to do that? And we thought, well, yeah, we could buy off the MLS, but that’s kind of impersonal. And we thought, Hey, how can we help families out? How can we help take a family who’s in trouble in a life situation, in a crisis situation, step in, be able to help them out and still run this as a business and make money? And so back then, that was short sales, that was stopping that bank who was taking that home from the homeowner, often not following any kind of guidelines at all. And so I don’t want to say it was kind of a ministry for my wife and I, we were absolutely making money at it, but we decided that we wanted to have a contribution to this to be able to help these families out, keep ’em in the houses longer, get the money from the bank, get their credit reports cleaned up from foreclosure and stuff. So it was kind of a way to help families out.

Speaker 3 (03:37):

Okay. I love that. I think we could probably stay there for a little bit, but I think a lot of people don’t go into real estate thinking that sometimes what’s the best way we could help and what’s the route that we could in really helping families? So I think that’s a great first question to ask to yourself. So if you’re listening to this, take that and run with it. How can you help in this situation with the sellers out there in the marketplace? So then you stuck with short sales. So you started in 2009 and you went the short sale route up upfront. So from then right up front,

Speaker 1 (04:12):


Speaker 3 (04:13):

How many short sales have you done then over the years?

Speaker 1 (04:16):

Not very many at all. Okay. So I’ll give you my 32nd background of what I’m as a real estate investor. So back then I started out with my wife and I doing it now she doesn’t do it with me anymore, by the way. She’s now into health and wellness and has her own business and everything. Like

Speaker 3 (04:34):

Health coaching or Yeah. Yeah. Oh, very

Speaker 1 (04:37):

Cool. Yeah, she’s got her own business now and real estate’s funding it.

Speaker 3 (04:40):

That’s awesome

Speaker 1 (04:42):

There. But anyway, we started out new in 2009, and so I learned how to rehab houses. So basically I’m a rehabber. I rehab five to 10 houses a year. Now, one of my claims to fame is all my renovated houses that I put up for sale on the MLS under 265,000 here in St. Louis, Missouri where I live, they have all sold in seven days or less Atlas price or higher for 14 years.

Speaker 3 (05:12):


Speaker 1 (05:12):

Drop dead gorgeous. Now I kind of have an unfair advantage. I’m making 50. This is me personally, not else but me. And so I’m making 50 to $150,000 profit on each house, and these are 250,000 houses. So it’s not that impressive. They sold in seven days. I want to stay three days, just lower the price and make 140,000. Right? But the cool part is that that way of buying houses, my method is short sale. That’s what I do. I work with the homeowner. So I want to be clear, these are not on the MLS with the realtor. These are not listed, but I work with the homeowner, stop the foreclosure date and then negotiate directly with the bank, and that’s the kind of short sale that I do. Very unique. I am the buyer and the negotiator. Anyway, so we started doing that as our way of buying houses and started getting really good at that for 14 years that I ended up with over three and a half million dollars in cash in my retirement accounts, my IRAs 4 0 1 Ks.


Now I am not retired. So it’s like, oops, what do I do? And so I basically became what’s called a hard money lender, somebody that lends money to other rehabbers, but my heart is to help the new rehabbers. So as my money. So I said, okay, my heart is to help new people get started. So I actually currently and for 11 years have been giving them all the money to buy it, to fix it up. The points on the loan, the monthly interest payments, they need no money at all. It’s all paid back when they sell the house. There’s no credit check, no tax returns, no bank statements, and it goes on for another two pages of stuff on there. And you’ve got

Speaker 3 (07:00):

To really trust those people then.

Speaker 1 (07:02):

Well, yes and no. Let’s think about it this way in the lending program, and this is the way it should be in any hard money program is the worst thing that happens to me is they pay me back. Okay. If they don’t, then I get the house and I make all their profit that they walked away from. So when you are a rehabber as I am, the risk is very low for me to be a hard money lender. I can take the house back and stuff. But anyway, so moving on from there. Then I basically about four years ago, people said, Hey, David, you need to teach other people how to do that in short sales. And so a lot of the greats that are out there, John hired Jeff Watson, Pete Fordo and others, McCloskey, and many others said, you need to teach that. So four years ago I started teaching other people how to do short sales, and it’s just been an awesome time.


