I've been helping alot people who are upside down on their mortgage for the past few years who need to sell their house short and have dealt with some of the worst banks regarding negotiating short sales. Most of these deals take between 3-5 months with some on occassion taking much longer. I have come up with a few tips to help you negotiate for your client and get an answer from the bank quicker than normal.
OK , here goes...
1. Gather all the documentation upfront from the seller including Hardship Letter, Last 2 months Bank Statements, Tax Returns, Financial Worksheet showing income vs expenses, Pay stubs or other proof of income, any delinquent HOA fees and most important of all is the Authorization to release information form. This is obviously in addition to your Listing agreement. The reason I say to get this upfront is because it is harder to get it from the seller later on.Get them while it's early in the process
2. Once you have collected the necessary documents from the seller do what you normally do to list the property in your MLS. Take plenty of pictures and make sure you take pictures of any damage that is present.
3. Call the seller's lender to get the FAX number to their Short Sale Department and fax over the authorization form. Without this form the bank will not speak to you.
4. Call back the next day to confirm they received the authorization form and also to find out where to send the complete short sale docs. Ask if they have their own short sale package with their special forms. Using their forms can speed up the process.
5. When you get an offer and are ready to send the package to the bank the most important thing is to send them a complete package. Partial packages will only delay the process. A complete package includes Listing Agreement, Executed Sales Contract, Preliminary HUD1, Proof of any income, Hardship Letter, Financial Worksheet, Bank Statements, Tax returns, plus any other addendums the bank may use.
6. Now in addition to everything listed above, I would advise you to submit a Broker Price Opinion ( a low low ball BPO). The bank will order their own BPO/appraisal as part of their procedure, but if you submit your own BPO they now have something to compare their BPO to. In some cases they might not even order a BPO if they have yours. This will save a couple of more weeks.
7. Send the complete package to them in one shot, you may also want to put the seller's loan account number on every piece of paper.
8. Call the next day to confirm they recieved your package because some banks play this game that they never received it. So when I call to confirm I also get the name of the representative I was talking to. It helps to mention names of who you spoke to when/if they deny having the package you sent over to them. Resending docs could waste a couple of weeks, try to avoid this as much as possible.
9. When you can't get a hold of the bank negotiator, try calling during off hours, later in the day when the phones probably aren't so hectic for the bank. I have been known to reach Bank Reps after 6pm after weeks of trying during normal hours. Try to get the email of the bank representative. Sometimes it is easier to communicate through email and can save alot of time.
10. Please, when speaking to the Bank Reps, don't get frustrated with them and be patient. This is a slow process normally and these banks unfortunately are loosing alot of money. As they say, "you get more with honey than you do with vinagar". Being polite will get you farther than rudeness.
11. When preparing Preliminary HUDs, work with your title company to do this if you don't know how. Most title companies are already doing this as a free service if you close the deal with them. Ask the title company you use if the offer this service. Tell them also to pad some of the taxes and fees to anticipate last minute charges, fees or fines. Because it is my experience that when Banks do offer their approval letter for the short sale, they always want the net amount that is reflected on the preliminary HUD, and if there are additional charges, the only place to get them from is your commission. Protect your commission by inflating some of the charges in the HUD. When it's all said and done, if there is any extra money left over, they will get more than they expected as a surprise.
I hope this imnformation will help you speed things up with the banks.
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