More and more servicers are now using the online platform, Equator, to process short sales. Wells Fargo, Nationstar, GMAC, and Service One are all over Equator. But, the biggest Equator user of all seems to be Bank of America.
The interesting thing about Equator is that each of the servicing companies uses the platform in a slightly different manner. The key is to learn the ins and outs of how each of these servicers uses Equator so that you are equipped to process your client’s short sale when the time comes.
Submitting an Offer
One of the problems that agents often have with Equator is when it is time to submit an offer on a Bank of America short sale.
When submitting an offer on Equator, you need be sure to have the purchase contract and an estimated settlement statement by your side. You will also need to be certain that the estimated settlement statement that you are using accurately represents all of the transaction fees through the anticipated closing date.
(Hint: Don’t expect to close in 30 days. Calculate according to how long you anticipate that the bank to take to approve the short sale. For example, if you think the bank will take 6 weeks to approve the short sale and the FHA buyer needs 45 days to close, make sure that all the fees on the settlement statement are calculated for a closing date about 12 weeks out.)
Once you have obtained those items, you can login and complete the offer worksheet on Equator—proceeding item by item and cross-referencing the online worksheet with your contract and your settlement statement. Make sure you know how much to type in for such line items as property taxes, unpaid HOA, the Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure Report, the buyer’s closing cost credit, title, escrow, repairs, and even the second lien holder.
At the bottom of the Bank of America Equator worksheet, the net amount to the lender will be automatically calculated for you. Make sure that the payoff to the first lien holder on your settlement statement matches the net amount at the bottom of the Equator worksheet. If the two numbers (the one on the worksheet and the one on the settlement statement) do not match, this means that you have likely missed entering in one or more items on the short sale worksheet.
Here’s why doing a careful job on placing the offer in Equator is so important: the short sale processors and negotiators do not particularly enjoy it when you contact them or send them a message after approval because you miscalculated the cost of property taxes or you need termite money. In fact, if you forget to enter in a few costs and someone at the bank is in a foul mood, the shortage may need to come from the commission.
What’s the takeaway message here? Take your time and be very careful when submitting your Bank of America short sale offers in Equator.
Photo: flickr creative commons by Walt Stoneburner