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In Short Sales, Time Is of the Essence

Melissa Zavala
2 min read
In Short Sales, Time Is of the Essence

Just the other day, many of us counted down and watched as the ball dropped in New York City and another New Year began. Happy New Year to you. I hope your celebration was a fun one. Did you stay out past your bedtime?

It’s funny how the world is so focused on time. We count down to the New Year. We set our watches and our clocks. Isn’t it great that many of our cell phones now set themselves since they are calibrated to Internet time?

However, this obsession with time doesn’t always transfer to real estate—but I believe that it should. First off (and this is generally for real estate agents and lenders), if you get an Internet lead or a phone message from a prospective client, you need to return that message as quickly as possible. We have officially transitioned into a me generation. This means that if you do not attend to the needs of the me who called, this individual will move on to another as quickly as you can snap your finger.

The issue of time is interesting (possibly ironic) with respect to short sales. In many short sales, the clock is ticking. Foreclosure may be imminent and the individual doing the short sale negotiating needs to be mindful of the foreclosure time frame.

Additionally, there is the chronic issue of the lender taking what seems like forever to receive a short sale package, to assign a negotiator, and to approve a short sale. It’s always a bit ironic when the short sale negotiator calls you on the phone after about 3 months and says that s/he needs updated pay stubs and requests those pay stubs by the end of the business day. It’s frustrating because the file has not been addressed for such a long time. And then, all of a sudden, you have to scamper around like a crazy person trying to get what the bank wants post-haste.

Sadly, however, that’s the nature of short sales. If you hem and you haw or if you complain and dig in your heels, you may be less likely to get that short sale through the system. Time is definitely of the essence when working short sales—at least it’s of the essence to everyone except perhaps our friends at the banks.

Photo: flickr creative commons by GlobalJet

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.