Subprime mess, credit crunch, too much inventory, foreclosures running rampant, the re-emergence of the short sale, daily depressing newspaper headlines, and declining values…haven’t you heard enough?
Certainly I have and quite frankly the more I hear and read the more I am determined to focus on and look for the opportunities this market has to offer. Don’t misunderstand me. In 35 years the ups and downs of real estate cycles have taught me a great deal. Looking for opportunities in a media frenzy of portraying “doom and gloom” and talk of recession in the housing market is more than some old timer wanting to breathe unrealistic optimism into the lungs of his colleagues. Let me explain.
Because of my past experience with short sales in southern California back in the early 90’s I have been invited to participate and take an active role in creating forms, making informal and formal presentations on this subject. In general, imparting the knowledge I have gleaned on the topic of short sales over the years. A subject every REALTOR® should become acquainted with and make an effort to learn.
Knowing something about short sales and the foreclosure process can be a healthy thing for you and your clients. Recognizing the signs and characteristics of someone facing a short sale and/or foreclosure will make you a better counselor. After all isn’t that something we should all excel at doing? Counseling is an acquired skill that manifests itself in one’s ability to learn to listen attentively by placing the interests of the person doing the talking before that of the listener.
So when you see someone facing imminent foreclosure and/or a pre-foreclosure (short sale) situation seize this opportunity and help the client save and keep their primary residence. Tell them to contact their lender immediately and try to work things out. Twenty percent of the borrowers never make contact with their lender during the foreclosure process.
Lenders aren’t there yet but they’re starting to come around to help borrowers with their financial challenges. As a REALTOR® you can help. Assist the distressed homeowner by putting pressure on the lender, especially when the client has had an outstanding past payment history with that lender. Advance remedies and alternative solutions that will change the terms of the loan such as: (1) loan modification (2) Re-payment plans (3) Postponement of payments (4) Refinancing.
Realistically speaking we may not be able to help everyone. But we really won’t know that until we’ve tried real hard. Without a doubt helping a client keep the home you probably sold them is definitely one of the best opportunities I know of in this marketplace…let me know what you think.