Amy Hoak’s timely article on HAFA and short sales in yesterday’s Journal concludes with timely advice that I wrote myself the very same day. The article focuses on the many pitfalls of short sales, as well as the new HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) regulations which are set to go into effect on April 5, 2010.
Here is what I wrote yesterday:
Yet people still do not ask their prospective agents how many short sales they have closed. You simply cannot be a specialist with no experience; I’m sorry. I don’t care if you have a PhD or a photo shaking the Pope’s hand. What they taught you in class simply isn’t all it takes to handle the loss mitigation department of a lender. Sellers need to understand that if they hire an inexperienced agent to do their short sale, they do so at their own peril. I’d never want a surgeon cutting their teeth on my gall bladder, a lawyer apprenticing at the expense of my freedom, or an agent getting their feet wet at the expense of my finances.
Simply ask : “How many short sales have you successfully closed?” prior to listing your home. That will guide you far better than a patch on their arm.
Sellers at the conclusion of the Journal article are advised much the same thing: to ask their prospective agent how many short sales they have successfully completed, and how many were lost to foreclosure.
Obviously, the word is getting out. Experience trumps marketing when your financial life is at stake.