Aug 26, 2009

Short Sale Process Help for Realtors

Hello Neighbors,

More evidence that sanity is returning to Real Estate!

Freddie Mac has thrown its weight behind helping us in the industry.

Thank you NAR (National Association of Realtors) for posting this update.

Short Sale transactions are the hardest escrow to conclude. Even when we have a Willing buyer, and a willing Seller - the Seller's lender will do a variety of evil things to kill the process. Only 25% of escrows on Short Sales are actually making it to COE (Close of Escrow). The other 75%? Who knows. Default (foreclosure), Loan Modification, or the Seller "catching up" are the other likely outcomes.

One of our least favorite actions is when the Short Sale lender comes after our wages. We can get through the entire negotiation process, inspection period, escrow .... and then have the lender say "by the way, we are cutting your commissions to ZERO". Yep. Working for free. Or - more realistically, since we've invested a great deal of time, energy, and our own funds - we are working for a loss. Now factor in that the majority of the houses on the market are short sales. Do the math, earnings risk is pretty high concern in this profession.

Why does this Freddie Mac news help?

We can now work with less fear of "Short Sale Earnings Theft". More confidence when showing Short Sale homes to Buyers. More faith that we can operate a business as a business - not as a collections agency.

We have more assurance that the industry is recovering, and some level of logic is returning to the key principles who drive this market. Stability is around the corner!

Freddie Mac Issues Written Short Sales Commission Policy

On August 20, 2009, Freddie Mac confirmed in writing that its servicers are not allowed to renegotiate short sales commissions. According to the policy, as a condition of the servicer’s acceptance of a short sale offer, servicers cannot renegotiate the sales commission below the amount agreed to by the real estate broker and the seller/borrower. However, if the negotiated commission exceeds 6 percent, servicers are required to limit it to 6 percent. This Freddie policy is consistent with Fannie Mae’s policy.

NAR has asked Freddie to establish an appeals process for cases when servicers refuse to comply with Freddie Mac’s policy.

Links to more in depth information can be found here:

Freddie Mac Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2009-22 (August 20, 2009)

Fannie Mae Short Sales Commissions Policy and Appeals Process

NAR’s Short Sales Website

Just another sign that logic is returning (if slowly).

- Jim

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