Calling All Real Estate Agents: Using a Short Sale Negotiator

Two weeks ago I received a call from a realtor whose own residence was unfortunately headed to foreclosure. I am not unfamiliar with that type of call, but this one was unique. It was 8:56 a.m. on a Friday morning and the house was scheduled for auction at 10:00 a.m. that same morning. He had a mutually agreed upon sales contract in hand and the negotiator assigned to the file was out of the office for the day.

Last week I spoke to a woman who told me that she was trying to sell her house by way of short sale. Her realtor had submitted the paperwork to the lender, but the lender rejected the offer. She couldn’t understand why. The house was priced at what she and her realtor had agreed was market value, but her lender determined that the house was worth more than the offer presented.

Recently I spoke to an agent who relayed a story about a short sale listing of theirs that was priced at $500,000. The house was on the market for 6-7 months. Finally, an offer was received for $480,000. The offer, along with all the relevant paperwork, was submitted to the lender. The lender hired an appraiser to place a value on the property and the value came back at $550,000! The deal was dead.

In the first story, Washington Property Solutions was able to get the foreclosure postponed, the short sale approved and the transaction closed. The ending to story number two is still being written, but Washington Property Solutions is working with the realtors that admittedly made mistakes to correct them and bring a new offer to the lender. Sadly, in story number three Washington Property Solutions was not involved in the transaction and was not able to creatively assist in bringing a solution to the transaction, and the home was sold at a foreclosure sale.

Each of these transactions has its own nuances. Every house has a special story with a unique human element associated with it. Short sales deserve each realtor’s best shot at finding the optimal solution for their anxious client. Save yourself time, money, stress and do what’s right for your client. You’ll get paid and you’ll have a client for life.

The best analogy I could come up with is that you wouldn’t do an inspection yourself, you’d hire an inspector. It’s in your client’s best interest to hire a professional to inspect the property and assess its faults. The same is true for a short sale, but the stakes may be higher. Once the bank obtains their value, it is unlikely they will change their mind. The negotiator at the bank is looking for “low-hanging fruit” – deals they can close relatively easily and without a hassle – not a transaction that requires an additional appraisal and needs multiple levels of approvals.

Focus on what you do best: marketing properties and putting buyers and sellers together. Let the short sale consultants, appraisers and inspectors do what they do best – make all your hard work pay off.

If you have questions about how to best proceed with a short sale, call Richard Eastern at 206-612-5541 or email us.

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