Are You a Team Player?
Short sales (and much of real estate, in general) are frequently referred to using sports-type language. I’ve written blog posts about the importance of having quality members on your team. I’ve also written about how every team must have good offensive and defensive members in order to get transactions closed. I’ve even philosophized about how outstanding real estate agents need to be just a strong as hockey player, Wayne Gretsky. You see, Gretzky has been quoted as saying something to the effect of “It isn’t about where the puck is; it’s about where the puck is going to be.”
I’ve used all of these wonderful sports metaphors and analogies and I’m not even a big sports fan! However, in the real estate business and particularly when working short sales, you need to be proactive (not reactive) and you need to be an active participant in the big game.
Frequently we submit our short sale packages via fax and call to follow up every three days for what seems like an eternity. Everyone involved in the process begins to express frustration and is about to throw in the towel. Just about that time, the lien holders finally contact us about the short sale file. There may be a request for updated documentation or there may be a verbal counter offer. The short sale processor at the bank may phone us on Thursday and want a response by Friday at 5:00 p.m. (It’s probable that this request will only occur when the client is out of town or unreachable.)
While all of these types of game-changing moves can be extremely frustrating, I usually just go with the flow and attempt to get the bank everything they need within their requested time frames. I know that I do not want to do anything that will jeopardize my relationship with the short sale negotiator, and I do want to demonstrate good sportsmanship, too.
If you do not demonstrate good sportsmanship, then there is no telling where your short sale file will end up. The property could go to foreclosure; the file could be transferred to another negotiator at the bank, or it could even disappear.
So, when reasonable requests are made (even with unreasonable time frames), I like to think of these game-changing moves as a way to keep me on my toes. After all, those who exercise and practice their sport regularly will be in great shape and ready to address the next offensive or defensive move that comes their way. Maybe some real estate players will even demonstrate the level of success of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky!