Do you really need a short sale guru?

I had a workshop last week for about a dozen agents in our area who wanted to know how we are having so much success closing short sales. I ran down what we do and why and how they can do the same thing. (For personal reasons, I’m on a mission to educate as many agents as possible so that we can all help as many distressed homeowners as possible.)

I was amazed at the response. Nearly the half the room later approached us about helping to mitigate their files.

Agents are in a vacuum right now. There is so much information out there, but so much of it is incorrect, outdated or untested. It’s conflicting and confusing as all get-out. But short sales are going to be here for awhile — 3-5 years at least. So where do people turn for guidance and education? Where do they get quality help?

Short sale “experts” fill our inboxes with come-ons and solicitations. They dangle designations as if The Letters somehow juxtaposed will be the code to unlock the door to the Holy Grail of Short Sale Knowledge. Many perhaps have never personally negotiated a deal. Meanwhile, self-education, either through trial and error or finding a short sale sensei, can seem overwhelming. A lot of agents simply avoid working short sales because it’s just too much to learn. Others boldly scoop up the business for the sake of business, with unconscious incompetence — not knowing what they don’t know about the pitfalls for their clients and themselves.

So whom do you listen to? I’ve been up and down the road, taken online classes and 2-day seminars, paid $49 and $1,500. In that journey, I have devleoped a few guidelines, and I gladly share them with you:

1. Listen to many and filter the results: There are so many self-proclaimed experts, it’s difficult to discern who is correct. The biggest mistake people make is thinking there is one right answer, one sure way. The fact is, we can pick up golden nuggets from many to perfect our business.
2. Vet your sources: Do you know how many transactions your “expert” has actually closed? Have they closed any, or are they simply regurgitating theory? I want information that has been tested and adjusted for reality. So I ask: “How many files have you personally closed in the past 12 months?” (BTW, I don’t care if you did short sales in the ’90s. This is an ever-changing niche that bears little resemblance to that period in real estate. I want to know what’s working right now.)
3. The Tools: There are many online tools to help you track your transactions. They are pretty much the same. Don’t let style override substance. A nice gooey interface may look cool, but insider knowledge is the engine driving the bus. Is your short sale a better deal for the bank than a foreclosure would net? You need to know The Numbers. If you have that information, you have the power. Seek out the systems that can help you make these calculations.
4. Designations: Don’t get mired in the Alphabet Soup. Despite what you might hear, there is not one designation that will guarantee you top-down listings or move your file off the bottom of the loss mitigator’s pile. That’s marketing, not reality. The fact is, the banks don’t have the power here; this is nothing like REOs. The banks know they have waaaaay too much liability to force homeowners to use specific agents. If you are the listing agent, the bank will work with you.
5. Learned Knowledge, Activity Knowledge: You can’t learn everything you need to learn to be effective in an online course or a 3-month class. This is an ongoing, ever-changing process. Strategies that were effective last year fall on deaf ears today. The things that work today will be ineffective by Christmas. What you read and hear, no matter how accurate or spot-on it may be, still goes through your filter. You have to take the information and put it to use in the real world, and then make the adjustments necessary to fit your delivery, your personality.

Hope that helps agents focus in on some of the key issues. We’re all under siege right now and it’s difficult to hear through all the voices. The quickest way to silence the pretenders is to ask good questions.

(Brian Bean is a real estate broker and ambassador for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. He can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean
Real Estate Professional
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

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If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
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