Here's a couple of insights as to what has worked for another agent with regards to short sales. The following group of listings are all the current short sales in Princeville and nearby. They range from condos to a luxurious home of a lender gone bad down by magnificent Anini beach. If you are a buyer interested in pursuing a short sale, I can help you.
I just finished closing a short sale and was pleasantly surprised to see how smooth a transaction it was! We even closed 5 days ahead of our 30 day escrow. After analyzing the entire transaction I realized that this was the result of a combination of a few good steps taken by all of us before the listing and while meeting the bank's requirements. From now on, I will always do the following:
•1. List the property at or slightly below market value. We received 4 offers within one week of putting the house on the market. The highest offer was about 5% above asking price. This strategy works well if the seller cooperates by understanding that a major condition from the lender to approve the short sale is that the sellers cannot walk away with any money from the seller's proceeds.
•2. Have Home and Pest Control inspection reports available before the house goes on the market. Most short sales are on an "as-is" condition. Potential buyers will have fewer or not contingencies if they are provided with recent house reports prior to making the offer. Most of the times we even pay in advance for those reports and then include a reimbursement back to us in the escrow instructions.
•3. Turn your CMA into a BPO. Banks ask for a list of documents to see for their approval of the short sale. The listing agent is asked to provide a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis,) then they call for an Appraisal and also another Realtor who typically does a BPO (Broker's Price Opinion) while preparing my CMA, I simply changed the forms and send it as a BPO. It is the same information anyway. When the bank saw that, it bypassed the BPO. This simple step saved us a few days at closing and eliminated another step in the long process.
•4. Type the "Seller's Hardship Letter" verbatim for clarification purposes. (and mark it as such)The sellers are asked to write in their own words a letter giving an explanation as to why payments cannot be made anymore. My clients provided me with a 3 page handwritten document, granted I could read it, I knew that the faxed copy will be difficult to read, the typed copy was necessary.
•5. Put the loan number on EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT that you send to the bank. We actually had to fax a package of over 35 documents, and even then they asked for some of them to be faxed again. I also recommend faxing late at night... Why? Because nobody else is faxing at that time and your package has a better chance to get there in one piece and not mixed with another fax from somebody else. Clear, small labels with the loan number keeps it all together.
Short sales are still NOT my favorite transactions, but after this closing I am now looking forward to my next dealing with the banks. I realize that the people I deal with in these types of transactions are employees who simply have to follow a set of rules from their employers, they are not Realtors; I must make it easy for them to find, read and understand the mountain of documents we send them. The easier we make their job, the faster we can close.
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, GRI, CRS, E-Pro.
Selling Real Estate since 1985
The Realtors In Motion. www.ListedByAntonio.com
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Ron Margolis, RA, CDPE, ABR Hawaii Life Real Estate Services 808.346.7095 email: firstname.lastname@example.org