My most recent post resulted in a variety of questions and suggestions from real estate agents, attorneys and short sale negotiators. Highlighted below are the most frequent questions and suggestions:
What is the best way to identify short sale opportunities?
- A great place to start is a subscription based website called RealtyTrac. Start by looking for properties that have a Pre Foreclosure notice filed which is usually the first indication that there is a problem.
- In parallel to following the market, create a letter that can be sent to sellers that indicates that you are positioned to help. Send the letter to the existing pool of properties (assuming they are not already listed) and on an ongoing basis when new Pre Foreclosure filings appear.
- Assume that your existing listing clientele may not be telling you the whole truth about their situation and keep a close eye on your existing listing inventory.
Some attorneys who do short sales still want to get paid even if the seller doesn’t agree to do the deal, how can an agent protect against that?
- Attorneys who specialize in real estate closings are willing to work harder than ever before and many are willing to work on a fully contingent basis.
What is the best way to obtain title search data?
- I encourage agents to rely on their title vendor or real estate attorney to perform this function as most are willing to do so without charge assuming you do not abuse their time and do everything reasonable to ensure they get the closing assignment.
Why is it so important to obtain a copy of the most recent mortgage statement?
- Knowing the full extent of the problem is ESSENTIAL. How many months delinquent, contact information and other key facts are easily obtained this way.
- A seller who is unwilling to share this information is a red flag.
Should a property be prominently marketed as a short sale?
- Absolutely yes! Almost every buyer is looking for the best value in the market.
- 50% of the transactions in many markets around the country are short sales and smart buyers are willing to be patient in exchange for the opportunity to obtain an excellent value.
Why should a listing agent offer a cooperating agent a larger percentage of the total commission?
- Buyers and their agents hold most of the cards in today’s market and should be rewarded accordingly.
- Communicate to potential agents that they should sell your listing not someone else’s. Think about it this way, how often do agents deliberately avoid showing discount brokers listings when the co-broke being offered is below the average in the market?
What is the best way to manage a short sale once the contract is signed?
- Manage the deal every day. Touch at least one party to the transaction on a daily basis. Keeping the seller, buyer or buyer’s agent, closing attorney, BPO agent and bank negotiator focused is essential.
- Think of the process like a game of chess where you are trying to move all of the pieces to the other side of the board through a variety of maneuvers and strategies.