What if?

I recently played a “what if” game with the realtors in our weekly mastermind group. It went something like this…

What if there were tens of thousands, possible hundreds of thousands of homeowners in your market that desperately needed your help.

What if you had 25 proven methods to find these people that would not cost you anything but your time.

What if you had an expert that had successfully completed over 500 hundred similar transactions and this person was willing to talk with your homeowners, explain the entire process and help you get the listing.

What if you had a company that would take care of all of the burdensome paperwork and time consuming negotiations to get the deal closed.

What if you still received all of your commissions and these deals were actually easier to find and close than normal equity transactions.

What would you do?

If you are a homeowner reading this and you owe more than your home is worth let’s play the same game.

What if you were behind in payments and you could continue to live in the property for another 4 to 6 months.

What if you could get rid of a property that is no longer an asset and has now turned into a liability and have the deficiency forgiven.

What if in addition to living free you could actually get $3,000 at the closing and go rent a property for much less than you have been paying on your mortgage.

What if you had a company that would help you accomplish all of this with no monthly charges and no fees to you at closing.

What would you do?

Frankly it amazes me that every realtor is not taking 10 short sale listing a month. It surprises me that any homeowner would continue to struggle making payments or support a liability when they don’t have to.

Whether you are a Realtor or a homeowner what if you called us today and let us help!!!

Don't Shoot the Messenger

Don’t shoot the messenger!

In our weekly mastermind calls we have noticed that many agents who consistently called their past clients for years have stopped. Many feel bad that people are upside down in the houses they sold them. I often ask these agents “How many people gave you credit when the prices doubled? Do you really think they will blame you for this nationwide economic meltdown? Although you are not responsible for their situation don’t you owe it to them to help them find the best way out? Tell them the truth, very few if any will blame or shoot the messenger.

We had a frustrated agent call us this week and make the following statement. You have been working on my file for months, I have never received any feedback, we have lost 2 buyers and now it’s scheduled for foreclosure sale. After checking it turns out that we had e mailed him with feedback 10 times and the auction sign which a buyer had called on was for a different house in the same neighborhood. As far as losing buyers this is the norm for short sales. Many buyers will not wait and that is why we strongly suggest leaving the property on the market and accumulating multiple buyers. Get the facts straight and make sure the message is accurate before you consider shooting anybody!

Finally, we received an approval this week for an elderly woman. We got a $150,000 deficiency waived and she would get $3,000 at closing. When we called to tell her she screamed at us “close in 30 days.. I have nowhere to go”. It looks like she has now decided to stay there as long as possible and let the place get foreclosed. The moral of this story is even when the message is good people don’t always perceive it that way.

As I mentioned in last month’s blog we can only control our own actions and our own intentions. We cannot be so afraid of getting shot or misunderstood that we fail to take action and do the right thing. Are you doing everything that you can to help as many people as possible? Why not?

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

The Wisdom to know the difference”

Two of our best Realtor clients called us this week frustrated that a particular deal was taking so long. It one case we have been working the deal for 9 months. Their question was” why is it taking so long” and in their frustration I heard an underlying unspoken question “Why aren’t you doing a better job getting it closed quicker”.

When I looked at these two deals and tried to figure out why it was taking so long I noticed a few similarities in both deals:

Both had buyers in the first week Both deals we had called the lenders every 3 days for many months Both deals the lenders had moved so slowly that the financials kept getting outdated and the lenders kept requesting new financials. Both deals had been suspended several times because the requested updated financials were not forthcoming from the sellers

Most lenders want at least new pay stubs and bank statements from the sellers every 60 days. When the seller takes more than 30 days to provide them the file is either cancelled or suspended and in many cases we have to start over from scratch.

The reality of doing short sales reminds me of the wisdom of the old “serenity prayer”.

The patience to accept the things I cannot change:

1. Short sales take an average of 4 months. In that average some will get approved in weeks and some will take 9 months. The more you have in your pipeline the less frustrated you will be with the ones that take a long time. 2. The lenders will move at their own pace and there is only so much we can do to speed them up.

The courage to change the things that I can: 1. Having multiple buyers greatly increases your chances of having at least one wait long enough. 2. Making sure the buyers are pre-approved increases the chance of closing on time. 3. We all can do a better job coaching and cajoling the sellers on the importance of getting their updated documents back quickly.

The wisdom to know the difference:

We all have the same goals:

Earning a great income by truly helping people:

Helping sellers avoid foreclosure Helping buyers get great deals

One of my former mentors used to say “People want to buy.. People want to sell.. your job is to get in the middle and then get out of the way” When we get frustrated we are getting in the way.. When we all look for solutions and things that we can do better we are not only getting out of the way we are becoming part of the solution.

