A Good Title Attorney is a MUST Component of my Short Sale Team

By
Real Estate Agent with Colonial Real Estate Group - The Good House People, LLC

Let's face it. The only time we pay any attention to the title attorney is when something goes wrong. I mean, how hard is it to put numbers in the correct spot on the HUD-1?

I am starting to ramp up my number of short sale listings, and I have come to appreciate my title attorney as an integral part of my team. After I complete the short sale listing agreement, the first thing I ask is that a preliminary bring down on the property is performed. Once I completed a series of closings at her office, my title attorney agreed to do this for free. In return, I have promised loyalty as well as the "low hanging fruit", which is to say the more conventional closings as well. These bring downs typically cost about $90.00 each if I have to pay out of pocket for this service.

The next step is to get the update on the HOA arrearages (if there are any). It is amazing how much more quickly an attorney can get this information than a real estate agent can. The time lost running down this basic information is fully and well understood by any agent who has spent hours on the phone trying to find somebody at the HOA who can provide it. It's also a vital piece of information because the banks will not pay for HOA fees period, and sellers often simply do not have it. How big these arrearages are is often the best indicator as to whether or not there can be a successful short sale.

Recently, I am starting to see profiles where there has been a civil suit against the owner(s) that gets attached to the property as a subordinate lien. Once the payoff is successfully negotiated, the civil attorneys have no idea how to execute a proper lien release. They're not real estate attorneys.   As a rule, we send the lien release along with a "sample" approval letter to the civil attorneys. It's amazing how often these templates are followed to the letter, only it comes back on the civil attorney's letterhead.

As a result of being down a few dark alleys together and successfully closing on some transactions that were difficult at best - bleak at worst - there are very few contingencies that intimidate us. The trust, the free exchange of information and experience, and the closed transactions all combine to make me realize that all short sale attorneys and title companies are not alike!

 The Good House People

 

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