As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, April 2009.
Recently, I closed a short sale for a single mom with two children. The family was bouncing back after escaping an abusive relationship. It also was just three weeks from foreclosure.
Because the mother hired a listing agent who didn't know how to handle short sales, she faced financial disaster at the worst-possible time. Fortunately, she sidestepped that occurrence.
After learning about the family's situation, I closed a short sale on its home in a few days. The only reason this happened was because of the training I received in becoming a certified distressed-property expert. While many people think this designation only serves Realtors, they're wrong. It can be invaluable to mortgage brokers, too.
For me, the certification received during a two-day course has led to closed deals and increased credibility with homeowners and Realtors.
In today's market, the influx of distressed-property sales almost dictates that brokers achieve this certification. Without extensive knowledge of short sales, it's more difficult to help the thousands of prospective clients in need adequately. This expertise is particularly important in the most-troubled states, including California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.
Although uncertified brokers and Realtors can handle short sales, they're often working with half a tool kit. In Arizona, where I live, I wouldn't survive in the market without completely understanding short-sales mechanisms and how to influence them. I also wouldn't be able to help borrowers in extreme need.
Short sales can be difficult for many reasons. Even with the "expert" designation, it's imperative to align with Realtors equally adept with the process. When the broker and the Realtor know how to handle the short-sale process, they can expedite and execute it much more smoothly.
It's also critical to understand that short sales represent a last resort to save homeowners from foreclosure -- not a business opportunity.
During my course, I learned:
What banks need to consider a short sale;
How to use that information to help facilitate the process;
How to influence the process and speed it up;
The responsibility brokers have to homeowners and the industry; and
How brokers can make a difference.
Today's market terrifies troubled sellers. It also presents mortgage professionals an incredible opportunity to establish themselves as industry leaders and to help borrowers facing the worst of times. For me, becoming a certified distressed-property expert was a major step toward achieving those goals.
Mark G. Taylor, certified distressed-property expert, has more than 12 years of mortgage- and retail-banking experience and is senior mortgage planner with Arizona-based Security Mortgage Corp. In this position, he executed loans that resulted in $340 million worth of originations in four years. Reach Taylor at (602) 361-0707 or email@example.com.