First of all short sales are not a game and they arenâ€™t short either. Letâ€™s get that out of the way right off the bat! As a real estate agent, whether you are involved in listing a home as a short sale or working with a buyer who wants to snatch a good deal on a short sale â€“ you have your work cut out for you and itâ€™s anything but fun and games. Plus, the process is a lengthy one. At the end of my recent short sale journey, my customer calmly said: â€œThey should call it a long saleâ€. That comment is what inspired me to write this article.
In case you donâ€™t clearly understand what a short sale is let me explain. A short sale is simply the sale of a home that is probably in default for less money than what is owed to the bank or other financial body. The bank decides whether or not it will accept a lesser amount on the sale of the home, not the owner.
Well, we were the lucky winners of the short sale bid mentioned above. It definitely took a lot of work on my part and a lot of patience and understanding on the part of my customer. They had been shopping for a home for their â€œ20 somethingâ€ son, who just finished college, and is a really good guy. Since he is a first time homebuyer, with a fixed amount of cash, he needed to find a good deal. Their price range was well below the medium home price of the Tampa Bay area and quite frankly after we put a bid on this home, nothing comparable popped up in the MLS in the areas he was interested in. I truly felt that if we were not chosen to buy this home, he may miss out on finding a home in his price range.
In the end, the home will be his and he got a great deal. How did we get there? Hereâ€™s some of the key points that I believe led to our success and should be valuable information to other real estate professionals who are about to take the â€œshort saleâ€ adventure with a customer:
1. Make yourself present in the deal, no matter how long it takes. Find out who the negotiator is (usually it is not the listing agent) and become known to him or her. First name basis is ideal.
2. Be the squeaky wheel â€“ communicate via phone, email, fax on a weekly basis: ask questions, follow up on progress, etc. Donâ€™t just put your offer in and forget about it.
3. Keep the buyerâ€™s loan updated and active and make sure the negotiator knows you are on top of it. Loan approvals are only good for 60 â€“ 90 days, ensure that yours remains active throughout the entire process.
4. Remind the negotiator that your buyers are qualified, interested, motivated, and the best choice for the sale. Personalize the buyer to the negotiator. If you believe your buyer is deserving of this home, tell him or her why.
5. Keep your buyer informed and encourage cooperation and patience. Buyers have a hard time believing that this short sale transaction is so complicated and can take this long. Ensure them that this is just the process and to hold out.
Short sales can be frustrating, time consuming, and can even end up with little commission to the real estate agent after it is all said and done. Yet, short sales can be a rewarding experience to the lucky winner, especially when it is a young, first time homebuyer that you believe deserves a great deal on real estate. After all, thatâ€™s the reason we got into this profession: to help people realize their dream of home ownership.
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