Dear Short Sale Listing Agent,
I've been showing, or trying to
show a lot of your listings recently
and have a few suggestions that might improve your business, your
reputation and your actual ability to SELL and CLOSE your
listings. I'm sure you "just
weren't thinking", or "just too
busy", or just didn't know",
but here are some things you shouldnt' do if you want to actually
preserve any of the above (business, reputation and closed sales):
1) Don't use your
intended to highlight the property features to potential buyers with a
load of legal B.S. and disclaimers about the short sale. The
comments (or remarks) section is to SELL your listings to buyers, you
know, tell them about how great the property is?! Entice them to
see it! We know you have certain things you need to tell us about
the short sale, that is what BROKER remarks are for. 9 out of 10
of you have decided that marketing and selling your listings
isn't really important at all, just covering your big butt!
2) Don't forget to
actually take a
picture of the PROPERTY!
Hmm, with nearly 30,000 single
family listings in South Florida, many at very competitive prices,
which do you think buyers are going to select to go see? Yes! The ones
that give them an idea of what the property actually
looks like! Most buyers will never even look at a listing with no
pictures. Did you ever consider that it is your JOB to sell the
home? To SAVE your CLIENT from foreclosure? Or did you just
list 100 short sales, throw them on the wall and hope a few might
stick and disregard all the others (as they slip into foreclosure with
no idea why - maybe you just told them"it's a tough market out there"
to cover your professional negligence)?
3) Don't hire a 3rd
who doesn't know what they are doing. If you don't
feel comfortable negotiating short sales yourself (or feel that you
"need to be out there doing what I do best, selling homes" - and you
clearly are not in the category with #1 and #2 above) make sure who
ever you hire KNOWS what they are doing and is not so overwhelmed with
files that they can't handle the processing in a timely manner. Oh, and
don't expect MY buyer to PAY for YOUR negotiator. If you don't want to
do it, you pay for it, get the seller or the bank to pay for it, but
not MY Buyer!
4) Don't neglect your
processor, the seller or the selling agent. Just because
there is a contract being negotiated does NOT mean you can dump YOUR
job on your negotiator, the selling agent or anyone else. You
still need to be involved and informed of the deal from start to
finish. Don't push off duties to others. If your only job
were to get listings, then you'd be a business development agent, but
you are a real estate agent (or BROKER) and you are to be actively
involved and informed the whole time, you are getting paid to be so!
5) Don't be so far
removed from your
seller that they rent the house out and never bother to tell you.
It isn't pretty for selling agents
with buying clients to walk into an
occupied home using a lock-box combo that YOU put on the MLS only to
find the home FULL of people and you sound surprised when notified of
this as the selling agent stands in front of the home with shocked
buyers. How often do you even speak with your sellers? ohhh
I know, you "just didn't know".....
6) Don't list the home
at 25% (or
plug in a number) below what you know to be an APPROVED sale price.
Has this ever worked for you? If the
lender has agreed to take
$X, maybe even several months ago, what ever makes you think that they
are now going to take considerably LESS and how do you think a buyer
is ever going to agree to go UP 25+% from list price?
7) Don't keep the
property in ACTIVE
status if you are no longer showing it. If you have an
offer (or several) that you submitted to the lender(s) then put it in
BACK-UP or CONTINGENT. Why are you wasting everyone's time?
8) Don't forget to keep
agent and the seller up to date. Yes.... we know this is a
LONG process, and you are SOOO busy, but if you might actually keep us
updated on a weekly, or
even bi-weekly status, we'll all feel much calmer and are much more
likely not to get a trigger finger and drop out of the deal. Buyers are
especially nervous as time goes by and if we aren't keeping
them up to date, who is to blame them when they are waiting in short
sale purgatory, not knowing if they are going to go to heaven or hell
for months on end?
9) Don't for goodness
a commission that you KNOW is a LIE. I don't mean
adverting a customary commission, we know that needs to be approved by
the lender, but I mean a HIGHER than customary commission and then add
the little disclaimer "commission must be approved by lender". Well,
unless you are a miracle worker, I have rarely (actually never)
seen a bank approved higher than customary percentages. If you
can do that, great, then get that done up front and advertise that it
is, but don't use the bait and switch game. If you are that
devious from the get go, I'm basically not going to trust a word you
10) Don't treat everyone
class citizens. Just because
this is a short sale, it does
not mean that you can treat the seller, the buyer or the selling agent
with any less respect, professionalism and attention than you would one
of your "regular" sales.
If you don't like short sale
listings, don't take them, if you don't
have the patience for short sale deals, don't take them, if you don't
have the patience with short sale sellers, don't take them. These
deals often require more heart, more time, more attention and more
business acumen than the regular sales your are out there listing and
selling. If you don't like them, just don't take them. Refer them to
someone who does and can!
I hope Mr. and Mrs. Short Sale
Listing Agent that I haven't offended
you too much. I hope that you might actually see a thing or two
differently and change your errant ways. I really might WANT
to help you sell YOUR
Listing, and my BUYER might really WANT to buy your listing, but if you
don't do your job, don't treat us with respect and professional
courtesy we might just go to one of the other 30,000 listings in South
Florida instead, you ain't the only game in town. I also feel so sorry,
so very sorry for your poor seller who ends up foreclosed on because
you "just didn't have time" or "just didn't know"!
Ms. Short Sale Selling Agent and
PS, if you were wondering
letter is to YOU? If you have any question if it is, then YES it
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