Please let us know what we can do to do a better job!


Let Go and Let us

This week’s tip is entitled “Let go and Let Us”

I was an active Realtor for over 30 years so I respect and understand an agents need to keep control of their deals. We had 4 different cases this week where an agent got impatient or confused and bypassed us and contacted the lender directly. Not fully understanding where the deal was and how the process worked these well meaning agents nearly killed the deal by attempting to re structure something in a way that had no chance of being approved in a way that would close. So… our head negotiator Pam had to step back in, undo the damage and get things back on track. In 2 of these cases it was the second or third time that the agent has done this. So.. if you feel the irresistible temptation to get involved please call me first.

Our mutual goals are to help the homeowner avoid foreclosure and help the buyers get great deals so anything that jeopardizes our ability to do this is counterproductive and not in anyone’s best interests. If you (the listing agent) are unwilling to turn over full control of the short sale negotiation, then we'd advise you to do the whole transaction yourself, as having two steering wheels in one car is a sure fire recipe for going into a ditch.". . Thanks in advance for your cooperation and your understanding.

Pricing Your Listings

This week’s tips:

Pricing property as you know is more of an art that a science. In the past we had suggested to agents that you price property low enough right away to attract multiple offers. As some lenders are becoming more aggressive in their counter offers we have had some cases where the lenders are coming back higher than any of the buyers. As market conditions and lender tendencies change we want to be sure to keep you informed and to be sure that we all adjust to constantly changing conditions. So… I asked Olga who is on the front line in our office for her perspective on pricing. Here is her response:

The most important thing is that the lenders are basing their short sales greatly on BPO values, and sometimes they are willing to take slightly under that value depending on the parameters of the investor, but it is important to let the agents know that the listing of a property needs to be based on a CMA, maybe start on the high end of those averages at first since the initial stages of a short sale are document collection and value determination, and might be slow depending on the lender and the cooperation of the seller to provide all the requested documents. The agent does not want to be swamped with offers at the very beginning due to the time it might take to get a short sale approved and buyers might walk, as time goes on they need to begin to lower the price to attract offers. It is vital to collect as many offers as possible (if allowed by their state’s association) with proper addendums etc… to make sure once the bank counters there are a few offers in case they have to increase their offer a buyer might be willing and able while another might not. At the list price where the agent begins to get multiple offers and active showings it would be safe to say is where the market is dictating this property is on the CMA spectrum (hopefully). If the list price is lower even to the low end of the CMA and no activity is sparked, then obviously as in many cases, this property has some deficiency that makes it less attractive and the price will have to be lowered even further. If offers are lower than the CMA, then maybe a letter explaining the weakness that makes it a justifiable offer is a good idea. Maybe a time table as to the price reduction would be a good idea. It is always a good idea to actually look at the property by $ per square foot based on the CMA $ per sq. foot. In a nut shell, a short sale has a great chance if the offers are within market value. A chance to get the highest possible offer is the best way to insure a successful short sale!

So… You are the agents in the field. You know your market. You know how to effectively price property. In the end we will leave it up to you. I hope these comments give you some additional insights.

Finally, as many of you know I have an extensive coaching background. I recently decided to start a free mastermind group for agents wanting to do more short sale business. We currently have a dozen agents in the group and together they have devolped 6 great low or no cost marketing ideas. Several of them are sending us multiple deals on a weekly basis. If enough of you are interested I will start multiple groups.

Thursday’s at 12:15 EST 9:15 PST Conference dial-in number: (712) 432-0075 Participant access code: 6562932

Have a great day and please as always let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you and your clients!!!

Jim Sullivan

This Week's Tips

This weeks tips:
1.       When the Bank answers or counters an offer it often still requires investor approval. While the Bank ususally has an idea of what the investor will take and the investor usually accepts this is not always true. So.. Please try to prepare your buyers that even if and when the bank counters it may not be their final answer.
2.       When the bank does send an approval it always has a closing date. Unlike most contracts it is not always easy to get an extension from the lenders. If an extension is granted it is usually not for free and it may cost the buyer often thousands of dollars. So…Please have you buyers pre-approved and ready to go and when we do get an approval please impress on them the urgency of acting in a timely manner to get everything their lender requires!
Finally, as many of you know I have an extensive coaching background. I recently decided to start a free mastermind group for agents wanting to do more short sale business. We currently have a dozen agents in the group and together they have devolped 6 great low or no cost marketing ideas. Several of them are sending us multiple deals on a weekly basis. If enough of you are interested I will start multiple groups.
Thursday’s at 12:15 EST 9:15 PST
Conference dial-in number: (712) 432-0075
Participant access code:  6562932