Last week I successfully closed my first short sale with Bank of America. It took 10 weeks from the time I uploaded the purchase offer and supporting documents to the new Equator website used by B of A until the sale closed. Contrary to warnings I'd heard from Realtor® colleagues, my experience working on a short sale with Bank of America was no “nightmare that dragged on for six months or more”. In fact, my first Bank of America short sale turned out to be a nice surprise. This is due in large part to them teaming up with the website, Equator.
Equator www.equator.com is the platform recently adopted by Bank of America to help manage the process of their short sales, among other things. For the uninitiated, Equator bills itself as the "The Complete Solution for Default Servicing ". Their new website is a place where real estate professionals, lenders, mortgage servicers, mortgage insurers, vendors, and the government can go to connect and automate their process on a daily basis-whether it’s a short sale or an REO sale. Automating the short sale approval process through Equator not only standardizes tasks but also makes the process much more user-friendly and transparent. Everything is done in one place-from uploading documents to sending and receiving messages.
Bank of America’s use of the Equator site definitely streamlined the short sale process on my end. Gone were the days of faxing 40 pages of paperwork to someone in the short sale department and making numerous phone calls while waiting weeks to get a call back at a time when you actually had the file in front of you. Through Equator, I heard from a short sale negotiator within 24 hours of uploading the offer to the Equator site. The same negotiator kept me updated throughout the entire process until the day, two months later, when she called to offer congratulations and tell me we had investor approval of the short sale.
During that time, seldom a day went by without communication to or from the short sale negotiator. She did a good job of working with me to keep the process moving forward. This allowed me to keep the buyer and sellers informed on the progress which alleviated their anxiety. I was assigned “tasks” with deadlines. These included documents needed from buyers, sellers, escrow and buyers’ lender. Once documents were uploaded correctly, the system told me “task complete”. After investor approval, the negotiator introduced me to the closer, who issued the final documents and requested tasks needed by B of A prior to and immediately after closing. Both negotiator and closer were professional and courteous throughout the process. Phone calls and e-mail messages initiated by me received a response from either the negotiator or closer within 24 hours.
Equator recently announced that Wells Fargo is now a participant on their platform. Having two of the biggest mortgage lenders on board with the Equator site is encouraging news for millions of borrowers struggling to make their mortgage payments, for prospective buyers of short sale and REO properties and for the real estate professionals who work with them.
If you want to join forces with a professional, full-time Realtor® with over 20 years’ experience selling homes from Southern California to Northern Ohio, visit my website: www.annforhomesales.com
© Ann Steinemann 2011