17 – 8.
While it’s not a sports score, it is a score of sorts. Like a good agent, I keep track of my numbers. Statistics like offers written, closings, leads, etc. these are all important numbers to know in my business.
17 – 8
17. The number of properties put into escrow so far this year. The number of contracts signed by willing buyers and sellers.
8. The number of properties that have fallen out of escrow so far this year.
Why so many? This has mainly do to with the short sale process; 5 out of the 8 went into foreclosure after my buyers waited, in many cases up to 6 months. I don’t point this out to whine or complain, but to make a point. Here is the major caveat when working with short sales on the buyer’s side, you have no control. It’s a nerve wracking, thumb twiddling process that may not result in a house and there’s nothing either the buyer or the buyer’s agent can do to change it.
What’s the solution?
Have realistic expectations. Short sales do work, but they are a risky bet. Just because the seller has accepted your offer, this does not mean you are home free. Hedge your bets and keep looking.
Ask the right questions. Before you/your buyer submits an offer, ask the listing agent a few questions. Where are they in the process? Have they had offers before? Who are the lienholder/s? How many liens? These are important questions to know as they will help with the next stage.
Understand the process. The biggest issue right now are the deficiency judgments. Certain banks, like Bank of America, are NOT allowing these to be waived. What does this mean for the buyer? Often times it means the seller backs out at the last minute, letting the property go into foreclosure.
Finally, follow up, follow up, follow up. Keep in contact with the listing agent and your buyer. Often times the update will be no news, but at least everyone involved knows you still have a pulse.
Short sales aren’t easy, for anyone in the transaction. Patience and perseverance is key; it’s the only thing that will keep you from pulling your hair out.