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From time to time, the Center for REALTOR® Development invites certified NAR classroom instructors as guest contributors to share with readers their real-world advice. In this article, instructor Dwayne Carte offers 10 invaluable tips for working with short sales, our featured topic of the month.

While there are many specialties you might pursue as a REALTOR®, one that has become very common over the last several years is short sales. Among areas of specialties, short sales can be one of the most frustrating. Here are 10 tips to help you succeed in working with short sales.

  1. Get Educated. Nothing can prepare you better for working short sales than education. One of the best is NAR’s Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource® (SFR®) Certification course. You will come away from the course with a wealth of tips you can apply in working with short sales—from both the listing aspects to working with buyers who want to purchase them.
  1. Stay Informed. Once you earn your Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource® (SFR®) Certification, you will receive a monthly newsletter filled with helpful tips and industry updates. You will also be invited to participate in periodic webinars to learn about the changes in the world of short sales. It is also critical that you follow social media groups and news feeds from other industry sources to stay informed of this part of our industry.
  1. Be Honest in Your Counseling Sessions. When you sit down with sellers, they need to know you are a hard worker, but not a miracle worker. You need to build a rapport of trust quickly with them. It is critical they understand that if they withhold information from you, it may be impossible for you to help them. Ask them right out of the gate if they have received a notice of foreclosure or pending “sheriff sale.” They may have called you too late in the process.
  1. Begin Using a New Term. In this segment of the industry, it is important the consumer understands that they are now part of the housing market that is “lender-mediated.” This would include foreclosures as well as short sales. The seller is not sitting in a position of final veto power now that the bank is involved.
  1. Expand Your CMA. You will need to do an expanded CMA. The seller will need to know how their property compares to other “lender-mediated” properties, as well as traditional sales. The buyer pool for a short sale will vary greatly.
  1. Condition. Condition. Condition. Your seller will be angry and embarrassed that they have found themselves in this situation. Often they might choose to let the house go because they know they are losing their home anyway. Encourage them to maintain the property as best as possible. The higher the dollar they can draw in the market, the easier it will be for the bank to say “yes” later.
  1. Get Authorization. At listing time, be certain to get authorization from your seller that will allow you to speak to the bank on their behalf. This process will require you to get current financial information from the bank in order to best represent your client. You will need to speak with the bank via phone, email and other ways during the process, and that authorization will be needed.
  1. Get Good at Keeping a Journal. Whether it be electronic or in paper form, keep a journal which includes copies of all forms and papers throughout the process, as well as logs of emails and phone calls.
  1. Be Prepared for Anything. You will have surprises around every corner. Whether from the bank, the HOA, the seller or even some other source, surprises will be part of every short sale transaction you do. Remember these are simply bumps in the road that you will have to manage. 
  1. Have Patience. This is not a specialty for those without thick skin. You will be tested with each and every short sale. Everything will take longer than you thought. While you might grow angry, remember to kill them all with kindness because you will be certain to have more success.

Dwayne Carte, ABR®, AHWD, CIPS, EPRO®, MRP, RCE, RSPS, SFR®, SRS is the owner of Encore Plus. Encore Plus specializes in real estate education and provides seminars, training sessions, consulting, and course development for state and local real estate associations across the country. A REALTOR® since 2002, Carte was a manager and technical trainer in the information technology industry for more than 15 years prior to entering real estate. Since becoming an instructor in 2005, Carte has taught thousands of students in over 35 states. In 2009, Dwayne was inducted into the REBAC Hall of Fame. Email him at dwayne@encoreseminars.com for info, RFP’s and inquiries.

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.