It always amazes me when I hear the stories of agents who talk about horrible short sales are. "Don't waste your time on a short sale," they tell homeowners. "They are a waste of time. The lenders won't approve them and the process is horrible. The last short sale I worked on took nine months," they say.

This gives short sales a bad name. Homeowners mistakenly believe that a short sale is impossible. I am here to tell you that is not true. The Stop Foreclosure Institute has sold and closed many short sales. There are two keys to being successful. First, you have to understand how the process works. Second, you have to keep an eye on the transaction from start to finish.

Here is the closest comparison I can think of on why some agents hate short sales. Let's say that you are a brand new driver. You hop into a car, accelerate to 70 mph, turn on cruise control, and then start reading a book. Every five minutes or so you look up to check on what is going on with your car. You aren't successful at driving a car. Later on you see your friend who is thinking about learning how to drive.

"Don't even think about driving a car. Driving just doesn't work and it is impossible to get anywhere," you tell them. But is that correct? Is driving a car impossible? No, it's not, but many agents make the same claim about short sales. They have never studied and learned the process. They have never successfully sold a short sale. But, they are sure ready to tell you that it doesn't work.

Here is what they missed about short sales. 

  • You need to be knowledgeable about the process.</strong> You need to have a solid understanding of HUD-1s, BPOs, and the short sale guidelines of the entity that owns or insures the loan.
  • You have to stick with the transaction.</strong> You need to follow up with the short sale lender regularly. You can't check in on the short sale every week or so.

A lender will often ask for something and want it back within 24 hours. If they don't get what they need, then they will close the file. If your agent isn't checking in regularly, then the lender will close the file. In addition, your agent needs to be able to make sure the HUD-1s and BPOs are accurate. I don't have time to explain those acronyms today. Maybe I will explain them in my next post. Ask the agent you are interviewing why they are important. That will give you a clue into whether or not they know what they are doing. 

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