Bank of America listened to REALTORs and sellers along with the costly process of foreclosing and determined a change was needed.
For the past several years agents and even sellers cringed over the thought of applying for and processing a short sale from cradle to grave, that fear is now gone and Bank of America is taking the driver seat.
Bank of America listened to REALTORs and sellers along with the costly process of foreclosing and determined a change was needed. Now processing a short sale through Bank of America can almost be as easy as a traditional sale.
The first step was to implement a system that allowed REALTORs to contact Bank of America’s short sale department and receive a timely response. Instead of building a system from ground up Bank of America took advantage of an existing platform already in place, Equator. Equator is a platform used my REALTORs all over the country to process bank owned foreclosures. In addition to an existing platform they had access to skilled and qualified REALTORs already handling distressed properties.
The next step was to expedite response times; which was the number one complaint from REALTORs and sellers. By requiring agents to communicate through Equator Bank of America was able to speed up response times by tasking agents for documents, valuations and seller information required to process a short sale.
Since Bank of America had already determined that the cost of foreclosing on a home was costing considerably more vs. short sale the next step was to offer an incentive to the seller. On May 15, 2012 Bank of America launched a quite aggressive seller incentive; which provides relocation assistance in the form of cash. Upon a successfully closing a short sale the seller is provided with a cash payment between $2,500 and $30,000 – that’s not a typo. In addition to relocation assistance they will forgive any deficiency between the amount owed vs. the amount the home sales for. Prior Bank of America could file a judgment for the difference. The amount of relocation assistance provided is determined once the REALTOR initiates the short sale process on Equator and varies depending on numerous factors.
The final step was to provide the REALTOR with a bank-approved list price. Prior to Bank of America expediting the short sale process real estate agents would pull comparable sells in the area and determine the current fair market value. Since the bank didn’t approve the price prior to the listing it was always a gamble whether a buyer’s offer would even be accepted or even countered over the current list price, now there’s no guessing. Bank of America has set a goal to provide an answer to a buyer’s offer within 60 days and close within 60 days of the approval. This is a far cry from the 6-12 months it was taking prior.
With Bank of America taking a more aggressive step in handling distressed properties other lenders are taking note and beginning to reevaluate their procedures. Wells Fargo, Nationstar, ASC, American Home Mortgage Servicing and BSI Financial have all allowed real estate agents to initiate a short sale on Equator. Even though they’re not all being as aggressive with the relocation assistance program the process is becoming more streamlined and banks are realizing the benefits of working with the homeowner vs. foreclosure.
If you currently owe more then your home is worth and you need to sell contact one of our REALTORs today for a confidential appointment. We’ll cover the process, go over your options and initiate contact with your lender in order to start the short sale process. We have agents available 7 days a week – (360) 423-4663. Pacific Northwest Realty Group covers Cowlitz, Clark, Lewis and Wahkiakum Counties and we also have REALTORs who are Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE) available. CDPE’s have gone through additional training covering the short sale process.