By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Since the beginning of the short-sale problem, NAR members have been seeking plain-language, common-sense tips for dealing with these difficult transactions. We tried to help fill the information gap earlier this year with two free webinars, one in March and one in May, with Scott Thompson, a short-sale specialist who shared his ideas in a way that seemed to resonate with our members. The last time I checked, just under 39,000 of you either attended, viewed, or downloaded the two webinars. They were also incorporated into NAR’s new Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource Certification (SFR) curriculum.
The tips Thomson shared still apply today because he talks about industry best practices that remain constant. But the short-sale environment is nevertheless evolving, so we’re hosting a third webinar, called Today’s Changing Short-Sale Environment
, and you might consider spending an hour to attend it on Dec. 10 if you’re looking for more help with these transactions. It’s at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. What has changed? First, lenders have been refining their processes for the past year and a half, so we need to know how their processes are different today. Ideally, we would talk to all the major lenders but that’s not practical. So, we’re doing the next best thing. We’re having Dave Sunlin of Bank of America Home Loans
, a sponsor of several of our webinars, talk to us about what his company is doing on short sales. Dave is senior vice president at the lender and in putting together the Webinar we learned that BofA is rolling out a technology platform for short sales.
Not having seen the platform I can’t say anything about it, but at the very least it holds out the promise of helping servicers process short sales more systematically. I expect it’ll take a while for BofA to iron things out after servicers have had a chance to use the platform for a period of time. It’ll be interesting to see if processing is in fact quicker and more predictable.
The other speaker is Lynn Madison, a veteran real estate broker who now spends much of her time as a real estate training specialist. She helped develop the curriculum for NAR’s new SFR certification and she knows short sales as well as anyone. I had the pleasure of attending a short-sales seminar she hosted at the 2009 NAR Conferece in San Diego last week and it was probably one of the most information-rich 90 minutes I have ever spent at a conference. I posted a brief write-up of her session, which focused on the buyer side of short sales, right after the session. If you want to get a taste of the breadth and depth of her tips, this post might help. It’s hard not to be impressed with her command of the nuances of real estate transactions.
What else has changed on the short-sale front? Well, since we hosted the first webinar, the Obama adminstration has said it will release guidelines to help standardize processing, but the guidelines have yet to be released. Nevertheless, as Sunlin told us, lenders like B0fA are eagerly awaiting the administration’s input. We’re hoping the guidelines will be out before Dec. 10, our Webinar date, so we can offer to Sunlin and Madison the chance to talk about them.
Register now for Today’s Changing Short-Sale Environment. It’s free and takes place at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Dec. 10.