How to represent a buyer in a short sale (Part One)


1. Run comps. In the age of the BPO agent, almost every agent should know that the BPO/Appraisal is king in a short sale. If you have that buyer who is still trying to get something way below market value, fire your buyer and move on. They are wasting your gas and time. Most recent values are what the property will sell for. That varies from market to market; sometimes neighborhood to neighborhood.

There are pockets in Elk Grove that are on the increase, and there are pockets in Elk Grove that are still on the decline.

Running your comps no more than one mile radius of the subject property and no more than 100 sq ft (- or +) of the subject sq ft should give you the best results. Throw out the extremes. For example, if your comps return five properties sold within the past 6 month three at $325K, 310K, 320K, one at $385K, and one at $260K, throw out the $260K and the $385K, and average the other three for the best possible price. Pay attention of course to amenities and/or fixes.

An additional note, I would even throw out anything older than 3 months if you have enough data (enough data = 3 or more comps wihtin three months).

2.  ALWAYS Check MLS first for showing instructions and offer submission instructions. LA’s (Listing Agents) usually keep MLS current to help with the flow of transactions and call inquiries. Most LA’s don’t return calls or answer their phones for many reasons. Don’t get angry, get proactive.

3. Follow the instructions on MLS, attach any necessary documentation referenced and make sure ALL items are in your offer upon submission. If you leave an item out and another complete offer package comes over, you may lose out on your buyer’s chances of getting that offer sumitted for SS Approval.

In our office, we require you submit:

  1. Our short sale addendum, aka SSOSA (attached with all of our short sale listings
  2. Offer (including BIA, AD, and any brokerage-imposed disclosures)
  3. Proof of funds for ANY cash represented in the offer
  4. Prequal letter (when not all cash offer)
  5. Appropriate C.A.R. short sale forms

With the exception of our SSOSA, these items are required also by the short sale lender. Without these items, your offer cannot be considered for short sale review. Our SSOSA protects our seller from what I call “excessive offer syndrome”. Enough said about that.

4. Do your due diligence. Don’t burden the LA with unecessary calls; if your buyer likes the property, make the best and highest offer. You will get a better response from the LA once you have an actual offer submitted.

5. Send your offer to the contact number notated in MLS instructions. Don’t just assume that sending the offer to the agents fax number listed in the general MLS database will get your offer where it should go. Some agents have efaxes because it goes directly to them (their designated email addresses), and they can see it right away, where ever they are. Does the agent list a direct efax or email address? You have a better chance of getting your offer reviewed and in the agents hands if you follow instructions.

6. Follow up after you’ve submitted. Never assume that once you’ve sent it your job is done. Follow up until you receive a response from the agent that it has been received and when it will be reviewed.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions and part two “Processing Your Short Sale Offer” coming soon =)

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