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Why You Need MyBlogLog



sexy blog log yo

Look, I know you’re still mad that MyBlogLog is Yahoo based and you probably don’t use it on your site, but things are achangin’. Today, I’m going to tell you why you need to jump back on the MyBlogLog wagon.

New format released this week…

The new format allows you to dictate the width of your new widget according to pixel and number of rows you want and you still are allowed the option to have regular or small faces on your sidebar. The new widgets are also more Web 2.0 (imagine that) and have a shiny, updated look to them. Check it out:


Don’t take people away, stoopid…

MyBlogLog is no longer the standard faces on a page that make you click away to learn who that strange person who may look like yoda or my little pony is. That was some people’s beef- it was a draw away from your blog. Now, inside the widget, when you hold your mouse over someone’s mug, their details are shown. Guys, if you’re using BlogLog, take a second to go fill out your complete profile- we can now see that you took the lazy way out and just put your name and blogs in it. With a completed profile, we can now see your city, profession, specialty, all the blogs you author and more, without having to leave the blog you’re visiting. Thanx MBL for realizing I hate when you bounce peeps of mah page!

expanded blawglawg

Join the community…

Apparently, my RErevealed site has 87 community members on MyBlogLog and I had no idea because I don’t monitor MBL closely. But, my page now shows how many community members exist and has a flashy green plus sign button readers can click to add themselves to the blog they’re visiting OR a blogger featured on the MyBlogLog widget- directly from my blog! How sweet is that?

Your new to-do list…

  1. Update your MBL Profile
  2. Download the new customizable MBL widget
  3. Add yourself to communities while on blogs

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. Ines

    February 15, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    on my way – you always make me work!

  2. Nick

    February 15, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    I agree, just when I thought I was done getting my site all put together…

    I think for anyone who might attend a conference like NAR or Inman, MBL is just fun because you actually recognize people when you show up.

  3. Nick

    February 15, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Uh oh, looks like they have some bugs to fix on it still. All the info on the flyouts is outside the flyout window. And it seems much larger.

  4. Nick

    February 15, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    So there’s a “new” MBL wordpress plugin they recommend, but it has WAY too many settings options on it, so I’ll be playing with it more after I let my brain rest a little bit.

  5. Lani Anglin

    February 15, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Nick, like I said, it might take some majix… I had no problems, it only took one install attempt 🙂

    (could conflict with other plugins maybe?)

  6. Nick

    February 16, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Okay, looks like I’m having some CSS issues. So, my recommendation is to save your old embed code before trying the new one in case it doesn’t play nice with your theme. Or this link will take you back to their “crusty old widget”.

  7. Robert D. Ashby

    February 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks for the heads up, I am going to have to go update my profile, etc. I had even forgotten it existed, imagine that.

  8. Jonathan Dalton

    February 16, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Glad you used me as an example. Guess I should check my profile to see what brokerage is there since I forgot all about it.

    But, being difficult since this is me, why do I want the widget? The concept’s the same and I decided I didn’t want it in general. Where’s the benefit? Sell me, baby, sell me …

  9. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    February 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    hmm, sell you?

    (1) my name ain’t mybloglog, but fine- for you.

    (2) the new mybloglog allows you to list all of your SM affiliations (that’s not StreetMan gang affiliations, that’s SocialMedia affiliations- no tats involved) and with a quick click, people can connect to you elsewhere without installing all those lame @ss buttons.

    (3) it allows your readers to connect not only with YOUR “community” but with each other (which in turns grows your community exponentially).

    (4) I’ve found MBL to be a form of accountability. For example, someone’s buzzing around your blog just being a voyeur and you see them repeatedly but they don’t comment, it’s a great way to email and invite them in on your own terms.

    (5) it’s customizable so no hard coding is required, it’s easy to install, and since you use MBL when you’re floating around, it doesn’t really matter if you put it on your site, but you should at least update it for others who will see it (or opt out completely).

    I’m not actually the biggest MBL fan, but I think it’s come a loooong way since it first came out, no?

  10. Jonathan Dalton

    February 16, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Maybe … but aren’t the majority of voyeurs with a profile going to be other agents? I’m less worried about those kind of looky-loos than silent members of the buying and selling public

  11. Ian Kennedy

    February 19, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Thanks for the great write-up. We added one additional feature on Friday. If you’re wondering what those little green checkmarks are next to people’s blog titles, that shows that they have “verified” their site with us.


    Product Manager, MyBlogLog

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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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