Real Estate

How to be a short sale superhero

Yes, you can be a hero and have the best year of your life

“One in 10 homeowners is not making their mortgage payment.”

“One in six homeowners has a backward mortgage.”

“Seven out of 10 homeowners who lose their home to foreclosure did not contact a real estate agent or lender prior to foreclosure.”

These are just a few of the statistics I heard at a Short Selling Summit in February in Carlsbad, California.

The guest speaker was Alex Charfen, co-founder of the Distressed Property Institute, who added that, regarding the current market, “what is happening has just begun. If this was a baseball game, it is entry number two or three.”

And while today’s market is not a game, it is, says Charfen, a “once-in-a-lifetime gold rush” if you become the short selling expert in your area. That doesn’t mean a reluctant “Yes, okay, I’ll do that short sale”, or a desperate “I’ll take that short sale – I’ll take anything!” That doesn’t mean you just add “Short Sales Expert” to your business cards and advertising.

It means that you have spent a lot of time acquiring the knowledge to become an expert in helping people facing the worst (or near) financial crisis of their lives. It means you are looking for prospects in a short sale situation. It means that you advertise for those prospects, accept those prospects, and commit to helping them negotiate the best possible outcome.

It means you understand that you are not doing this just for the commission check. You want to sell that house. You want to help that family avoid foreclosure and financial ruin. You want to help not just your client, but your entire community from becoming a ghost town of abandoned and empty houses.

Why would I want to do that, you ask? Why not let another agent take care of these people and their problems? Just give me a nice two-income family, 720+ FICO, steady jobs, a big down payment, and I will find you the perfect home.

Of course you will. That is, if you can find the customer of your dreams.

There just aren’t many of them out there. If they are that dreamy, they are usually already in a house and not moving up or down or anywhere else until the economy is in better shape. It’s that lack of dream clients that drives a record number of real estate agents out of business each month.

So who is out there to buy short sale properties? Lots of first-time buyers, especially renters. Relocation of families that have to move. Investors looking to start or expand their portfolio. Short sales are an opportunity to acquire a property at a below-market value. Read: A great deal for buyers. There are many properties to choose from, and banks prefer to sell the property rather than go through the time and expense of foreclosure (ie, “They would rather dispose of a non-performing asset prior to acquisition,” as Charfen puts it. ).

What’s really a shame, worse than a shame, is the number of people whose homes go into foreclosure when they could have had a successful short sale. There is a lot of misinformation and there are many people who really think, “Short sale or foreclosure: same thing.” So they miss a mortgage payment, and then another, and then another, and their lives go into a high-speed downward spiral.

It doesn’t have to be this way, says Charfen. Once an agent is armed with training and a support network, “the agent lets the people in his database and others know that he is the short selling expert, is available, and can help the seller. to sell and the buyer to buy. He begins to help people, and is enthusiastically referred by his delighted customers to family, friends and co-workers in similar situations. He is known as the ‘Superhero’ of short selling who Not only does he handle short sales professionally and efficiently, but he also saves people from foreclosure. “

That is not to suggest that short selling is easy, it is not. They require significantly more and different paperwork than a traditional real estate sale, and a missing piece can delay transactions for weeks or months, or wipe them out altogether. Being a short sale superhero requires exceptional negotiation skills as you represent the seller and interact with the buyer’s agent or with offers from multiple buyer’s agents. At various times, you may be in contact with attorneys, title holders, property tax officers, contractors, tax advisers, accountants, and others. And then there’s the lender in the form of a loss mitigator, an underrated and overworked person who already has 300 files on his desk and why should he prioritize yours? No, short selling is not easy. If they were, everyone would be doing them, right?

There are incredible opportunities right now for real estate agents who

o They are willing to spend time learning about short sales.

o We are committed to implementing the systems to help manage these complex transactions.

o You want more than a commission check – you want to help people get the best possible financial results and get on with their lives.

Those agents will thrive in this market and make 2009 the best year ever.

Could you?

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