I am now in the process of closing another short sale. In this transaction I represented the seller on a condo in Capitola. Overall, it was a smooth transaction. This was my first time negotiating with GMAC as the lender and I have to say that overall they were reasonable to work with as far as the short sale. However, my client originally tried to work out a loan modification with GMAC and they were not helpful to her at all.
To give an idea of the time frame involved, here is a brief time line. Back in April, the owner contacted me to let me know that she wanted to do a short sale. We prepared the property for sale and then listed the property in the first part of March, and received a strong offer right away. It then took about three months for GMAC to review the file and approve the short sale and then about 35 days for the buyer to secure financing and close the deal. So, in total, we are talking about 4 months from list date until closing.
There are several reasons why it was a smooth process such as GMAC being cooperative and also that there was only one loan. I also strongly believe that the main reason it was so smooth was that we treated it as much like a traditional sale as possible. Anyone who has dealt with short sales realizes that it can be a very confusing process that often feels unprofessional and unfair for the potential buyers and their agents.
First of all we started by preparing the home for sale as we would any other home by cleaning and organizing the home and clearing all the normal clutter of daily life away. My client can take the credit for this step. Then we prepared professional marketing materials for our flyers and online marketing. We included professional photographs as well as a virtual tour on the public MLS sites as well as the agent sites. Then next step was pricing it right. We set a price that was fair for the bank who would be taking a loss on the property and also still attractive to potential buyers.
Then once we received a strong offer from a qualified buyer we accepted that offer and stopped showing the home. We let the buyer know that as long as they were willing to be patient with the short sale, then we would be waiting to see what the bank’s response would be to their offer before opening it back up to other offers. This helped to build good will with agents, as well as the buyer and the seller. Good will goes a long way to keeping a deal together when patience is required and there is element of uncertainty about external factors.