I had a student last month who basically reported to me that he made $98,000 profit on his first short sale, and last year, I know I had four other students report the same thing. The banks are dumping their houses, and that’s kind of really a good takeaway from this podcast here for your viewers is, Hey, you want to run a business? You want to make money. Short sales is one way to make a whole lot of money. Then you got to deal with all the taxes and all the expenses and everything and everything that you teach. That’s what you set people up, is to run a business. Well, the whole thing to business is marketing and having income, right? Right, exactly. A great way. But anyway, so now I’ve been teaching it for four years and I got students all across the United States, and so I’m just kind of a regular real estate investor guy teaching other people how to do it.

Speaker 3 (08:55):

That’s awesome. So then with all of your experience with short sales, what are some of the biggest pitfalls of short sales and getting into that world that might keep someone away that you’ve been able to conquer and overcome?

Speaker 1 (09:07):

The biggest one is most people are afraid that they’re going to hurt the homeowner. So they never step in to help them. They never step in to do anything to get them out of foreclosure. Look, these people have made their own mistakes. They got their self into their own situation. You’re not going to be making it any worse for them.


So people will shy away from that. The other strange one is this. This is very interesting. They say, well, I tried short sales and it was horrible and it was terrible. They lost my paperwork and it was just terrible to do it. That’s a myth. It’s a giant myth. The banks are institutions, government regulated. They don’t lose squat. They don’t lose anything. What happened was you didn’t know how to fill out the paperwork. You sent it into the bank and they rejected it. Now, they’re not paid to teach you on the telephone how to do a short sale and how to fill it out. So you say, well, this sucks, and can we say that on a podcast? Yeah, yeah, it’s fine. So this sucks and they lost my paperwork and it’s terrible and everything. No, you filled it out wrong. They rejected your paperwork and you thought they lost it. And so that’s a big other myth that people have with this that keeps investors probably from stepping in is this wrong notion that the banks lose their paperwork. It’s not true at

Speaker 3 (10:30):

All. Okay, so you’re making a lot of money on when you buy it off of short sale, what is usually the turnaround time from you actually get the property either under contract, you’re able to move forward to buy it to when the cash comes in the door, like your cash conversion cycle. How long is it usually these short sales? Are they all different?

Speaker 1 (10:54):

Yeah. Well, I mean generally, how long does it take to negotiate a short sale? Well, my answer to that is as long as possible. Okay. Because the longer it takes, the lower your prices. Like the house I did on drive, I bought it for $29,600 and sold it for 2 75. I was in no hurry to speed that one up. The longer I take the lower the price that I get, it allows me the opportunity to dispute, dispute and dispute with the bank more and more, but generally around four months, six months. So it does take a while, and I tell people, Hey, look, don’t quit your day job. If you’re working at Walmart, stay at Walmart until you get a backlog of about 10 of these built up and you’re rehabbing maybe 10 houses, then quit your job. But there’s no work. I mean, the fastest one that I did, I got a one-on-one coaching program, and I needed these training videos for one house all the way through.


So I did an entire short sale in two months. Okay. Whoa. Two months very fast now, and it was actually only 22 hours, so there’s a good 22 hours is all that work was for the house. Now, I bought the house for $58,000. Okay, this is 26, 29 Susan Avenue. You can go look it up. And so I bought it for 58,000, but I know I could have bought it for 42. I know I could have, but that would’ve taken another three calendar weeks of time with a bank and another two hours to negotiate that. But I needed the videos, and so I stopped there and I bought it for 58. Now, you don’t need to cry for me because I did a $30,000 rehab, so I had 88 in it, and then I sold it on public records for $220,000. So sometimes you don’t need to get the 42. So I think it’s a variable thing that you need to decide how low a price you want to get with a bank.

Speaker 3 (12:49):

Okay, so I like how you said that too, that if you’re going to start to do these, don’t quit your day job, but once you get a backlog, then it could be like, yeah, now we can’t quit the day job because of the backlog that you get there. That’s just very interesting to me that you’re making that profit consistently. Do you think your market has a lot to do with it too? Can people do this in any market?

Speaker 1 (13:16):

Oh, I’ve got students in six different states. The one last month was in Chattanooga, Tennessee that he made $98,000. A short sale is federal. The short sale process is identical in every state, what you do with the bank, and that negotiation is identical in every state. Now, the only that’s interesting, what we might think of as some exception to it would be that in California and Florida, so let’s do it backwards. I’ll say it this way. Anybody in the United States can negotiate a short sale with a bank. Anybody with the exceptions of California and Florida in both those states, you need to work with a realtor, a licensed real estate agent on it. But that’s fine because I actually do that in Missouri anyway, because I have a team approach to this, and I have a realtor on my team to do the listing farming.


