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Pimp My [Agent Genius] News



pimp my news and agent genius team up!

Like most of you, I am addicted to reading Agent Genius. Often, I find it difficult to keep current at today’s fast pace of content production on Agent Genius! I wish there was a way to upload the most recent articles to my iPod or mp3 player so instead of reading them, I can save tons of time by listening to them while I’m jogging, cleaning, driving, waiting at the doctor’s office, DMV or in line at the grocery store- that way I might be able to keep up with everything.

I’m excited to announce that the future is now here! Agent Genius has teamed up with PimpMyNews and now, AG is a “Featured Publisher” and all articles are being converted to mp3 so at no charge, readers can simply create a playlist, synch to an iPhone, iPod, mp3 player or even just your computer and get to listening! I can’t tell you how excited I am about Agent Genius news being pimped- the voice you’ll hear is clear, crisp, and more accurate than I had ever imagined. I even love the voice fluctuations!

Pimp My News Features

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Pimp My News Screenshot

pimp my news AG style

So What Now?

Right this minute, download Agent Genius articles to your mp3 player of choice, then when you have free time, head back to the site and leave your comments and be part of the time saving conversation community- how cool is Pimp My News?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Daniel Rothamel

    March 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    It is interesting. You are right, the accuracy of the translation is way better than I had expected. Pretty cool.

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    March 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Yep, one more toy to play with and influence my next car accident 🙂

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Daniel- I wonder if Stephen Hawking has upgraded to a more Pimp My News type voice? 🙂

    Matthew- oh come on, it’s better than listening to jazz in the car! At least you won’t fall asleep 🙂 I recommend using it while exercising, the voice has a great beat to it!

    The founder, John Atkinson is a increcibly smart guy and we anticipate that Pimp My News is the next big tool in blogging!!!

  4. Jay Thompson

    March 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Very cool. Guess it’s time to buy an iPod (or steal one from my kids).

    “I recommend using it while exercising”

    Uhm, that assumes one exercises….

  5. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 19, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Jay, walking to the fridge = workout 😉 and I’m pretty sure driving burns calories too. iPod shuffles are only $49.00 now and I heard a rumor that Best Buy has them on sale for $30 since they’re about to come out with a new one. Plus, it’s tiny and clips to your shirt. Do it. 🙂

  6. Benjamin Bach

    March 19, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    SICK Lani. OG, AG

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 19, 2008 at 8:35 pm


  8. Toby & Saide

    March 19, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Darn, now I’m going to have to get an iPod. My wife is going to hate you…

  9. Toby & Saide

    March 19, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Lani – Regarding Best Buy dropping the iPod Shuffle to $30, that hasn’t happened yet. It was still $49 when I was at work last night.

  10. Ines

    March 19, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I am dying to hear my accent on this 😉 but it won’t let me sign up – I’ll try again tomorrow

  11. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Toby, that’s good to know- any word on when that’s supposed to happen or if it’s even true?

    Ines, you’re silly- there’s only one voice and you don’t record it, it automatically translates agent genius articles into a unified voice as soon as they’ve been published on the AG site. 🙂

    The founder of Pimp My News will be reading comments here, so any feedback is highly encouraged!

  12. Toby Boyce

    March 19, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    It is a clearance kind of thing. They’ll keep dropping the price until they get rid of them all. Just saw that they are on sale – $2.50 off – on the Web site.

    If one the warehouse or store has a lot of one color, they’ll drop the prices dramatically. An example is that we have two cameras – exact same thing – but one is red and one is silver. The silver is $199 and the red is $149. Why? More people were buying the silver so we had to discount the red.

    Amazing what they can do with inventory tracking.

  13. Daytona Beach Florida Rentals

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 am

    Nice option to those to be connnected 24/7. It’s amazing how far tech has come. Let me know when you get the option that alerts you brain and you read and comment from your thoughts. Only kidding but ya know they probably already have it in the military covert operations.

  14. John Atkinson

    March 20, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Hi folks, John from PimpMyNews here… I am so excited that you’re interested in PimpMyNews!

    We created it for social people on the go (like you;) – so you can listen to your favorite blogs while doing other things (like drive to showings, workout, etc) We think it beats sitting at a computer “searching, sifting and reading.”

