Do You Know Who's Your Biggest Enemy In Short Sales?

If you were to ask ten realtors who's their biggest enemy in short sales, you would probably return with ten different answers. The answers would vary because of their individual experiences in short sales but like the best designed exams, only the "most correct" answer scores.

The answer is FATHER TIME.
Time will kill short sales more than any other hurdle in the short sale process. Too much time goes by and the buyer walks. Too much time goes by and the seller gets discouraged and loses interest in selling. More time goes by and the property ends up going to sheriff's sale. But what can you do to speed things up and get to the closing table?

I could write a book on ways to work more efficiently in short sales but that's another day. What I would like to do is leave you with a gem or two that might help you become more successful with your short sale listings.

Convey a sense of urgency.
To move the short sale process along, be sure to convey the sense of urgency to all parties. This is not sales hype. By conveying a sense of urgency with a short sale listing, you definitely are not creating a false sense of urgency for a product just to get the sale. If there ever was a list of non perishable products with shelf lives, short sales would be at the top of the list. You really have a limited amount of time to complete the short sale. When the clock runs out everyone loses.

Remind the sellers of the timeline and volunteer to help.
When working with a seller on a short sale, you must stress to them the importance of gathering the necessary documents early on. Remind them of the time window everyone is working in. You can nudge them along for example by setting a time you will return to pick up the documents. You can volunteer to help them get the required documents. Help them write their hardship letter. The writing of the hardship letter may be the hardest thing for the seller to do for several reasons. Some are not good writers. They also may be resistant to writing the letter because of their emotional stress associated with their hardship. You'd be surprised how relieved some sellers will be to hear you volunteer to help with this simple task.

Necessary Support Documentation.
What documents are needed from the seller? Bill Burress at Timothy J Cotter, PA has prepared a document checklist and makes it available to the realtors who use Timothy J Cotter, PA to negotiate their short sales. Timothy J Cotter, PA is a real estate law firm that negotiates short sales nationwide in all fifty states. The document checklist they provide is a comprehensive list and it was compiled with the premise that it's far better to obtain more documentation at the beginning than you need rather than have too little documentation in the end. For instance, did you know that short sales that have mortgage insurance on the existing mortgage will require more documentation than short sales without MI?

Remember, it is much easier to obtain all of the support documents from the seller when the property is first listed and the seller is motivated than it is trying to chase the necessary documents later.

Continue to push with a sense of urgency.
When working with selling agents, always push for them to get the purchase contract and other required documents as quickly as possible. They will thank you at the closing table. If you have the sense of urgency with every task you undertake in the short sale process, you will soon be on your way to having successful short sale closings.

Close more short sales.
If you are listing agent or a broker who wants to speed up the short sale process, the best way to do this is to have the short sale experts negotiate your short sale listings. Bill Burress at Timothy J Cotter, PA can help you get your short sale listings to the closing table. Timothy J Cotter, PA offers a short sale negotiating process that is no cost to realtors and realtors keep their commissions.

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[Click here for an informative video regarding the short sale negotiation services of Timothy J Cotter, PA]

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