I pay off a thousand dollars flat fee transaction broker agreement with them and have me on there anyway, just because I don’t want to have to go through. See, I used to, people have so many misconceptions that banks that, do you have to list a home? Well, yes and no. And I used to have a series of paperwork emails I gave you the bank where basically they’re saying, well, we want you to list the home on them LS. And I’m like, really? Do you really want me to do that? And I would send these things in. Finally, I would get to this one that I would say to the bank, okay, so wait, Mr. Bank, let’s see. So we an agreed, we have a purchase sale contract. We got the buyer sell on a contract, and you’ve come out and you’ve done this appraisal and you’ve determined the value of what you want for it, and it’s the same number and the same price.


So everybody’s got an agreement, but yet you want me to now go list the house? Okay, wait, let me go get the realtor. We’ll drop your net by 6%. Okay, the commission, so it’s going to drop it now, hang on. I’ll go get the realtor and they’ll go, wait, wait, wait, wait. No, you’re right. We don’t need a realtor because see now they’re bottom line. They just lost 6%. Okay, so you can do that even today on some most short sales. I don’t actually do it because I’m lazy, because I just don’t want to take that time that I would lose physically like three weeks, four weeks of time that I just pay a thousand dollars flat fee to a listing agent who does nothing, zero. They don’t make any decisions. I fill all the paperwork out. I do everything with the homeowner. They literally get their wire at closing and say, Hey, Dave, I guess you did another short seal. Yep. Check your email for your signed documents for your brokers. So you’re inclined save your PDFs and stuff. And so anybody can do this across the United States.

Speaker 3 (16:02):

That’s awesome. Now you don’t run a huge team. Correct. What does the team size look like to run this type of operation?

Speaker 1 (16:11):

Well, maybe you can explain that to us. What’s a typical team size you see in a business? It’s the same. I have a bookkeeper. I have a rehab manager for my rehabs, it’s no different. Okay. I’m doing the negotiation with the bank, but my bookkeeper’s typing all the paperwork up because I make too much money to type. I have a person that mails my letters. I make too much money to hand write letters. I’m just sorry. That’s where I’m at. So I pay a lady with shaky handwriting to send out the letters to the people that are in trouble. The foreclosure people, those who have a foreclosure date, that’s who I mail to, who I’m trying to help is those with a publicly listed foreclosure date on it. And so the team is really small, and if you’re going to wholesale, then you don’t need a rehab manager. You might have somebody that might help you list it. I mean, so on my exit side, when I rehab the house, I’ve got a realtor that I pay an hourly wage to sell my houses because I think realtors should get more than just a commission. So I actually pay an hourly wage for a realtor to work for me all the time, so that way they’re not starving in between paycheck type thing. So it’s really a very small team on there.


It’s 22 hours over two months.

Speaker 3 (17:40):

Yeah. Wow. No, that’s incredible. It sounds like if you’re listening to this, this is something you could jump into. You don’t need a bunch of on the team, and you don’t have to quit your day job. So it’s sound better and better. Okay. You had talked about you’re making 50 to one 50 for your profit. Is that average? What’s average for, if someone goes out there and you teach people,

Speaker 1 (18:06):

The official number for me is like $91,000. But the granularity is that if I basically rehab the house, I make $150,000. If I wholesale it, then I make $80,000. So it’s generally how it works and everything. That’s kind of pretty much how it works.

Speaker 3 (18:33):

So if you rehab it, you squeeze more juice off. If you wholesale it, you’re still

Speaker 1 (18:38):

Sing it. So I’ll give you another example then of one, because the A RV, the after repair value, what did you sell it for? Plays a factor. If it’s a small house or a large house, you’re going to make more or less money. And I’m not going to say that I wish I lived in California and bought $800,000 houses for 200,000. I’m not saying I would move to California, but the A RV, the value of the home does make a difference. I’m in that $250,000, $350,000 price range in St. Louis, Missouri. But here’s a good example of one where basically I bought a house as a short sale for 270,000, and I sold it for three 70. So I made a hundred thousand dollars and I did absolutely nothing with it to it at all. I mean, I put some outlets in the basement because the kids stole ’em and wires were hanging out. But anyway, so I made a hundred thousand dollars on a wholesale right there, and that was in my Roth IRA. So I mean, it kind of ranges, but it’s a lot of money. If you’re doing the rehab, then you’re bringing the most value to society to the side.

