Short sales have been on the rise over the past few years and are notorious for being one of the most drawn out ways to buy a house (they're called 'short sales' because the sales price is less than what the seller owes on the house, not because they're quick and easy). MRIS, the clearinghouse for almost all the local real estate listings, has developed something called the Short Sale Center for real estate agents to use when they want to find short sales or need help if their client is involved in one (it includes a partnership with Fannie Mae to help get questions answered). After the jump is an explanation from one of their reps to help us non-real estate people understand what this new tool does.
Arm Yourself with a Knowledgeable Professional Before Navigating the Distressed Property Jungle
By: John L. Heithaus, Chief Marketing Officer, MRIS
By the end of 2012, the Housing Predictor states that if the current rate of housing deflation persists, 1 out of every 3 homeowners in the U.S. are projected to be what is referred to as “underwater”, meaning the total of the liens on the property exceeds it’s current market value or negotiated sale price.
Following this month’s monumental $26 billion settlement with States Attorneys General over mortgage fraud by major lenders, many housing analysts began to predict that banks would pursue foreclosures with vigor, causing an uptick. But, for banks, a foreclosure proceeding can be a long, tenuous and expensive process.
The numbers and predicted impact of “shadow inventory” ebb and flow daily depending on the data source, but how banks will pursue foreclosures, and the amount of time it will take to get distressed inventory off their books is not clearly known.
The significant number of homes impacted by deflated values is triggering declines in property values, sustaining negative equity, and driving homeowners and banks into the domain of short sales. As long as distressed contracts are on the market, instability will exist. Short sale contracts can be lengthy and complicated, but third-party MLSs like MRIS are helping to expedite short sale contracts by helping real estate professionals streamline the short sale process and provide real time customer assistance to homebuyers and sellers.
Clearly, housing experts and economists at the Federal Reserve have stated that the faster distressed inventory can be processed, the sooner overall home prices will stabilize. New services like the MRIS Short Sale Center are a product of the supply and demand of a recovering housing market. In addition to offering direct access to Fannie Mae’s Short Sale Assistance Desk (SSAD) program, the Short Sale Center also provides real estate professionals with short sale information from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Realtor.org and RealtyTrac.
The goal of the Short Sale Center is simple: to give real estate professionals access to the short sale tools they need in one convenient location. Unclogging the communication bottleneck of short sales through direct access to lenders has dramatically reduced the time to close on short sales. With over 700 real estate professionals visiting the Short Sale Center daily, hundreds of potential homeowners are benefiting from the baton pass of information.
Equipped with resources available to them in the Short Sale Center, real estate professionals can confidently present short sales to potential homebuyers as a viable option. Consumers that have never considered purchasing a short sale may be able to close faster than ever before.
In the end, fast short sales don’t have to be such a long shot. One of the most important moves someone can make is to engage the services of a licensed real estate professional before navigating the short sale market – as a buyer or seller. In today’s market, it’s more important than ever to arm yourself with good information and don’t get caught up in the web of bad or incomplete information. There’s simply no replacement for a knowledgeable partner in the process.