Posts Tagged ‘selling a short sale home’

distressed homeownerThere are many distressed sellers in North Oakland County MI. I just did my sales updates for Oxford MI and over 60% of the sales in 2010 were distressed salesbank owned and short sales. I will probably come up with similar numbers when I’m finished with Lake Orion and Clarkston, and the surrounding areas in North Oakland County and Southern Lapeer County seem to be about the same.

One of the numbers that really sticks out is that the bank owned sales are down from 2009 but short sales are up significantly. Because of this phenomenon there has been a HUGE proliferation of so called experts into the field of real estate sales. Agents who couldn’t earn a living in a normal market ran out and got a 2 hour designation and are now “short sale experts.” Attorneys who are seeing their income decline in Michigan’s bad economy are getting into negotiating short sales on behalf of home sellers- attorneys who NEVER practiced real estate law are now “legal experts” in the short sale arena.

Along with all of these new found “experts” is a major influx of mis-information designed to convince desperate home sellers that of course the short sale route is always the best route. Of course if the homeowner, who is losing his house, choses one of the other options available, these so called experts wouldn’t be able to make a pay check off that homeowners misery.

A good real estate professional needs to go over all of the options available to a distressed homeowner along with the potential consequences of the various options. Whether to sell via short sale, give the house back (deed-in-lieu of foreclosure), attempt a mortgage modification or simply allow the house to go into foreclosure should be a decision that has been invested with a lot of thought. Whatever you decide can have a long term impact on your life.

Because of instances where I have felt the seller was getting sold a bill of goods – I have decided to write blood sucking specialista series of blog posts explaining in detail the different options available to the distressed seller in North Oakland County MI and Lapeer County MI. For a quick primer on how the foreclosure process works in Michigan, please visit a post I wrote back in September, 2010.  And one thing that I have discovered over the years- there have always been “experts”, but I can’t remember a time where an agent pigeoned holed themselves like the foreclosure agents and short sale agents of today. Many of the short sale agents only deal with short sale listings. So it is not in their best interest to talk a seller out of the short sale route. I think about 2/3 of my listing appointments with distressed homeowners result in that homeowner NOT listing– with me or anybody else.     

When I have finished my series of posts for the distressed seller, I will paste links to all of them in one blog post for easy reference.

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
cell: (248)736-6407


Home Seller Blog

What Makes a Good Short Sale Agent

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short sale listing agentWhether buying or selling a short sale in North Oakland County or Lapeer Michigan, the abilities of the listing agent are very important. From the seller’s perspective, they need an agent who is very careful and precise with pricing. The seller needs an agent who knows which offer should be accepted and which should not. An agent who will not only get the short sale approved with the first offer, but approved with terms that are acceptable to the seller.

From the buyer’s perspective the seller needs that same agent I just described above. With a lesser agent your offer may never make it to the closing table and you can wait 5 or 6 months only to be told “too bad, so sad you’re not getting the house.”

So- back to the question in the title of this post. What makes a good short sale agent?

The same things that have always made an agent a good agent. A short sale is just another contingency that needs to be cleared in order to make it to the closing table, albeit more difficult to accomplish than most contingencies. In the past, the sellers didn’t always know they were being short changed when they hired an incompetent agent. And the buyers were ecstatic if they could pit their good agent against a lousy listing agent; it just meant better price or terms for them. Now, the abilities of the listing agent are much more determinant to the outcome of the transaction- whether the closing happens or not.

A good agent in any market is detailed oriented, full time, knowledgeable, honest, available (not 24/7short sale listing agent experience counts available, but a person who answers their phone or returns calls and emails in a timely fashion). Experience helps immensely but a newer agent can also be a good agent. But all things being equal except for the experience factor, experience should trump new. And beware! Short sale designations DO NOT make an agent a good agent. Designations are easy to get and even if an agent had a PHD in short sales (if one existed) that doesn’t mean they are detail oriented, full time, honest or available. It doesn’t even necessarily make them knowledgeable. It means that sat through some classes.

Oakland and Lapeer County seller: If you need to sell and include a short sale contingency, please please please carefully choose the agent who will represent you. There is no need to go through the motions and take up a half  year of your life to just face foreclosure.

short sale agent honesty is importantOakland and Lapeer County buyer: If you are willing to put looking at homes on hold for 5 or 6 months while you wait for lender AND seller approval of the short sale, don’t you think the ability of the listing agent affects you almost as much as it affects the seller? If the sale fails you won’t be looking at a foreclosure like the seller might, but you could be looking at rising interest rates and rising home prices which could be a significant amount of money to you in the long run. Are you willing to put that much of your financial future into the hands of a listing agent who doesn’t fill in the lake name or the acreage search field? Are you willing to put your financial future into the hands of an agent who fills out the MLS remarks with something along the lines of “subj to short sale approval. commission 50-50” and no mention of the professionally finished walkout or the custom kitchen or the heated pole barn. Are you willing to put your financial future into the hands of an agent you you have not met nor had an opportunity to interview, but an agent who only puts 1 or 2 photos in the MLS when we are able to put 25 photos in the MLS? If that agent is that sloppy or non-committed to getting the listing sold during the easy part of the transaction- inputting into the MLS- what kind of a job is that person going to do when it comes to the actual work of negotiating the short sale. And remember- that is a short sale with terms acceptable to BOTH the lender and seller.

Buyers- The Importance of a Good Buyers Agent

Sellers- The Nuts and Bolts of Selling Your Home

Sellers- Marketing Your Home

Buyers- Everything You Need to Know About Short Sales

Seach the MLS 

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