At the beginning of the year, I wrote about the top 11 ways to get a short sale approved in 2011. I then spent the next several weeks elaborating on each of the pointers that I mentioned in my Letterman-style top 11. Agents frequently comment that many of my tips are common sense. That’s true. I never claimed to invent the wheel; I’m just here to help you drive the car.
One of the pointers that I haven’t really discussed much is the importance of communication. Again, this ain’t rocket science, but effective communication is a vital part of the short sale process.
In traditional real estate transactions, the buyer begins to move forward with inspections and the appraisal almost immediately after the seller and buyer agree to the terms of the transaction. Most traditional transactions close quickly—generally in 30-45 days. Not so with a short sale. And, because the period between signed contract and short sale approval can be very long, all parties may get a little bit antsy.
During the lengthy waiting period, buyers often wonder, What’s going on? When is the transaction going to be approved? Is anyone even communicating with the bank?
Sellers frequently think about those very same things. Also, sellers who are still occupying the property are often unsure of when they should begin packing up and making plans to move to their next destination. With the time frame of the short sale a bit of a gamble, it can be a stressful and confusing time for both buyers and sellers (and agents, too).
All it takes is one quick email
I’ve seen the most success with short sale closings when the individual doing the short sale negotiating provides weekly updates to all the parties involved in the transaction. For example, telling the buyer and seller that the BPO has been completed or that the negotiator called and requested some updated documentation is a welcome relief because all parties see that progress is being made. It may be slow progress, but it is progress to say the least.
When there is good communication in a short sale transaction, the buyer generally sticks around and, as a result, there is a successful closing. Again, this ain’t rocket science. If it only takes a few minutes a week to send out a quick email to all parties, you’ve gotta wonder why many agents do not take the time to do this—especially if it helps to cement a successful closing.
What say you?
Photo: flickr creative commons by colindunn