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There's nothing short about short sales but there are things we can do to streamline the communication process and get it to move faster - afterall, "time is money" (why can't the banks just "get it"). Wouldn't it be great if there were a uniform package and process from all lenders across the board and wouldn't it be nice if they just answered their phones and did a better job of communicating? Tish Lloyd says it all so well in this step by step approach to short sales.
In an effort to ensure the Short Sale Process actually works as intended, the Banking Industry would be best served by establishing a set of uniform guidelines which were enforceable. I have a set of such "guidelines" which I provide at the first intimation there may be a short sale/foreclosure situation. Positive, aggressive steps to a faster Short Sale:
1. Immediately contact the Loss Mitigation Department for your Mortgage Lenders. Secure the full name and direct phone number of your contact and keep a notebook handy so that you can record any and all information -- make certain it's all DATED. Explain your hardship and ask exactly what information they require be included in the package. This is where things first get tricky: It's tough, if not impossible to reach a human who has any "authority" to share information. When asked what is required in the package, a quick VERBAL list may be provided. Well, that's not good on any level -- the Mortgagee is already upset beyond belief and needs to speak with someone who can actually give real answers and direction. This is a tough call to make -- let's respond with a bit of compassion and understanding. You're trying to do the right thing, you're not the enemy. Let's treat this like any other business call -- professionally and responsively! Let's require a one-on-one conversation within ONE BUSINESS DAY!!!
2. Interview Real Estate Agents with the express intent of finding one who is well-versed in the Short Sale/Foreclosure process. Ask your Agent to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis of your property with focus on condition and marketability. Make certain he/she includes photos of the comparable properties as well as your subject property. Please make certain your Real Estate Agent is experienced in Short Sales AND has the time necessary to actively, aggressively pursue your transaction. This is where the use of an Agent who has been required to go through an approved short sale training class could shorten the process, simply by eliminating the learning curve. Knowing and understanding the use of a thorough CMA, complete with pictures of comps together with pictures of the subject property which reflect the true condition are paramount. This can shorten the process because any major defects can be assessed upfront, with financial allowances addressed.
3. Get your hardship package together as quickly as possible, making several full copies. I strongly recommend sending the packets via fax, regular mail and Federal Express -- Grab your notebook and write down the date each was sent and the manner in which it was sent. MAKE CERTAIN YOU RETAIN AN EXTRA COPY, as you will be required to send this information more than once. What in the world is a hardship letter? Did you know that most people are NOT good letter writers? Stress? What if I don't say the "right" thing? There's no science to this and every bank pretty much wants to know the same thing -- how about a suggested form letter with options. This is certainly much easier and would move this portion along much quicker! Oh, yeah -- go ahead and give the applicant that little-known hint that you REQUIRE the loan number and the name of the Mortgagee be written at the top right portion of every single page, otherwise it will be thrown in the trash and you HAVE to start the whole thing all over again . . .
4. Once you have signed your Listing Agreement with your Real Estate Professional, have him/her send a copy of the Agreement directly to your Contact Person in the Loss Mitigation Department -- make certain you do the same along with a cover letter giving them permission to speak with your Real Estate Agent. Now where was that to be sent again? Fax? E-mail? WHAT?I can only fax to that great Community Fax in the sky? I can't scan and e-mail you a much better copy of everything which would: 1. Be more legible; 2. Be much faster; 3. Go directly to the assigned Mitigator; 4. Be able to be tracked -- avoid lost documents -- avoid all those busy fax machines, with perhaps accidentally getting picked-up by a different Mitigator and stuck inside another file by mistake?This step alone would save weeks, if not months of lost time!!!
5. Maintain weekly contact with the Loss Mitigation Contact and record every date and conversation in your notebook. Insist your Real Estate Agent do the same. This can be almost impossible, because so many financial institutions won't actually TALK with you until they have the time and then . . . well, good luck with that. The Bank MUST assign each file immediately, on the initial call. This Contact Person MUST be in regular contact with the Mortgagee and MUST document the contact via dates, times and subject discussed. Please, please refrain from telling us there is no way to do this -- hire a qualified and capable supervisor to monitor your employees. Trust me, this can be done and the hours and weeks this would save -- I can hear the "cha ching" now.
6. Provide all the paperwork they request immediately (keeping a copy for yourself and writing in your notebook). BE THE SQUEAKY WHEEL. Again, because the banks have not yet thought of a way to get this process running smoothly, it falls on you to help them do their job. Seriously, this one rests squarely on the financial institutions -- TIME IS MONEY.
7. Once you have reached an Agreement of Sale, you'll need to immediately send a copy of the Agreement just as in #4 above. Have your Real Estate Agent do the same thing. Please, make certain you BOTH send the documents w/proof of delivery and ensure you BOTH call every single week and actually speak with your Contact. I'm afraid I'm beating a dead horse here, but it has to be done . . . Unless the banking industry decides to quit hiding behind all the delaying tactics and money wasting, you'll have to repeat this several tiimes. Did I mention TIME IS MONEY?
The bottom line: If you want to shorten the time it will take to get your Short Sale to the table: Do your paperwork promptly, supply all documents immediately and get your Real Estate Agent on the same page -- be the Squeaky Wheel -- loudly and frequently. Gosh, this is a sad state of affairs. Did I mention that if the banking industry would step up to the plate, this could be quickly and efficiently corrected? After all, with regard to Short Sales -- TIME IS MONEY!
Lora "Leah" Stern - Your Rockland County, NY REALTOR of Choice - (914) 772-4528
Your Rockland County, NY Real Estate Specialist
(914) 772-4528 CELL (845) 369-1938 DIRECT LINE (845) 634-0400 OFFICE (862) 345-2463 FAX
If I can assist you in any way with your real estate needs in Suffern, NY Rockland County or the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact me by phone at (914) 772-4528, email me atLeah.Stern@cbmoves.com or visit my website .
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.