By Nick Caruso
Recent reports indicate that short sales of U.S. homes are at a three-year high, surpassing the number of bank-owned sales. That’s why it’s in the best interest of your clients and your business to learn all you can about short sales and how to help your clients who are considering this method of selling their homes. Bank of America has updated training, enhanced technology and established a dedicated team of short sale professionals to assist you throughout the process.
By visiting the Bank of America Agent Resource Center online at bankofamerica.com/shortsaleagent, you can learn about short sales and help your clients who are considering selling their homes. During your initial conversations with your clients, find out whether the homeowners owe more than the home’s fair market value. If they do, explain the short sale process and how it can help them avoid foreclosure. If the homeowners have additional questions or want to better understand their options, encourage them to call Bank of America’s Short Sale Customer Care at 866-880-1232.
If your clients decide to proceed with a short sale and if they want you to handle the process, contact Bank of America before you list the home to initiate a Bank of America Preapproved Price Short Sale. This is an umbrella term for short sales that are initiated before an offer is received and includes both Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) and Cooperative short sales. Through these programs, Bank of America works with you and your sellers to establish a preapproved list price before the property goes on the market.
Bank of America’s Preapproved Price Short Sales have a higher success rate because Bank of America becomes engaged much earlier in the process. Decision time is usually faster and closings are more likely because the bank is working with a price that meets the investor’s expectations. The biggest benefit to your clients is the possible release of deficiency and relocation assistance. HAFA and Cooperative short sale agreements that are initiated before the end of 2012 and close before September 26, 2013, are eligible for relocation assistance ranging from $2,500 to $30,000 (some restrictions/limitations apply).
The Bank of America Agent Resource Center is your single online source for short sale documents, tools and information. In addition to the Home Loan Planner, you are able to access Equator®, the short sale online processing system Bank of America uses. Through Equator, you can easily initiate a short sale, check status 24/7, securely message your short sale specialist or closing officer, upload documents and escalate issues to management. If you have an active short sale, we want you to know that Bank of America’s team of Short Sale Specialists is committed to responding to Equator messages within a timely manner. Take time to explore the Agent Resource Center and make short sales easier for you and your sellers.
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