The right Short Sale Agent: Many agents do not do short sales, some are just getting into doing them, and some have become “experts” by taking a class. BE CAREFUL! There are only a few players in town who have the 3 critical criteria: 1. Long term Experience doing Short Sales, 2. Success closing Short Sales, 3. Processes to manage the Short Sale. Without these 3 criteria, run the other way.
Pricing Plan: Your agent should price the home accordingly. A short sale is not a give away but it is a sale at today’s market value, or slightly below….remember supply is very high and demand is very low. Too many times I see homes priced well above the market value while the REALTOR and the owners hope for an offer. We do things differently: We have a plan to price and move the price accordingly to get the results that we demand.
CLEAN and CURB APPEAL: Forget the idea that you don’t need to keep things nice because someone is getting a really good deal. Newsflash: There are really good deals everywhere. Your Short Sale must stand out! Get rid of junk. Correct over stuffed rooms and over stuffed closets. Clean like you have never cleaned before. Clean the carpets, bathroom grout, shine up everything, clean the windows. Go outside, trim the hedges, clean up the yard, add some flowers. This is a competition and you must win.
Access: There should be no problems showing the home at any given day or time. If you restrict showings, you could be turning away your buyer. I have several homes that have tenants in the property – This is bad as the tenants almost always deny showings on a regular basis. If you have tenants, discuss with them some options to get them to move.
Compliance: The banks will require specific documents from you the Seller and often times will require updated documents while we are in negotiations with the bank. Your timely compliance is crucial. Waiting a day or two in between request and you are pushing the closing out a couple more days. Be aggressive with request and get your business handled.
BONUS ITEM: Front Load your Inspections: If you have the cash on hand and even if it is extremely tight, you should pay to have a complete home inspection completed before the home goes on the market. About $200 bucks total. This would remove any “contingencies” for the buyer as they know exactly what they are getting before going into a contract. Too often a buyer finds out 90 days into the contract that the house needs new siding and the buyer can’t afford to replace it when they close and the seller can’t afford to replace it either. Obviously, knowing what is potentially wrong with the house ahead of time would help to avoid these situations and avoid wasting your time.