In negotiating short sales between Sellers (borrowers) and Lenders I have found that one of the more successful "tricks of the trade" is to ensure that when it comes time for the valuation/BPO/Appraisal process through the Sellers lender that having the Listing Realtor present is the most effective.
What I have suggested to Listing Realtors is that once the short sale request has been submitted to the lender ensure that the "Inspector/Appraiser" has to meet with them in order to gain access to the property to perform the valuation inspection.
Why do this you ask? First off, it allows the Listing Realtor to meet and speak with the Inspector to relay details about the property that could affect the value, it confirms whether or not an interior inspection was done, and it allows the Listing Realtor to know who the inspector is.
Why are these items important? First off, pleasse don't think that the scenarios I'm about to relay encompass all Inspectors, just some.
Some valuation inspections are merely done on a drive by, quick look at MLS, basis. Some are done on a interior walk through basis, still others are full appraisals. And lets face it ~ not all short sale "inspectors" are truly knowledgeable about the property/community they are being asked to value and may even (heaven forbid) have alterior motives.
One particular "interior inspection" was never completed, even though the Lender advised us that the inspection was an interior one and that the value was higher than list and the Listing Realtor confirmed that if the interior inspection had indeed been completed there was NO WAY they could have obtained that alleged value, since the interior of the home was in utter disrepair.
Every step that can be taken to ensure short sale valuations are accurate, that the process moves along efficiently, and that unnecessary delays, outrageous counter-offers and the like are either eliminated or kept to a minimum is that much better for the Seller, Buyer and Realtors involved.
I know that for some Realtors, this is not a new idea. Just a thought!
Pat Murphy ~ Short Sale Negotiator