I have become increasingly frustrated with the number of short sales that are not "for sale". Let me explain, you take your buyer out and show the 15 homes and the one they fall in love with is a "short sale". That's okay I can live with that. I have already closed 8 this year. So where's the problem? The problem is that if the seller and their agent do not understand the process it's like a slow boat to China without enough gas to get there. So I said all that to say this. Before even bothering to look at a short sale here is the test.
Call the agent and ask..... Drum Roll.......
- Have you closed a Short Sale before?
- Has the lien holder been notified of the intent to short-sale and have they agreed to this? (why) If there was Mortgage Insurance they may not agree.
- Has the complete short sale package been sent to the lien holder AND have you confirmed receipt?
- What communications, if any, have you had with the bank?
- Have you the seller been assigned a Loss Mitigator?
- Has there been a BPO? Did you meet the BPO agent? Did you get the results back? Has the bank approved the list price?
- Have you received any other offers that you are waiting to hear back from the bank on?
- Is there one or two trusts? Any other liens? (This can complicate things)
- What are the names of the banks? Are these FHA or VA loans?
- How long do you estimate that the lender will take to provide an answer to an offer?
Now if you can happen to get knowledgeable answers to these questions you have yourself a "Short Sale Opportunity" Prepare you offer, get your pre-approval letter and make sure that it's written so that if the LIEN HOLDER does not respond in your required time line you can move on!! Otherwise with the seller signing the offer you are now in a never ending contract. Also require that all contractual time lines begin when LIEN Holder accepts offer.
Unfortunately I have found that more often times than not when I make these calls I get silence. It's a disservice to our customers when we take their listings without knowing the process. It's better to refer it until you figure it out.
As far as listing short sales, after attending 2 training classes and having success (we are 10 for 10) feel free to send your short sale our way! (if the seller qualifies)
For sellers: if you need help determining if you qualify let us know!