Yes this is a rant.
I simply don't get this. By now nearly everybody has gotten the word. Short sales stink. The process for so many homeowners, buyers, Realtors, title companies, mortgage brokers, etc. is often unbelievably long, frustrating, and painful. And even when you do get the short saling lender to finally come back with a reply months later, the buyer has often given up and disappeared. Why aren't the banks forced to use some of their TARP money to expedite short sales?
Back last Fall, our local Mid-Florida Regional MLS that covers some 13+ counties in Central Florida became part of a "pilot program" with Fannie Mae and Countrywide Home Loans regarding short sales. Many properties were cherry picked by Fannie Mae into a streamlined program to expedite the short sale process. The process includes a pre-approved price and a 30 day or less processing time.
So what is the result so far? Out of a total of 209 properties, as of today 43 of these properties have sold according to our MLS. Another 118 are on the market either active or waiting for the short sale to be approved. And yet another 48 have either expired or been withdrawn.
So only 20.6% (43 out of 209) of these short sales that were already price approved and all set up for an expedited streamlined closing actually have made it to a closing. Granted this search is of the entire MLS area which covers several thousand firms. And I know what the problem is because I have one of these pilot program listings. The pre-approved price is way too high. Real simple yet the bureaucrats still don't get it.
Now compare that to the total short sale listings in our MFRMLS. There are presently 25,088 active / pending listings that indicate they are in a short sale / 3rd party approval situation. Since January 1, 2009 there have been 3,748 closed short sales, 3,418 expired, and 3,390 withdrawn. That puts the chance of getting a short sale sold at 10.5% (3,748 out of a total of 35,644). Wow that really stinks! Granted it means the pilot program does give you twice the chance of getting it sold, but still it stinks!
Fortunately 20 of these SOLD short sales this year were by our firm, but still we need to see many more close. Many of our Realtors have taken lots of short sale training and I myself got a CSP (Certified Short-Sale Professional) certification. But even with all that, there is only so much that can be done by us.
So my beef is ... where is the National Association of Realtors in all this? While all these banks have their handouts for TARP funds, where is NAR? Now I do realize that NAR did lobby Washington last Fall to do something about streamlining short sales, but come on. Washington is doing little to nothing about this huge problem. Instead they are spending money on all types of wasteful government projects and not going after the root problem to the whole economic meltdown.
With all the RPAC dollars given to NAR, why can't they get something done about these short sales??? Nobody seems to be able to answer the question, and NAR has basically been silent on the political side of this short sale issue ever since the Obama administration took over.
Granted I haven't heard anything out of Congress or the White House either on this short sale issue. They are trying to push for mortgage modifications, but come on let's be realistic. If you are behind on your payments and the value of your house is 50% of what you owe, no mortgage modification plan is going to help out for a long-term arrangement unless the principal balance gets reduced to the current home value. So just allow the sucker to short sale so the homeowner can move on with their life.
Mr. President, Senators, Congress, NAR, where are you?!?!?
Rob Arnold - Your full service and investor friendly Realtor ® in Orlando and Central Florida.
ABR, CPL, CRB, CSP, GRI, Managing real estate broker, Notary Public
We sell foreclosures, short sales, and bank owned REO properties throughout Central Florida. We sell and list Central Florida real estate and Orlando real estate. Free list of foreclosure and short sale houses available.
I also provide flat fee MLS listings, For Sale By Owner, and menu-based services in most parts of Central & South Florida, the Space Coast, and the Treasure Coast including Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Debary, Deland, Mount Dora, Eustis, Clermont, Kissimmee, Winter Haven, Lakeland, Tampa, Sarasota, Bradenton, Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Port Saint Lucie, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Gainesville, Palatka, Jacksonville, Volusia, Brevard, and more.