We started negotiating Massachusetts short sales, and slowly grew up into New Hampshire and have now just aligned with an attorney to begin negotiating in Maine. We also have negotiated in other states, but New England is where our home is.
So what constitutes GOOD? As a homeowner, you should make sure whoever is negotiating your sale has real-world experience. It’s important that you take a few easy steps before committing to a negotiator.
1) Ask for approvals. – any good negotiator should be able to provide redacted approvals for you to view. You want to see A LOT..not just 2-3 approvals. Look for someone that can provide 30+
2) Be wary of anyone that tells you they’ve closed 100% of their short sales. When someone says this, it usually is because they lack the numbers…if you’re up to over the 30+ mark, not every sale is smooth and there will be times a homeowner backs out, the buyer backs out, the buyer doesn’t get financing, you can’t clear title, someone took a sale a day before an auction, and there could be countless reasons a sale ended up going to foreclosure
3) Just because they are a lawyer, doesn’t mean they are a GOOD NEGOTIATOR. I’m not here to down lawyers, because my company doesn’t survive without them. We get a ton of referrals from law firms, Realtors, etc., however, all of the law firms we work with services in an advisory role while we do the negotiating. We’ve seen law firms negotiate and many are excellent at paper pushing and not good at understanding market value, BPO’s, investor guidelines, etc. They can be SLOW. If it is a boutique law firm that only specializes in short sales, you may be in a better position, but if it’s a law firm that just added short sales onto their menu of countless other services, just be careful.
4) Just because someone is a CDPE, SFR, CSP, or any of the countless other designations, doesn’t necessarily mean they have a broad experience in the negotiation of short sales. Refer to #1 – I cringe when I see people throw out the term “Short Sale Expert” or “Short Sale Professional” because this industry changes so much every day, it’s almost impossible to be an expert. Someone who is a Short Sale Expert, likely isn’t.
5) Ask for their average short sale closing timeframe. Our firm’s average from January to June this year was 47 days from submission to approval. It’s an AVERAGE. We ask for 90-120 for the passing of the title.
6) Ask how they handle “other” liens – Short sales are properties many times riddled with multiple liens, executions, attachments, etc. Those smaller pesky liens can kill a sale. Realistically the homeowner should be very involved in getting the smaller liens released, but most good negotiators will have strategies for dealing with smaller liens on title.
7) Ask when they pull the title. The title should be pulled the minute a contract is executed or sooner. Many negotiators don’t pull title until the short sale is approved but refer to #6. If there are smaller liens, and the primary lender only gives you 30 days to close, you may be hard-pressed to get those smaller liens released and you won’t be able to close if the title isn’t clear.
8) Find out how they communicate and how often. I don’t care if a lender won’t return a negotiator’s call for three weeks. THAT information must be communicated to you the homeowner, the buyer’s agent, the listing agent, etc. Everyone should know exactly what is going on with the sale. The buyer doesn’t need to know every little detail but should get a progress update weekly, along with the homeowner.
9) Find out what length they have gone to help a distressed homeowner. This is one of my favorite questions. If they don’t have a few really good stories to tell you again, they likely lack experience. Anyone who has done this enough knows some fun tricks to help a homeowner along when things look bleak.
10) Get testimonials; We post our testimonials on our site or through our LinkedIn profile. Read how other homeowners felt about the person you are about to hire. That will be a strong indication of how they will treat you.
These tips will help you when hiring your Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine Short Sale Negotiator. Please feel free to contact me should you need further assistance.
– The Short Sale Closers!
Maryann Little, VP Mitigation – Short Sale Mitigation
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine
For Realtors, Attorneys, Title companies, etc interested in our services please go to http://massachusettslossmitigation.com/
For homeowners needing assistance with avoiding foreclosure please go to http://shortsalemitigation.net/
2500 Main Street,
Tewksbury, MA 01876