Training for Short Sales & Mortgage Loss Mitigation to Stop Foreclosure

REOMAC Presentation on Short Sale Listings

April 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Short Sales Stories

As a part of the Short Sale panel presentation at REOMAC in Dallas on April 9,2013, I told the audience that I would provide more details on how to get more Short Sale listings.

Here is is a bakers dozen ways to get Short Sale listings.

  1. Right after the closing, take a video of your Short Sale sellers showing how happy they are. Post the video to YouTube. You will need to get views on your videos using good IT work to get high placement on Google and Bing. You want potential sellers to see people who look and talk like them, who had the same problem they have and who have solved that problem with your services. The viewers can see that hey feel great. For examples, go to Google and type in Short Sale Raleigh, Short Sale Durham or Short Sale Wakefield. My favorite video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f-ArTsesBo .
  2. Contact your past clients and friends telling them of your special talents to help people who are in trouble so that they can refer their friends and neighbors to you. My favorite method of communicating is video emails, but mail or phone calls work. Ask them if they know someone in financial trouble, because they may be the ones in trouble but are reluctant to start the conversation with that admission.
  3. Many people with financial problem to not want to publicize it, so they want to find information while remaining anonymous. So, you should create a website easily found by people in financial trouble. Let the viewer investigate the choices they have to deal with their problems by providing accurate, detailed information. Let them come to the conclusion that you know what you are talking about and make it easy for them to contact you. This website of www. CreateAShortSale.com is an example.
  4. Most distressed homeowners are ignoring the bad news that comes in the mail. To get to be one of the letters that is opened, use hand written and hand addressed letters. If you can send “lumpy mail” with a pen or other object in it, the chances of being opened are even higher because the recipient is curious to see what the lump is. Get access to the list of people who are behind on their mortgage, or those where the notice of default has been filed. Send them the personally addressed letter with a hand written letter inside. You can mass produce the handwritten letters on good quality copiers, then hand write the person’s name and greeting.
  5. If the homeowner will not come to you, you go to them. Knock on their door and start the conversation from their point of view. In other words, do not point out that they are in trouble because they do not want to hear about it. Instead, say something like ?I am an expert at helping people where their bank is being mean to them.? Have good quality information with you like the Treasury?s brochures from Making Home Affordable, or my book, Create A Short Sale, Your Guide Through the Short Sale Maze. Most men will claim that they have the problem handled, so leave the materials and your contact information as they may contact you after they find your materials are helpful. Follow up with a second visit and if they are not home, leave more information . Put it in a Fed X envelope as it is more likely to get opened, and you can get them for free.
  6. If the property is vacant when you visit, or if your mail comes back, these may be some of the most valuable leads according to Ken Blevins of Stewart Title. He explains that the owners have given up their emotional connection to the house. You can hire a skip tracer to find the owners of properties that are vacant, although sometimes you only have to look up their names in the tax records and use social media like Facebook. In North Carolina and several others states, you can get the owner?s attention by making them aware of the fact that after a foreclosure the lender can chase them for the deficiency (the amount that is not paid on the loan at foreclosure). Since a Short Sale usually results in a waiver of the right to pursue the owner for the deficiency, they may be interested in your help.
  7. I have sold dozens of condos in a neighborhood where nearly all of the condos were sold to investors at prices that were way too high for the market so the loans are well above market value. Since the investors were from out of town, they overpaid. Also, you can find a neighborhood where the builder offered ?creative financing? because many of them will be in trouble. Do a short sale in that kind of neighborhood. Then, tell everyone else in the neighborhood. Better yet, have your successful Short Sale seller tell everyone else in the neighborhood. Even better yet, be a guest speaker at a homeowners association gathering so you can talk directly to the residents to show them how you can stop the foreclosures in their neighborhood.
  8. Contact the management companies for homeowners associations. Create a letter for them that can be sent to their owners who are not paying the HOA dues. The letter needs to offer a range of help, from government assistance, loan modifications and Short Sales so that it is not just an advertisement for you. For example, North Carolina has www.NCforeclosurePrevention.gov that has a range of assistance. Then, mention www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov to discuss loan modifications. Finally, offer your website with information about Short Sales. You need to provide accurate information about all of these programs to the owners. You provide a benefit to the management company, because the letter you draft is something that sounds like a friendly neighbor trying to help a neighbor in trouble, instead of the threatening demand letter that is trying to collect the back dues. Also, make sure the management company knows that the back homeowners association dues are paid up when you close the Short Sale. Offer to be a guest speaker at the homeowners association meetings, or a meeting of the managers that work for the management company to discuss all this information.
  9. Some of the most distressed properties are the expensive ones, because that part of the market has fallen the most. Formerly wealthy families do not want to admit their fall. They may not respond to you, but they listen to their accountant and financial advisor. So, contact financial advisors and CPA?s to let them know that you can get their clients out from under an ?upside down? property, get a full release from the rest of the debt and have no income tax associated with the forgiven debt (if the owners qualify under the terms of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007). See if you can make a presentation at any gathering of CPAs or Financial Advisors, then let them refer their clients to you.
  10. In a divorce, neither spouse may want the ?underwater? house. Contact divorce attorneys to show them how you can get this weight off of their clients? backs. Be sure to discuss the waiver of the right to pursue the debtors for any deficiency so that you can show them that a Short Sale eliminates the problem for good. The people involved in the divorce want to complete it, so they are highly motivated sellers, but they are frequently difficult to deal with.
  11. People in trouble contact bankruptcy attorneys. A bankruptcy does not eliminate a foreclosure, it just delays it. If the property is ?upside down?, the solution may be a Short Sale. Most lenders are very careful when dealing with a Short Sale property that is associated with a bankruptcy, so you may be able to get a better, quicker, approval for your Short Sale.
  12. Some Churches and other civic organizations have gatherings to help people who have lost their job or who have other financial problems. Offer to be a guest speaker at one of those meetings and bring materials from Making Home Affordable for the participants to take with them, with your contact information on the materials.
  13. I started teaching Short Sale classes to other Realtors when I had the emotionally draining experience of going to the foreclosed house of one of the Realtors who worked with the same RE/MAX office that I do. I had to tell her she had to move in two weeks if she wanted to get a Cash for Keys payment. When you watch a fellow Realtor melt down in front of your eyes, it hurts your heart. I wanted to give my fellow Realtors a way to make a living in tough times. However, a large number of the people who take my class realize that Short Sales are difficult, require you to stay up with the latest developments and take a lot of work. So, they refer Short Sale sellers to me. The more classes I teach, the more referrals I get. By the way, you will get many more Realtors to come to the class if you get it approved for continuing education credit.

Now, use these techniques to go out there and get more Short Sales listed, so we can get more Short Sales sold. The faster we work through the inventory of “underwater homes” the faster America recovers.

Comments

2 Responses to “REOMAC Presentation on Short Sale Listings”
  1. It is not just Freddie Mac who is streamlining their short sale process. Most lenders, especially the big ones, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase have, over the past year, developed online systems to process short sales faster and easier. When we first started doing short sale at MagnumOne Realty, the lenders treated us like criminals who were trying to steal from them. Today they refer to us as partners.

    • Tim Burrell says:

      You are right, there is a big swing in attitude where the servicers, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase, are expediting the process. The golden rule says that those with the gold make the rules. So, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are the investors who own the loans. They are mandating that the process speed up. Isn’t it nice to be a partner instead of an enemy? Thank you for your comment.

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