Selling It Short

Dave Liniger, Chairman and Cofounder of RE/MAX International recently published an article titled, “Selling It Short” in DS Magazine. The article is a report card on Short Sales in general and where he thinks we’re headed in 2011.

Housing Crisis

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Dave focuses on three major areas; avoidable problems, untrained agents, and good ideas.  

“…it’s time for avoidable problems such as lost files, conflicting responses, and inadequate communication to be minimized or eliminated altogether,” he wrote. While we don’t see much of this these days, the delays as the file gets bounced from negotiator to negotiator can be very frustrating for the agents, seller, and the buyer.  

In our book titled, Avoiding Foreclosure – The Field Guide to Short Sales, we wrote, “If you are in the position to buy or sell a house through a Short Sale, ONLY work with a real estate agent who is well-versed in the Short Sale negotiation process.” Dave had the same thoughts when he wrote. “Unprepared agents who enter this arena – where even the simplest sale is still a complex, multilayered transaction – do a disservice to consumers and the industry as a whole.”

The real jewel in Dave’s article was his thoughts on “Good Ideas”. He wrote, “The best idea might be the frontloading of lender decisions regarding acceptable terms. A listing agent who knows that the required net proceeds have already been determined can take the leap and proceed with good faith and confidence that a reasonable offer will be considered seriously. Using this as a starting point, rather than the submission of an offer, gives the agent a valuable edge in marketing the property as well as managing the expectations of the servicer, the seller, and the potential buyers. It’s a better way to go.”

As a major Short Sale listing broker, I have to agree that this would be a great idea. We already do it with FHA Short Sales. The only issues we run into here are poorly completed BPOs or appraisals where the value is so out of line with what the market that it makes selling the property impossible. Lenders should have processes in-place that will allow us to challenge the values rather than leaving us stuck with that value for 120 days.

We encourage homeowners across the United States to get educated on the options available should they become financially distressed. Short Sales are a great tool, providing relief to all parties. Just remember to choose a REALTOR® with a proven Short Sale track record to negotiate on your behalf. Making the right choice can mean the world of difference to your financial future.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

About Tom Branch

Tom Branch has written 597 posts in this blog.


Have you ever just met someone, but felt you like you'd known him for years? That's what most people experience with Tom. He has a knack for making folks feel right at home. After 21 years in the Air Force, loyalty and honesty are the foundation of everything Tom does. In addition to being a Texas Real Estate Broker, Tom is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR).

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