Let's be honest, short sales in Jacksonville are a part of our life and will be for some time to come.  Let's also be honest about the process of selling or buying a short sale, it can be painful as you wait for months and months not knowing if the bank will accept the offer.

The good news:  Short Sales are speeding up!

The time frame for getting an approval from the bank is hovering around 80 days.  Believe it or not, that is a fairly big improvement over just a few months ago when almost all banks were dragging before the holidays.

Why Short Sales are speeding up:

  • Proactive Banks: Several banks have decided to get real, real fast.  Chase, for one, finally recognized they had a problem and started initializing the document collection from the Listing Agents BEFORE a contract was ever submitted.  This one small proactive change in their process has drastically cut down on the front end of their short sale process.
    • If I ran a bank: I'd not only proactively contact the listing agents, but I'd also stop trying to collect from those unwilling to pay and instead offer them an incentive to short sale the property.  This would cut my losses early and reduce the expense of man hours doing useless collections activities, this would also reduce the cost and risk of starting the foreclosure process.
  • Realistic Banks: Several banks have finally realized that they cannot EXPECT full market value for the property.  Who buys anything at full retail in the middle of a recession?   Here's a hint:  NO ONE.  Thus many banks, including Bank of America have become more willing to take less than market value.....Finally.
    • If I ran a bank: I'd publish my required percentage of appraised market value that we would accept, like 88% of appraised value.   I'd publish my terms that I would accept, like paying up to 3% of the buyer's closing cost.  I'd require an appraisal dated no more than 15 days before the contract date, to be provided with the contract.
  • Buyer's Agents Expectations = Buyer's Expectations: Most buyer's agents in Jacksonville have been through a short sale or two at this point.  A little experience goes a long way with having the right expectations, and they are beginning to realize short sale approvals in 30 days are rare.   This is a big change happening as buyers usually walk from a short sale contract because they have improper expectations.  It's the agent's job to set the expectations appropriately and now that the agent has the right expectations, they are doing a great job of communicating them to the buyers.
    • If I were a Buyer's Agent: I'd do exactly what the best agents are doing, setting the expectations that it takes 80-90 days for an approval, and we will give the seller's a 90 day commitment to wait for the short sale approval.
  • Short Sale Listing Specialists: There are a few very good Jacksonville short sale specialists who have done far more than becoming "Certified", they've actually completed short sale transactions in volume.  They require home owners to use an attorney to represent them in the short sale process.  They set the proper expectations with the Buyer's Agent by requiring specific terms within the sales contract.  They study the ever changing Short Sale world almost daily.
    • If I were a Short Sale Listing Specialists in Jacksonville: I am one.  However, if you want a list other specialists that I recommend, I'd be happy to provide you with that very short list.  Send me an email.
  • Successful Sellers get Engaged: Home owners who need to sell are getting engaged in the process.  They understand their house must shine against the competition.  They understand the home must be near perfect for showings.  They prepare for marketing pictures.  They prepare their financial documents and provide them to the attorney in advance.  They do not have the attitude, "I'm not cleaning, the buyers should be happy they are getting a great deal".
    • If I were Short Selling my house: I'd understand the importance of curb appeal, cleanliness, de-cluttering, getting financial docs to the attorney, etc.  I'd understand that the buyers go through an emotional roller coaster while waiting, and the home must stay in top condition to keep the buyers engaged.
Posted by Brad Officer on
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