    3 Ways you can use PimpMyNews:
    1) On Your Mac or PC – hit the “full site” at Sign up, create your personal playlist and get all the functionality (it’s free and only takes a few minutes)

    2) On Your iPod or Any MP3 Player – During sign up, you can set up a daily podcast, sync your MP3 player (like any other podcast), and listen to 10 minutes of uninterrupted stories per day from your fav blogs, anywhere.

    3) On Your iPhone or iPod Touch: Access the mobile site at to stream audio of breaking stories, share stories, etc.(same functionality as the full site)

    We’d love your feedback! What other features do you want? What blogs should we add? (we have 1,000+ on the site and add more every day).

    PS: INES – Can you please shoot me an email at with the issue your having? We’ll get you going.

    PS2: Daniel – True story – Stephen Hawking changed his “Text-to-Speech” engine to the same technology we’re using! (we talk about “Stevo” all the time here).

    Co-founder & CEO,

  15. Chris Johnson

    March 21, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Wow. This is unbeliveable, that in this day and age, we can use the word “pimp” while completely overlooking the millions of women forced into prostitution at the expense of these people. Fight the pimps.

  16. Ines

    March 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Hi John – just sent you an e-mail, thanks!

  17. John Atkinson

    March 21, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Chris, The word “Pimp” also has a positive meaning – it means to “personalize” or “improve” something – like in the hit MTV show Pimp My Ride

    Our free service let’s users personalize and improve their news – hence the name PimpMyNews.

    I agree that we should fight people who exploit women.

  18. Chris Johnson

    March 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Was just trolling, so sorry…

  19. Ines

    March 22, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Just wanted to let everyone know that John e-mailed me personally and solved my subscription problem – you can tell a lot about a company by the type of customer service they provide. Thanks John!

    ……and the actually reading is clear and with great intonations! – now they have to work on a Spanish accent. 🙂

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Disputing a property’s value in a short sale: turn a no into a go

During a short sale, there may be various obstacles, with misaligned property values ranking near the top, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker!



magic eight ball

magic eight ball

It’s about getting your way

Were you on the debate team in high school? Were you really effective at convincing your parent or guardian to let you do things that you shouldn’t have been doing? How are your objection-handling skills? Can you flip a no into a go?

When working on short sales, there is one aspect of the process that may require those excellent negotiation or debate skills: disputing the property value. In a short sale, the short sale lender sends an appraiser or broker to the property and this individual conducts a Broker Price Opinion or an appraisal, using special forms provided by the short sale lender.

After this individual completes the Broker Price Opinion or the appraisal, he or she will return it to the short sale lender. Shortly thereafter, the short sale lender will be ready to talk about the purchase price. Will the lender accept the offer on the table or is the lender looking for more? If the lender is seeking an offer for a lot more than the one on the table, mentally prepare for the fact that you will need to conduct a value dispute.

Value Dispute Process

While each of the different short sale lenders (including Fannie Mae) has their own policies and procedures for value dispute, all these procedures have some things in common. Follow the steps below in order to conduct an effective value dispute.

  1. Inquire about forms. Ask your short sale lender if there are specific forms that you need to complete in order to conduct a value dispute. Obtain those forms if necessary.
  2. Gather information. Your goal is to convince the lender to accept the buyer’s offer, so you need to demonstrate that your offer is in line with the value of the property. Collect data that proves this point, such as reports from the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or your local title company.
  3. Take photos. If there are parts of the property that are substandard and possibly were not revealed to the lender by the individual conducting the BPO, take photos of those items. Perhaps the kitchen has no flooring, or there is a 40-year old roof. Take photos to demonstrate these defects.
  4. Obtain bids. For any defects on the property, obtain a minimum of two bids from licensed contractors. For example, obtain two bids from roofers or structural engineers if necessary
  5. Write a report. Think back to high school English class if necessary. Write a short essay that references your information, photos, and bids, and explains how these items support your buyer’s value. This is not something that you whip up in five minutes. Spend time preparing a compelling appeal.

