Southwest Florida Title Insurance & Real Estate Blog -

Thank you all so much for the taking our recent survey. You have no idea how valuable your feedback is to us!

You may recall that the second question in our survey asks:

Think of the last time you went through a short sale. What was the most frustrating aspect of the process that you faced?

So far, we have received over 75 responses (woo hoo! :)) to our survey, the vast majority coming from real estate agents and our referral partners.

The common frustration expressed from you is the lack of communication between all parties involved, most notably the lender.

Communication During the Short Sale Process is the Key to a Successful Closing

This is such a common frustration and most times it cripples the process and leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those involved.

As a Realtor®, you know how incredibly annoying it is when you have an eager buyer who’s ready, willing, and able to purchase a short sale, and yet she can’t because of loads of red tape that must be cleared up between the seller and his lender. UGH!

What’s even more frustrating is when you have bills to pay (just like everyone else) and you could really use the commission from this sale, and yet no matter how much effort you put in, IT JUST WON’T CLOSE! Talk about stress!

Well, at Winged Foot Title, we’ve heard your frustrations loud and clear and hopefully the advice in this article will help you with the next short sale transaction…that is, if you ever decide to be a part of one again.

Yes, short sales can be incredibly frustrating and challenging, but I enjoy orchestrating short sales for all of those same reasons.

It’s the thrill of the Chase”. 😉 (No pun intended- A little short sale humor).

So to make your next short sale as relatively painless as possible, here is what I suggest:

Practice clear communication!

Pretend that you’re married to the people involved in the transaction for the next 4 to 5 months. What does every marriage counselor say is key to marital success? Communication!

I know what you’re saying….”How the heck am I supposed to keep open communication with a lender who refuses to answer my questions, concerns, and routinely leaves my client and I in the dark?!”

My suggestion would be to try to find a title company that has a dedicated short sale department that can be your liaison between the seller, buyer, and the lenders.

Find a title company that will hold you and your client’s hand every step of the way.

In essence, we’re going to give you the blueprint on how we conduct business which will hopefully make a HUGE difference in the way the process flows for you in the future.

So let’s get started.

It’s SOOOOOO important to begin the short sale process properly! Hopefully the company you’ve chosen has an online short sale request form (kind of like this one) that asks a lot of questions to find all of the pertinent information that will be needed in the process.

From there, a title agent should perform a “pre-search” of the public records to determine what they may be up against and to help set your and your sellers’ expectations.

Setting expectations up front is absolutely critical and one mistake that many inexperienced title agents make. If the short sale has very little chance of closing, your agent should be up front and honest about it.

Upon completion of the “pre-search,” the agent should make an effort to generate an introductory package of information that details exactly what the particular lender requires, that’s made available to you and your clients.

At this point, your title agent should reach out to all parties involved to introduce themselves, answer any questions, and set the proper expectations for the short sale process.

This is such a vital part of the process to make sure everyone is on the same page. If the seller prefers to set up a meeting instead, your title agent should be willing to accommodate.

The key is communication

Then your title agent should diligently work with the lender(s) to get the files approved and closed.

It would be a good habit to have the title agent send the listing realtor a weekly update on an agreed upon day, in which the status of the transaction is discussed.

The listing Realtor should share this information with all parties to keep everyone informed.

If you’re not the type who likes to wait around for status updates, hopefully the title company you’ve chosen has a convenient web portal (like this one) that gives you 24 hour access to notes on your file. Once again, the goal is to keep clear communication.

Here is where lenders can help

Many of the lenders have taken steps as well to better the lines of communication on short sales. Specifically, Bank of America will now be putting all FHA loans thru Equator.

This should create a much faster process for short sales than in the past. Ocwen has set up a system for weekly calls with your single point of contact. This will ensure you get a call on your scheduled date.

Fannie Mae is also offering a new short sale escalation tool that is proving to be a great resource.

At the end of the day, it is the title company’s job to educate you and keep you informed.

We pride ourselves in setting the right expectations and keeping the lines of communication WIDE open. Does your title company in Florida do the same?

If not, we’d love to earn your business even if you don’t conduct business in Southwest Florida. We have the technology and mobile closers available for remote closings.

Simply connect with us online or call (239) 985-4142 if you’d like to work with us. We even provide free eBooks about short sales to help inform you and your client.

-Jillian

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NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Every effort has been made to assure that this information is up-to-date as of the date of publication. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area. This information is not intended as legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It should not be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel.

Winged Foot Tite, LLC is not associated with the government, and our [short sale orchestration] service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.