By Laura Rubinchuk
For the past two years, I’ve been able to bury my head in the sand when it comes to distressed properties. It’s just not a huge part of the market in the area I do most of my business. As of this morning, only about 6 percent of the active listings were short sales, and fewer than 3 percent were REOs. However, hearing of the shadow inventory that’s possibly coming on, and that most of the properties that were bought in 2005-2007 around here are underwater (some more than others) I finally pulled my head out of the sand and realized it’s not going anyway any time soon, and probably will increase in market share.
I attended a seminar on “The Truth About Short Sales” this week. The amount of information that I didn’t know, and didn’t know that I SHOULD know made my head spin. It got me wondering… how many “short sale experts” are doing a real disservice to their clients? How many want a quick sale and push a short sale without considering the whole picture? I know that I’m not qualified to tell you whether a short sale, foreclosure, bankruptcy, or using your house as a coffin and continuing to pay is the best option. But I can listen. I can help you make sense of a messy situation and direct you to the resources who can help you get to the right decision for you.
As real estate professionals, we know what the market is doing. Are prices coming up any time soon? If not, you know how to market and sell the property, when/if a short sale is right for the client. If not, direct them to someone who can help. Earning someone’s trust in a very uncertain time is hard, but rewarding. Not only will you feel good about helping someone who desperately needs it, but I bet you they’ll be loyal for life. Be a neighbor, be a friend, first and foremost, by putting their needs ahead of your agenda.