There is so much rhetoric and misinformation out there about the HAFA short sale. Agents lament and say they don't work and are a waste of time but that's not true. Well, it's true that agents complain about them, but it's not true that a HAFA short sale doesn't work. I started out on burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
Yup, I chose to concentrate on the Preapproved HAFA short sale because:
- the preapproved HAFA is easier on my client
- the preapproved HAFA is easier on me, the Sacramento short sale agent
- the preapproved HAFA is easier on the buyer
Do you need any more reasons than those?
Who wants to put up with buyers traipsing through their home without knowing whether their short sale will get approved if they don't have to? Who is raising their hands to volunteer for such torture? If you don't have to sit in escrow for months and months to buy a short sale, wouldn't you be a little bit more eager to make a full price offer and pursue a short sale? I don't know of any agent who purposely would take on a short sale that won't close, but they are out there in droves because MLS is crammed full of short sales that are not short sales.
Here are the benefits of a Preapproved HAFA short sale:
- Full release of personal liability for the seller
- Up to $3,000 in relocation funds for the seller
- 10 days (business days) turnaround on buyer's offer from receipt
Bear in mind that a Preapproved HAFA and a HAFA short sale are 2 different animals and handled differently. Don't confuse them. One uses a RASS and the other an ARASS. There is one type of HAFA that can be only Preapproved, and that is a Freddie Mac HAFA. There is no ARASS for a Freddie Mac HAFA.
Here is what you do for a Preapproved HAFA:
- The name of the game is I Ain't Got No Money.
- Followed by: I have a financial hardship.
If a seller can honestly say those 2 things, it's quite likely the seller will qualify for a Preapproved HAFA. The Sacramento short sale agent should help the seller to choose a realistic listing price. This means run the comparable sales within a 1/2 mile radius, select homes with similar square footage, age and condition. Compare pendings to sold to determine future closings. Look at it the way a BPO agent would -- because a BPO agent will.
List the home as a short sale. The agent and seller can choose whether to withhold from MLS. I prefer to withhold. Include verbiage in your listing that talks about letting the seller sell to the bank without having to pay a commission (which won't happen if the Sacramento short sale agent does the job correctly) and the fact your transaction will be arm's length. See HAFA guidelines for verbiage. Send the listing paperwork and all of the seller's paperwork to the bank. Verify receipt. Follow up on a regular basis and establish the point at which the bank expects to issue approval. Every bank works a little bit differently on HAFAs.
When the bank approves the HAFA, the seller has 10 days to return the signed documents. The listing agent must sign as well. The bank will approve a listed price. Often, for my Sacramento short sale listings, it means removing 3 zeroes at the end and adding 3 digits. For example, among my Preapproved HAFA short sales is a home priced at $325,000 and the approved price is $325,686. You can see this listing at 5348 Swindon Road in Rocklin, CA. This routinely happens if it's priced right and a CMA is sent to support it.
As a successful Sacramento short sale agent, here are examples of my most recent activity: I closed a Preapproved HAFA on Spring View in Elk Grove last month. I am closing another Preapproved HAFA on Turnbuckle in Elk Grove this month. I am closing a Preapproved HAFA short sale on Sea Court in the Pocket at the end of this month. I am closing a Preapproved HAFA in Folsom next month. I have a Preapproved HAFA for sale in Land Park. Another in Rocklin. I am receiving approval on a different Preapproved HAFA in Elk Grove in 2 weeks, according to Bank of America.
Preapproved HAFA short sales are the wave of the future.
If your Sacramento short sale agent is unable or unwilling to help you, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916 233 6759. I'll be happy to help you get your short sale Preapproved by HAFA. I am a Certified HAFA Specialist.