Speaker 3 (19:43):

Yeah, that’s awesome. So I love this strategy of the short sale, buying it for the short sale. And then I love how you have the different exit strategies on the backend, just depending on the property, what you want to do with it. Now, I want you to touch a little bit, you did touch on it, the self-directed IRA and funding deals and that type of thing. How did you learn to utilize your retirement money basically to do this stuff?

Speaker 1 (20:12):

Well, it, it’s all about, how do I say this? I’ll try what’s happened to me in the past. I’ve got a coaching program, and in that coaching program, the student always wants to get their money back right away


Because I charge a very large fee to teach people how to do this on a one-on-one basis on it. And so here’s what happens, how it goes. So the first house they do during the year, let’s say they make $150,000 profit on the house, so the student’s really happy, right? Cool. I did this. I did what David said. I made $150,000. The second house that they do during the year, they make $150,000 profit. Now their wife is happy, right? Okay. Yeah. Right. Now, here’s what happens. The third house, they do the third house that year make $150,000. And what happens is now they’re both pissed at me, okay? Because they now crossed into the Biden zone where they’re making too much money and paying too much taxes. Now they’re mad at me, which is why I now teach people how to tax bracket structure their entities. So it’s all about when you’re making a lot of money, you don’t need a lot of money to live off of, so why should you be making it and paying taxes? Why don’t you do these deals in your retirement account? IRA vehicles instead of doing them in your LLC? And so for me, it was just making so much money that it’s like, my gosh, it makes me sick to pay these taxes, and the money’s just sitting there in the bank. I don’t have seven Lamborghinis. I don’t even have one.


And so it’s then, okay, who can we learn from? Teach us to do real estate in S corporations partnerships, Roth IRAs, 4 0 1 Ks. And so you start doing those deals. I mean, here’s kind of how it happened. For me personally, I asked my wife, how much money do you want to spend this year? And she would say, I want to spend this much, so I would do all my deals in my LLC to hit that number, and then the rest of the year I would do them all in retirement vehicles in a tax free or tax deferred manner. And so that’s kind of how that grew out of it. Now, sometimes when she wasn’t looking, I’d slip one in there too, in the Roth, but

Speaker 3 (22:35):

That’s great.

Speaker 1 (22:36):

Yeah. I mean, it’s just necessity. You got to get expert advice and from people like you that teach people how to handle their expenses and not end up at the end of the year where they didn’t set up a separate account to pay their taxes, it’s a horrible situation.

Speaker 3 (22:54):

Yeah, no, and I love that, that you’re not only teaching people how to make money and a lot of money, but then once you’re making enough that you can live off of what you should do with the rest, you pay as little in taxes as possible. So it’s like you’re teaching people, it sounds like, to make enough to live off of and then helping them build real wealth for the longterm as well too.

Speaker 1 (23:16):

Yeah, I mean, that’s the very first thing we do in the coaching program is the first two hours is what are your existing entities? Who do you have living at home that you can make, do work for you like an older child that hasn’t moved out yet, a sister nearby? And then are you doing these in entities that are meeting your long-term goals? Are you planning out your budget? Are you setting up accounts like you talk about and stuff? You’re the expert in that area, and so what you teach and what you’re an expert in is not what I would call a secret. It’s a way of doing it. It’s like, let’s do it. Right? Okay. And so that’s what you’re teaching is the right way to run a business, and so that’s important for everybody to do, including me.

Speaker 3 (24:09):

Your journey has been a pretty incredible one. Would you change anything that you’ve done on your journey, or would you take the same path?

Speaker 1 (24:17):

Well, I don’t know. My wife and I had an argument. My wife and I had an argument once because whenever I’d buy a short sale, she’d always come over to the house and then she would help say, we’re going to do this to it and do this in the rehab, and that was all great. And one time we went to this house and she said, we’re going to move into it. And I said, no, no, no. This is a job. It’s business. This is a house. We’re going to fix it up. We’re going to sell it. We’re going to put food on the table. She’s like, no, no, no, no. We’re moving into it. I’m like, no, no, no, no, we’re not. And so anyway, I probably would’ve done that one a little bit differently.


