How To Retain Your Buyer Through A Short Sale
Retaining a buyer through 120 days of a short sale process is not easy business. Buying a home is often emotional and after the first month or two, those emotions tend to subside and their eyes wander toward other homes. If the buyer walks, you are left with a house that has 30-90+ days on it thus making it more difficult to sell it a second time.
I read an interesting article by Melissa Zavala on AGBEAT regarding four ways a listing agent can avoid losing a buyer. Let’s explore how we can ensure the best possible chance to maintain a buyer during a short sale.
- Strong 22SS: In today’s seller’s market, short sales will most likely be in a multiple offer situation as they are often discounted properties. This gives us the ability to pick and choose. Having a strong 22ss, a short sale addendum that is part of the purchase and sale contract, is very important. To create the right addendum, please read our previous article HERE. Basically, you want commitment down on paper early meaning you want them to get the inspection, get the earnest money, among other items done before short sale approval.
- Set Expectations: This is a job for the buyer’s agent yet it would be wise to let them know what you think the time frame will be to get the transaction closed based off the details of the short sale (2nd lienholder? who is the bank?). Clarifying the means for communication during the short sale is important as well.
- Create a solid addendum that buyers must sign prior to submitting the short sale package to the bank: Eliminate all surprises early via a document aka an addendum. On this document, you want to put down items that the bank may not approve such as home warranty, past HOA dues, pest control, septic pumping and others. Once documented, you will be assured that even though those luxuries are not included, the sale will move forward.
- Constant communication: I have wrote many articles on proper communication during the short sale transaction. Make sure that the buyer is updated on the progress of the file. For listing agents, I strongly suggest using such programs as Short Sale Commander which updates all parties on any status updates and keeps the files as organized as possible all electronically.
For you homeowners, finding a solid listing agent and negotiator is very important for a short sale. Your listing agent should help you setup the perfect environment for a smooth sailing short sale. For those who live in Washington state, contact our experts whom I’ve found are the absolute best in the business. For a free consultation, you can submit your information HERE and we will get in touch with you within 24-48 hours.
Hope this helps