This post strays from my usual posts geared to buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia. The information may be of interest to you as well but it is geared to other agents who may think that they have found a new niche in today’s market
I just finished reading the umpteenth blog on how real estate agents should be marketing themselves as short sale specialists in order to generate more business. As an agent who has successfully completed a few short sales and have a few more in the works it seemed this might be a good time for a reality check.
Going back over the call logs on my current short sale listings started me thinking of all of the other components connected to a short sale that an agent stepping into their first short sale may not consider.
Time spent gathering and reviewing the short sale package
Time on hold with the loss mitigation department
Time on the phone with the loss mitigation department
Time spent of the phone with the negotiator
Time spent of the phone with the appraiser/BPO agent
Time on the spent with agents answering questions
Time on the phone with buyers explaining a short sale
Time spent talking to buyer’s lenders
Time spent gathering HUD-1’s to go with offers
Time spent processing offers
Notice the list doesn’t include the normal tasks associated with a listing which are required in order to attract buyers. Those tasks need to be added on top of the time spent specifically on short sale tasks. Add on top of this the fact that lenders are notorious for slashing commissions at the end of the negotiations process and an agent working with a short sale may find that instead of making X commission they are only getting Y for all of the extra hours of work.
Considering the National Association of Realtors® shows that the average agent earns $35,000 per year, deciding to be a short sale specialist means an agent seriously needs to consider the old adage time is money. Agents, especially newer agents, who might be considering advertising themselves as a short sale specialists might first want to get out their calculators and figure out the value of their time. You may be surprised that the time it takes to finish a short sale transaction only leaves you enough to fill your car with gas and not much more.