Short Sale Tips For Every Office

Posted on 11. Sep, 2009 by ctlms in Short Sale, foreclosure

In Office Presentation and Q&A For Your Office

In recent months I have taken many calls and emails from Brokers, Agents and Homeowners.

The most common questions for Homeowners usually revolve around Credit, Deficiency and Tax implications of a short sale.

Brokers and Agents questions usually revolve more around how can I help them close a short sale listing they have, what is required of them in the process, what is it I do and of course how do I get paid for my service.

I have had numerous phone calls and personal meetings with many of the areas Brokers and top agents on these subjects.  Many even have their clients call me directly to answer their questions so the client can decide if a short sale is a good idea for them.

Yet I know that many agents still shy away from short sale listings because of the horror stories or past negative experiences.  Now, I cannot promise that every short sale transaction I touch will go smoothly or that every deal will close.  That is just unrealistic.

After all, we are dealing with lenders that have proven over the past several years that they wouldn't know a good idea if it were delivered to them on a silver platter and said "Bonus" on it.  Examples such as Bank Of America and their ridiculous timelines and outrageous requirements do justify much of the reluctance for many agents to become involved in a short sale.

But the fact remains that a client in need deserves your service.  Yet being prepared when a client contacts you and says I owe X while their home is worth Y is important.  Knowing a little bit of information to quell the anxiety of that homeowner will go a long way toward building their confidence in your ability to help them.

I know from past experience that a client in need of help with an over-leveraged property will be the best referral source you will ever get.  Helping someone out when they think there is no hope puts you on top of the mountain in their eyes.  It's a great way to build a long term referral base for your future.

Short sales are one of the biggest segments of property sales today.  Over 5 million homes are expected to be lost to foreclosure by years end.  Every one of those is a potential short sale listing because the vast majority have no equity.

Ask the agents that have worked with me and they will tell you that their short sale listings were some of the easiest.  Though some lenders are of the Bank of America variety, many are much more streamlined and efficient at processing their files.  Some of my recent files have been approved in as little as 5 weeks.  But most are closer to 60-90 days.  Bank of America is 6-9 months.  Talk about a waste of time.

Anyway my point is that knowing a little about the short sale process and the options for homeowners will greatly benefit every agent when a seller in need calls.  Even if all they know is "I have a guy that can help" and suggest the client discuss their options with me.

That is where our in office visits come into play.  If you think that a visit by me to your office would benefit you and your agents, that is something we can arrange.

I can let you and your fellow agents know how the  process works and what they should expect in a short sale transaction.  Setting the proper expectations with the seller and buyer is key in these transactions and knowing just a brief overview of the process goes a long way, especially towards the confidence of the agents involved.

In our office visits we touch on the foreclosure timeline, short sale timeline, required documents from the homeowner and best practices for the agent.  We also open it up for Q&A.

If you think your office would benefit from our knowledge and expertise let me know and we can set something up for you.

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Short Sale Tip of The Week 9-2-09

Posted on 02. Sep, 2009 by ctlms in Short Sale, foreclosure

Setting Buyer Expectations is Key!

There are many pot holes to avoid in a short sale transaction.  Obviously dealing with the lender is the biggest, but buyers and their agents, attorneys, and loan originators can be pretty big obstacles as well.

From the time an offer is submitted there can be months before an approval is received from the lender(s) on a short sale offer.  This is plenty of time for a buyer to get there mortgage commitment.  But often the buyers and their agents are reluctant for the buyer to spend money on an appraisal before the offer is approved.  This is understandable.  Who wants to pay for an appraisal on a house you may not be able to buy.  Yet that does not prohibit the buyer from getting themselves fully approved.

A buyer can apply for a mortgage even without a fully approved contract.  They can received a commitment contingent on the property appraising and passing the required title search.  So by the time the offer is approved, the buyer only need tell his lender to get the appraisal ordered.  In today's environment that alone can take weeks.

But if the buyer has not already had their income and assets verified, that can stretch it out even longer.  Some lenders are not ordering appraisals until the buyer has every scrap of paper required turned in.  Rather than working more efficiently and having the appraisal conducted simultaneously to the paperwork gathering.

Most short sale approvals are only good for 30 days.  If the buyer cannot close within the 30 days we must request an extension which can often require additional money to the lender for approval.  Yet if the buyer can close within the alloted 30 day time frame, everyone is happy.

This is especially important if a foreclosure is involved.  Lenders can be reluctant to grant an extension when the foreclosure date is near.  They would then have to postpone the foreclosure as well.  This would lengthen the time before they could acquire the property through foreclosure if the buyer ends up not closing. Unfortunately the number of short sales that are approved but never close is staggering and the lenders know this.

The take away here is to set the proper expectations with the buyer's and their representatives right at the beginning.  Let them know it is in their best interest to do their home inspection before the offer is submitted.  Negotiating a reduction in the purchase price later is more difficult and time consuming than submitting that lower price up front with the inspection report.  Also the importance of the buyer proceeding to get a mortgage commitment contingent on the appraisal so the appraisal is all that will be required after the short sale approval is received.  Better yet, if the buyer is confident in their offer and wants to move forward with the appraisal as well, they can do that to.

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As always Visit the Ask The Expert Page to leave your questions or contact me directly if you need immediate assistance at or visit