I know, I know, anyone reading this has got to be saying...yeah right..a painless short sale? But it is true that a short sale can be painless provided that rules are followed and a few tools are used.
One of the most important rules that I impliment is that my sellers are in the game. I explain that at times it may seem that I am demanding, and asking for more and more documentation (ie. paperwork), but I am just the messenger and at the mercy of the bank. If they want it, I am going to get it to them promptly. As long as my sellers know that up front before I even take the listing, that this may not seem easy for them...I will do everything I can to help them. But, they need to be ready to jump when I ask and they always need to be immediately available whether by email (preferably) or phone.
As far as tools...I have a number of them in my short sale arsinal. From brochures explaining the difference between a short sale and foreclosure, to my method for completing and submitting the short sale package.
And I must admit with my background in escrow...it helps to know the "lender lingo" and when the lender asks for something, if you get it to them NOW..your file will not go back to the end of the line, but proceed forward.
So what can be done to help make the Short Sale process run smoother?
The obvious answer would be to have the banks streamline their system. But I think that many banks have done that now, making the process easier than it ever has been. I think as agents we need to do what we can to make the process easier for them and our clients. That means having a complete package ready in our possession and being prepared to hand the lender what they need immediately. If the lender asks for an updated paystub...you should have that in hand unless it is not yet available. I instruct my sellers to deliver to me updated paystubs, bank statements, etc. as they receive them...so I don't have to ask.
And the big question......Why do I want to do short sales?
We actually...I hate to date myself here, but back in my escrow days.... I have done short sales for over 20 years. At a time when escrow actually did the negotiating with the bank (how many of you remember that??) So short sales are nothing new, they are just more prevelant than they have ever been due to the drop in the market. But back to the question...plain and simple...I want to help people. This is a time when they need help the most. I have seen too many people that were "helped" by others, only to lose their homes to foreclosure. I can help them with the process and we can make the journey together to get their home sold. It's also a good thing for our neighborhoods and communities...a sold sign is much better than a deteriorating foreclosed property.