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Short Sales in Hawaii, and the Need For Experts

Short sales in Hawaii are a relatively new type of transaction for property owners and Realtors alike here on the Big Island. Many agents consider them to be a waste of time. But, with a few basic logical questions, experience can help us determine if the sale has a valid chance of being accepted. Purchase Contracts can be packaged in a way that protects the interests of both the buyer, seller, and perhaps more importantly:  the bank.

The so called mystery to completing a short sale is common sense. Mortgage lenders will ask for certain items in order to make a decision about the seller’s capability or lack thereof to repay a debt upon the sale of a property. The bank requires a hardship letter and other documentation in order to show valid cause why they should allow the seller the forgiveness of the debt owed. If you have lost your job, gotten a divorce, suffered a medical catastrophe or extended illness or been forced to relocate for job related reasons, these are all valid reasons for the necessity to sell your home in this down market.

There are companies who claim to specialize in ‘short sale systems’, but they often are just selling programs to Realtors, or even loan modifications to homeowners.  Even though I welcome referrals, I’m not selling any sort of system for Realtors. I’ve just had success in getting short sales closed, and we have current, relevant information about how to package and close short sale transactions in Hawaii.

Buyers and Sellers alike need an agent who is experienced in negotiating with lenders, navigating the process, and helping to prevent the innumerable pitfalls that can undermine the sale.  Without guidance of realistic expectations, the short sale transaction can be time consuming and frustrating to the point of exasperation.

In actuality, a short sale can be done in just a couple of months (although that’s not the norm). They can often take 4 to 6 months. The buyer’s agent needs to prepare their clients for this and be sure they are in it for the duration.  A great deal can be made, but patience is one of the key ingredients.

If you have a home to sell or are a buyer looking for a great buy, short sales should not be overlooked. They’re often homes that have been taken care of and loved, unlike REO/foreclosed properties where the appliance, fans, and even cabinets are sometimes gone!  Get yourself an experienced agent and the process won’t be nearly so intimidating.

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Beth Thoma Robinson

September 30, 2009

Pam,thanks for putting in a good word for short sales. Your points are excellent. In the Kohala Coast condo market buyers have the expectation that a resale is a turnkey furnished property and are surprised that they have to budget for repairs and furnishing if they buy a foreclosure. The right short sale can be a good alternative for the patient buyer.

Could you post a list of questions to ask the listing agent to determine whether or not a short sale you or your client has interest in is a good candidate for a successful close?
Aloha
Beth

Beth Thoma Robinson

September 30, 2009

Pam,thanks for putting in a good word for short sales. Your points are excellent. In the Kohala Coast condo market buyers have the expectation that a resale is a turnkey furnished property and are surprised that they have to budget for repairs and furnishing if they buy a foreclosure. The right short sale can be a good alternative for the patient buyer.

Could you post a list of questions to ask the listing agent to determine whether or not a short sale you or your client has interest in is a good candidate for a successful close?
Aloha
Beth

Susanna Kunkel

September 30, 2009

Aloha Pam & Beth,
Great post, and good question, Beth. As a short sale specialist, I find the real questions I need to know when representing a buyer have more to do with the listing agent’s experience and expertise in doing short sales. As part of the National CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Experts) network, I have access to national online forums, monthly conference calls, updated resources and forms, etc. that show me there is no “bad” lender, but we have bad experiences with lenders. It’s too easy to say that a particular lender is non-negotiable, when it may have been just one bad experience.

I get questions from buyers’ agents about the amount of the loan, etc. That isn’t really as relevant as the market value of the property, as can be proven to the lien holders. I’d suggest asking the listing agent how many short sales they’ve closed, and what special training, if any, they have in short sale negotiations. That is much more likely to help you navigate through the process on behalf of your buyer.

If the listing agent is inexperienced with short sales, then you can add information to your offer that will help the “short sale package” be expedited, and increase it’s probability of being accepted.

Anywayz, that’s my $.02 from Kauai 🙂
Hope it helps…
Aloha,
Susanna

Susanna Kunkel

September 30, 2009

Aloha Pam & Beth,
Great post, and good question, Beth. As a short sale specialist, I find the real questions I need to know when representing a buyer have more to do with the listing agent’s experience and expertise in doing short sales. As part of the National CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Experts) network, I have access to national online forums, monthly conference calls, updated resources and forms, etc. that show me there is no “bad” lender, but we have bad experiences with lenders. It’s too easy to say that a particular lender is non-negotiable, when it may have been just one bad experience.

I get questions from buyers’ agents about the amount of the loan, etc. That isn’t really as relevant as the market value of the property, as can be proven to the lien holders. I’d suggest asking the listing agent how many short sales they’ve closed, and what special training, if any, they have in short sale negotiations. That is much more likely to help you navigate through the process on behalf of your buyer.

If the listing agent is inexperienced with short sales, then you can add information to your offer that will help the “short sale package” be expedited, and increase it’s probability of being accepted.

Anywayz, that’s my $.02 from Kauai 🙂
Hope it helps…
Aloha,
Susanna

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