Difficulty of short sales
While I understand that the phrase “Don’t shoot the messenger” can be traced back to Shakespearean times and even before, never before have I noticed a need to resuscitate it than in this tumultuous real estate market.
Times are tough, and real estate transactions are often difficult to close. But, it certainly does not help for any party of the transaction to “lose their cool.” In most cases, there is no need to threaten to report anyone to a manager or other authority. The person that conveys the information is generally a messenger, and need not be shot.
My #1 tip for helping agents with short sale processing is this: be cautious in your conversations with the short sale lenders. When you finally have the opportunity to speak with the short sale negotiator for your specific transaction, listen intently and obtain as much information as possible.
Generally, the short sale negotiator will contact you for one of two reasons: 1) documentation is missing or needs to be updated in order to process the file, or 2) to provide you with the details of the short sale counter offer.
While I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, I have found that it is best to be a good listener and to collect as much information as possible from the short sale negotiator. Ask probing questions about bank timeframes, bank processes, when you might be able to follow up, how the short sale negotiator would prefer his/her short sale communication, and what might happen if you cannot meet the bank’s price, etc. When the short sale negotiator calls you, this is your opportunity to learn more about the process and what it is going to take to get your deal done.
If you consider each contact with the bank as an information gathering experience and not an antagonizing one, you may find that there will be more short sale closings in your future. The more you learn about the process, the better you will be at your job. Also, the messengers will probably be thrilled that their lives have been spared.