She actually said the D word. Oh my gosh. So anyway, we ended up compromising. What happened was I was basically buying it for like 200,000 and it was going to be worth like 600, like, holy cow, that’s a lot of taxes anywhere and stuff. What ended up happening was we moved in, but she agreed that in two years we’d sell it and get section 1 21 of the IRS code, which is let’s a married couple get $500,000 tax free. So now I am happy because this huge profit’s going to be completely tax free and in our pocket, in our hand, not in an IRA. So that’s going to satisfy her for a long time, and I can do a lot of deals in my IRAs anyway. It got to be, I probably would’ve done it differently now, currently still living in this house eight years later.

Speaker 3 (25:47):

I was going to say, do you still live there? She won. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (25:54):

But no, I don’t know. I think probably what I would’ve done different is I probably would’ve sought expert help in the education field. Earlier, I was very much of a loner and I bought a lot of materials, a lot of materials, but I didn’t go towards the coaching side as much as I should have today. You can get coaches everywhere, okay. I mean, goodness sakes, you guys can do fractionalized CFOs, okay, yeah, that didn’t exist back then. There weren’t a lot of coaches and mentors back then. You could buy courses and CDs, but there wasn’t a lot of what I call coaching back then, and I regret that if I would’ve got with a coach quicker, because I’m seeing it with my students now. They’re jumping in literally 14 years into my experience level. I think that I would’ve probably taken advantage of that

Speaker 3 (26:51):

Earlier, and that’s a lot of people’s answer is, I wish I would’ve had this experience faster, wish I would’ve paid for it, or would’ve had something in my life like that, and talk about that. How do people get ahold of you if they’re like, okay, this sounds amazing. I want to see if I could work with David. I want to do short sales as a part of my buying process. How would they get ahold of you?

Speaker 1 (27:12):

A couple of ways. I got a pretty cool website called the david randolph.com. Now, it’s interesting. David randolph.com was taken and I was heartbroken. It’s like, oh, you got to be kidding me. No way. And then some people said to me, wait a minute. Wait, aren’t you the David Randolph? I’m like, yeah, I’m the, yeah, GoDaddy, GoDaddy. Give me the david randolph.com, and so they can go there and get a lot of information. They could actually, I started doing this free two hour workshop. If they text the word Ws workshop ws to my cell phone, they can get onto a completely free two hour short sale training workshop and learn all about it. Not selling anything on it costs nothing to get in, nothing to get out. Literally just doing a market update for why the banks are dumping houses and teaching you more definition of what a short sale really is. So Ws to 6 3, 6 6, 8, 5, 2, 9, 9 0. Just text ws to that phone number. That’ll give you a website to put your email in, and we’ll get you in on the next free workshop.

Speaker 3 (28:24):

Awesome. Well, that’s very cool. That’s good stuff. I know people will be wondering, okay, how in the world do I make these types of profits? Or even if they’re already down the road on the real estate investing journey. This has been awesome. This has been great information. I’ve learned a lot, and if you’re out there and you’re wanting to get into that, go to the david randolph.com and then or back it up and text ws to that phone number as well too. Then from here, if you’re also being like, okay, I want to make a lot of money and I am making money, but where in the world is it all going? Just like David had said, we run the other side. If you’re going to make the money, you might as well keep it, so go to simple cfo.com. That’s where we can at least help you see if we are a good fit or we could pin you to someone in our network to help you keep more of what you’re making. Thank you, David, for being on the show, for providing a lot of value to the listeners. I’m excited. I know you help. When people come in, they get help, then they do deals and they do big deals, so I’m excited to see if people go and get some help from you. Thanks for being on the show and sharing your wisdom today.

Speaker 1 (29:29):

Yeah, I appreciate what you do. Thank you very much, David.

Speaker 3 (29:31):

Yeah, and then if you’re listening to this, remember, make Profit a Habit in your business.

Speaker 2 (29:37):

This episode of the Profit First for REI podcast is over, but there are plenty more where that came from. Are you ready to learn how David and his team can help implement the Profit First system in your business? Schedule a discovery call@simplecfo.com right now. We’ll see you next time on The Profit First for REI podcast with David Richter.