It is entirely possible that some lenders will not be particularly open-minded when it comes to valuation dispute. However, more times than not, an effective value dispute leads to short sale approval.

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Short sale standoffs: how to avoid getting hit

The short sale process can feel a lot like a wild west standoff, but there are ways to come out victorious, so let’s talk about those methods:



short sales standoff

short sales standoff

What is a short sale standoff?

If you are a short sale listing agent, a short sale processor, or a short sale negotiator then you probably already know about the short sale standoff. That’s when you are processing a short sale with more than one lien holder and neither will agree to the terms offered by the other. Or… better yet, each one will not move any further in the short sale process until they see the short sale approval letter from the other lien holder.

Scenario #1 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they will proceed with the short sale, and they will offer Bank 2 a certain amount to release their lien. You call Bank 2 and tell them the good news. Unfortunately, the folks at Bank 2 want more money. If Bank 1 and Bank 2 do not agree, then you are in a standoff.

Scenario #2 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they cannot generate your approval letter until you present them with the approval letter from Bank 2. Bank 2 employees tell you the exact same thing. Clearly, in this situation, you are in a standoff.

How to Avoid the Standoff

If you are in the middle of a standoff, then you are likely very frustrated. You’ve gotten pretty far in the short sale process and you are likely receiving lots of pressure from all of the parties to the transaction. And, the lenders are not helping much by creating the standoff.

Here are some ideas for how to get out of the situation:

  • Go back to the first lien holder and ask them if they are willing to give the second lien holder more money.
  • Go to the second lien holder and tell them that the first lien holder has insisted on a maximum amount and see if they will budge.
  • If no one will budge, find out why. Is this a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If so, they have a maximum that they allow the second. And, if you alert the second of that information, they may become more compliant.
  • Worst case: someone will have to pay the difference. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be the buyer, the seller, or the agents (yuck). No matter what, make sure that this contribution is disclosed to all parties and appears on the short sale settlement statement at closing.
  • In Scenario #2, someone’s got to give in. Try explaining to both sides where you are and see if one will agree to generate their approval letter. If not, follow the tips provided in this Agent Genius article and take your complaint to the streets.

One thing about short sales is that the problems that arise can be difficult to resolve merely because of the number of parties involved—and all from remote locations. Imagine how much easier this would be if all parties sat at the same table and broke bread? If we all sat at the same table, then we wouldn’t need armor in order to avoid the flying bullets from the short sale standoff.

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Short sale approval letters don’t arrive in the blink of an eye

Short sale approval letters may look like they’ve been obtained simply by experts, but it takes time and doesn’t just happen with luck.



short sales

short sale approval

Short sale approval: getting prepared, making it happen

People always ask me how it is that I obtain short sale approval letters with such ease. The truth is, that while I have more short sale processing and negotiating experience than most agents and brokers, I don’t just blink my eyes like Jeannie and make those short sale approval letters appear. I often sweat it, just like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I do not have magical powers, I do have something else on my side—education. One of the most important things than can lead to short sale success for any and all agents is education.

Experience dictates that agents that learn about the short sale process
have increased short sale closings.

Short sale education opportunities abound

There are many ways to become educated about the short sale process and make getting short sale approval letters look easy to obtain. These include:

  • Classes at your local board of Realtors®
  • Free short sale webinars and workshops
  • The short sale or foreclosure specialist designations

As the distressed property arena grows and changes, it is important to always stay abreast of policy changes that may impact how you do your job and how you process any short sale that lands on your plate.

The most important thing to do is to read, read, read. Follow short sale specialists and those who blog about short sales on AGBeat, Google+, facebook, and twitter. Set up a Google Alert for the term ‘short sale’ and you will receive Google’s top short sale picks daily in your email inbox. Visit mortgagor websites to read up on their specific policies and procedures.

Don’t take on too much

And, when you get a call from a prospective short sale seller, make sure that you don’t bit off more than you can chew. Agents in most of America right now are clamoring for listings since we are in the midst of a listing shortage. But, if you are going to take on a short sale, be sure that it is a deal that you can close. And, if you have your doubts, why not partner up with a local agent that can mentor your and assist you in getting the job done? After all, half a commission check is better than none!

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