I have found that the most important part of a successful Short Sale rests NOT in the Marketing NOR in the Agent's Sales Experience, but in the Agent's ability to start with where the Seller is, and then being able to lead them along a clear path to where the Seller wants to go.
Let's face it. Most Short Sellers are confused, conflicted, and feeling very disconnected. In many cases, they have disengaged from all important relationships, and keep their financial distress to themselves, often too embarrassed to let their loved ones know what they are facing. Often, Short Sellers have heard different things from different people, including from real estate professionals, mortgage professionals, mortgage loan servicing departments, loss mitigation departments, foreclosure departments, etc. So with so many differing opinions on "the best next step," why would we expect a Short Seller to be ANYTHING BUT "confused and fearful."
And confused Sellers do exactly what we would expect. NOTHING! Or worse, the wrong thing, often walking away from the home and towards foreclosure just to avoid the perception of continued pain and "collection agency overload."
So then, how does a scared Short Sellers move from a postion of being ready to just "walk away," to becoming a confident, clear thinking individual, who is prepared to make fast, more confident decisions, every step of the way?
I believe there is only 1 True answer to that question. And the answer is NOT for a Short Seller to choose a particular Real Estate Agent because of their years of experience in Real Estate, nor for the amount of their experience with Short Sales; more importantly, in their unique ability to transform a Seller's fears into very focused thinking, communication and action, with the ultimate result that the Short Seller becomes absolutely clear on the ideal and most likely outcomes, and so that the Agent and Seller may best communicate and act towards the achievement of their mutual objective as a team.
The rest of the Short Sale process will become much easier than most Real Estate professionals care to explain.
While the process may become protracted due to Regulatory documentation requirements and poor valuations on the part of one party or another, when a Short Seller is clear on what they are trying to accomplish (from the list of anticipated outcomes), has a transparent awareness of the issues that can get in the way of a successful Short Sale, and uses his/her imagination to keep in mind the wonderful feeling they will have when it's all behind them, their natural yet new found energy will move them along the path of an Approved Short Sale (in most cases).
Are there cases which should be approved, but aren't? Most definitely! But those cases can often be solved with a combination of agent research, a little creative marketing, and filtering Buyers to make sure that they are serious, realistic, AND patient (all 3 are critical) - not much more than that. Of course, communication skills are important, but if an Agent is successful in transforming a Short Seller's fears through a very transparent and easy to follow process, one can expect that the Agent's wisdom and integrity will not permit them to take a Short Seller down a path of disappointment.
I send my prayers to all Agents and Sellers.
May your obstacles bring you renewed strength.
May your discovered weaknesses create new opportunities and
May your greatest Setbacks, lead to your most profound and Life Altering Breakthoughs.
May you be transformed, and in doing so, overcome your adversity and inscribe your period of distress into your history books.
To a Good Life! Cheers!
Scott Korbin, MBA
Broker In Charge, Triangle Home Masters™
Creator of The Short Sale Accelerator™ and The Distressed Seller Transformer™