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short_sale_cnsmr_8_6RISMEDIA, August 6, 2009-Given the current foreclosure situation throughout our country, now, more than ever, is an opportunity for real estate professionals to unify our efforts, diversify our skill sets, and collectively serve as part of the solution. These are extraordinary times, calling for extraordinary service, and we have an opportunity to “rise to the occasion” like never before.

To be effective in this market, it is imperative that we understand our role and are properly equipped with the kind of training, resources, guidance and support to effectively evaluate our client’s situation and successfully facilitate a short sale, when this is the best solution for both the homeowner and their lender.

In a short sale, the listing agent is the “quarterback” of the transaction. As a team of Realtors who have been “in-the-trenches,” successfully facilitating short sales for quite a number of years, we found that our closing ratios dramatically increased when we became clear in understanding what we now call the “5 Keys to Short Sale Success”:

Key #1: The listing agent must know the proper step-by-step process for shorting various types of loans, as the process for shorting an FHA loan is different than the process for shorting a VA or Conventional loan.
Key #2: The listing agent must know what documentation is required to make up a complete short sale package for the lender they are working with and how to submit that package in a format that will get the lender’s attention, satisfy their requirements, and get an approval.
Key #3: The listing agent must know how the lenders calculate what they have to “net” in the short sale transaction, so that they can then effectively price the property in MLS to generate an offer that will be relatively quick, but sufficient to meet the lender’s requirements, as well as cover all of the seller’s closing costs and the broker commissions.
Key #4: The listing agent must know what terms the lender will and will not approve in a buyer’s purchase offer.
Key #5: The listing agent must know how to establish his/her credibility and an effective rapport with the loss mitigation rep who ultimately holds the key to the short sale getting approved and closed.

As we train and mentor other real estate professionals throughout the country, we find that they, too, begin to experience a dramatic increase in their short sale closing ratios once they are equipped with the right training and gain a clear understanding of these 5 Keys to Short Sale Success. Now is the time to diversify and get the training you need to be successful in this and any market. As Rick Sharga recently stated in the March 2009 issue of this magazine, “Realtors today have a unique opportunity to begin to heal neighborhoods and communities, and get the economy back on its feet one household at a time.”

Stacy Spickes is the co-founder of America’s Home Rescue and the CDRS Certification Program.

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