(Update 6-16-08: This post was featured in the Washington Post)
I wrote about my distaste for Short Sales (aka Fake Listings), and how only 5% close in Northern Virginia (as of 2-08, but that might be changing). I guess now my distaste has shifted away from Short Sales, and more toward clueless agents listings Short Sales incorrectly.
On the buying side, instead of just banning them completely from my showing route, I have implemented a new:
Top 10 Questions to ask the listing agent BEFORE showing A Northern Virginia Short Sale.
Here is the exact e-mail I send to the listing agent of a short sale. Feel free to copy and paste this.
I have a possible buyer considering your short sale listing.
Our company policy is to ask for more information from the listing agent before showing any Short Sales.
Can you please answer the following questions:
- Have you closed a Short Sale before?
- Have you requested and received the short sale package from the bank, including the hardship letter?
- Have you sent the package AND have you confirmed receipt?
- What communications, if any, have you had with the bank?
- Has the bank approved the list price?
- Have you received any other offers that you are waiting to hear back from the bank on?
- Does the loan have PMI on it? (Private mortgage insurance)
- Is there one or two trusts? Any other liens?
- What are the names of the banks? Are these FHA or VA loans?
- How long do you estimate that the lender will take to provide an answer to an offer?
- (new) Has your seller completely stopped making payments on their loan.
Update 1-22-09: Is the seller willing to hold a note with the bank for the difference? (much better for their credit score)
Am I missing anything? Please add more in the comments.
I recently sent this to 10 listing agents. Only three replied. Only one really knew what they were doing. The winner was Realtor John Ryan in Woodbridge.
Started talking with the bank? Yes Has the bank approved the amount? Yes
Have you received any other offers? Yes, however we are only a few days into the process with the new offer. All other previous offers dropped off.
Have you closed a short sale before? Yes, several. I also have a dedicated team of five people that work the banks to get these through. I can give you feedback along the way so that you can keep your buyers informed.
Joy to the world…
So I hereby lift my ban on Short Sales on the buying side.
As for the listing side, after an eight hour NVAR CE class, from a group that gets a 90 percent close ratio, I have no problem taking them on (if the seller qualifies). Don’t want a short sale? Send it my way.
Also at the most recent Finance Committee meeting at NVAR, we passed a resolution to consider enacting some sort of Short Sale ____ (certificate, pledge, designation) for those that know what they are doing with Short Sales, so they can put it in the MLS Remarks and buyers can have more comfort.