I have received a lot of phone calls lately about listing short sales. I am currently getting my distressed property certification and short sale certifications because I am seeing such a need for them in this market. I have taken short sale listings and continue to do so, but they are not easy. Buyers need to understand short sales are time consuming and Sellers need to understand that the road is not without bumps at this time. However, new legislation coming soon is going to streamline the process and help lenders to get through the process more quickly which will make buyers, sellers, Realtors, and banks happy!
As lenders adopt new federal guidelines for short sells, they will become less frustrating for everyone involved. The short sale process will be standardized to some degree in 2009. Lenders have the option to begin implimenting the new guidelines now, but they do not take effect until April of 2009. These new short sale guidelines are part of the government’s new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program, known as HAFA. This is part of President Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program. These new HAFA guidelines are voluntary, but major banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo are going to participate. This will hopefully clear up some of the confusion between lenders, sellers, and Realtors about short sales and create somewhat of a roadmap for the three to work together to get the property sold.
Because of HAFA, lenders will finally have a financial incentive to get these deals completed in a timely manner, which has been a huge problem until now. The guidelines will provide standardized forms so there’s no confusion between the real estate industry about what the bank is expecting in the form of paper work. It will include standardized time lines for getting an answer back to the buyer and seller, standardized procedures, and more. Won’t it be great to have preapproved short sale terms prior to the property being listed? My sellers and buyers are joyful about that!!
As with any new guidelines, they will take months to work out the details. But this new process for short sales is the beginning to making short sales more successful for buyers and sellers.