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Tips for agents facing short-sale obstacles

Part 2: Agents tap lucrative source of business

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(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Read Part 1.) Many areas are experiencing a serious real estate market slowdown. If prices are decreasing in your area, you may soon face the prospect of representing home sellers who need a "short sale." The term "short sale" refers to a situation in which the seller lacks sufficient equity to close a transaction unless the lender takes a reduction in the homeowner's loan payoff. Negotiating this is difficult. The tips below are useful in any market where sellers may owe more than their property is worth. 1. Before taking any listing, check the existing loan balances. When you take a listing, failure to check for all liens on a property is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make. Never rely on what the sellers say they owe. They may show you the balance on their first mortgage and forget to mention that they have delinquent property taxes as well as a home equity line of credit. Depending upon the laws in your area, you may be able to obt...