According to the National Association of Realtors®, across the nation, short sales and foreclosures accounted for about 10% of sales in September—down from 15% a year earlier. Seventy percent of those were foreclosures, leaving the remaining 30% as short sales. For bargain-hunters who wish to take advantage of one of the remaining Midlothian short sale opportunities, declining numbers can be a double-edged sword. Fewer opportunities mean a sharp eye and more nimble footwork is likely to be required—but the shrinking market has also coincided with less competition from institutional buyers (whether as cause or effect is anyone’s guess).
From the seller’s perspective, completing a Midlothian short sale can be the most welcome result from a difficult situation—usually resulting in the least problematical future credit and financial fallout. For that reason, once having secured lender approval, Midlothian short sellers are eager to do what is needed to see the sale through to completion. They are ahead of the game when they enlist the expertise of an experienced Midlothian Realtor who knows what to do when the time factor drags on…and on!
Since there are limits to how responsive institutional lenders will be to the timing needs of the participants, it usually takes proactive involvement to encourage a Midlothian short sale buyer to stay in the game. Most strategies incorporate psychology in one way or another—sometimes obvious, sometimes not.
Setting a deadline for lender approval is one of the more straightforward ways. The short sale addendum was made standard in many states during the height of the last wave of distressed sales after many overwhelmed or uncooperative lenders failed to respond to buyer offers. The inclusion of drop-dead timing deadlines removes the feeling of being in limbo from the process. It tends to encourage buyers, who feel more empowered when they see approval deadlines in place.
Experience teaches that lenders who know a motivated buyer is on the line are more likely to approve a short sale, particularly if a buyer is paying with cash. At the same time, buyers who feel a sense of ownership and control during the approval process are more likely to pursue the contract no matter how time-consuming it turns out to be. Contacting the loss mitigation department regularly for updates on their approval progress is one way to prevent a deal from slipping through the cracks.
Buyers who require a dependable closing schedule—or who lack inherent flexibility—are unlikely to weather bureaucratic delays gladly. One way to soothe jangled buyer nerves is to prepare in advance a market analysis that demonstrates in black-and-white what a great deal they’re getting. Likewise, if the buyer is taking out a mortgage, a side-by-side printout of two amortization tables—one for a comparable MLS listing at full price and one for the short sale— can buy some extra patience. Meanwhile, at all times while doing as much as possible to hang onto a buyer, adept short sellers keep their property attractive and well-maintained. There’s no downside to that!
These are some tried-and-true tactics for driving a short sale through to completion. If you are looking for success on either side of a local short sale transaction, I hope you won’t hesitate to give me a call!