Helping Sellers Survive the Foreclosure Roller Coaster Ride

Posted on June 10, 2013 by

Going through a Foreclosure action and losing your home is a very stressful situation for anyone. Until you walk in those shoes yourself, it’s hard for an Investor or Realtor to understand what a Seller is facing in their day to day life. I would like to share how a Seller feels during this process so that you can really begin to understand the Seller’s experience. It IS a scary roller coaster ride and you can help deter them from crashing and burning at the end!

Owning a home has always been the American Dream. Sellers become very emotionally attached to that “dream home.” They work their tails off, save as much money as they can, and make the big purchase. Unfortunately, the adjustable rate mortgage was introduced to our economy which allowed Sellers to purchase the home of their dreams with little money down, interest only payments with the Sellers knowing that in 3 to 5 years they will have to refinance their home to a fixed 30 year mortgage in order to keep it. When the housing market crashed, it affected everyone drastically.

Many people found themselves without a job ie. realtors, mortgage brokers, developers, contractors and many more people in different occupations. Can you image if you had a 700+ credit score and then suddenly you weren’t able to make your payments on your home, car, credit cards, and purchase food or clothing for your family? This is such a humbling experience that many Sellers don’t survive. Everything they have worked for their entire life is gone! This situation has crushed many dreams and is still occurring daily.

First off, the Seller should not have purchased a home with an adjustable mortgage rate and counted on the economy to increase the equity in the home enough to be able to re-finance. However, with the persuasion of the mortgage broker, spouse, friends and maybe family, the Seller thought “It will be alright I can do this!” Now that everything is crumbling down around the Seller, their pride is stopping them from taking the correct step and doing a short sale. The Seller receives multiple telephone calls a day from a debt collector whether it is for the mortgage payment, car payment, credit card payment, etc. The Seller (male) is starting to have family issues as it was his job to earn income to support the family. A Seller (female) may also be in the same position as in this economy it takes two incomes to raise a family, send their kids to college and to pay all the bills.

Many Sellers lose faith in their religion as they don’t know who else to blame for the fact that they are losing their home. In reality, it is the economy’s fault and no one else to take the blame. It’s just life. This is hard for Sellers to realize. In addition, Sellers start having health issues, they argue more often, drink more, kick the dog, beat the kids and their safe and stable family life turns into CHAOS. This is nothing to scoff at, laugh about or take lightly. Foreclosure destroys families and lives. Many Sellers end up in divorce, kids start failing in school or they totally move out. The family quits going to church. The family unit and the individuals literally fall apart. Sellers need our help to understand the entire short sale process and how it can truly benefit them…..especially the fact that it is FREE, and they are in control of their destiny versus walking away or staying in the house and still letting it go to foreclosure.

When you contact Sellers, you need to be aware that they are expecting someone who wants money from them. They are barely scraping by and now we say we want to buy their home. Where will they go? You need to remember that these Sellers are on a roller coaster ride from “heck” and don’t know how to get off or aren’t even sure that they want off, because they are not informed about all of their options.

I always teach that you, the Investor or Realtor, will have to help the Sellers understand the process, meet with them a couple of times and, more than likely, will have to counsel them during their stressful situation. I like to set their expectation right from the beginning which is “doing a short sale allows you to control the bank’s outcome.” What I mean by that is in my contract it states “This offer is subject to the underlying lenders taking a discount acceptable to the Sellers and the Buyers.” This way, if at the end of the short sale, the short sale lender wants money from the Sellers or the deficiency judgment is not waived, the Sellers can back out of the deal! And by the way, if you’ve taken my course, your Sellers will not pay any money and their deficiency judgments should be waived. This alone makes a Seller feel warm and fuzzy and in full control. As for you, well, this statement may not make you feel warm and fuzzy. I only work on transactions that will be a win for the Seller, win for the buyer, win for the bank, and win for the Realtor. Using this motto will help you excel in your business. I provide excellent service and teach my student to do the same; therefore, we all have high referral rates and you should, too!

So, the next time you are dealing with a Seller who still owes you paperwork in order to do the short sale, please recall this article and remember what kind of day are they going through. How can you help them provide what is needed to process the short sale? Is it, I will come to your house and we do it together? Should I email it to you and do you have enough ink in your printer to print it out or should I overnight it to you with a return label self addressed and paid? We are here to provide a service……so provide an excellent service to them. I provide excellent service; therefore, I have an excellent referral rate.

I know as an Investor and Realtor it is a struggle to deal with Sellers and short sales. However, if you are willing to do what it takes to get the deal done by truly helping the Sellers, then you will not only make money, you will also help a Seller from owing a deficiency judgment for 25 years and maybe help stabilize their family again. The Banks are going to go after these Sellers and we must approach this with a mindset that “enough is enough!” Help the Seller out and explain the short sale process and remember, they need you more than you need them. However, without your help and persistence they would not have made it through this ugly time. Feel proud of helping the Sellers re-build their world, save their family and move on with the next chapter in their life. I am proud of you!!!

Happy Negotiating!

Kimberlee Frank

Kimberlee FrankKimberlee Frank is a Master Negotiator who has closed over 600 deals since 1998. She is a Mentor, Trainer, Author and Real Estate Broker teaching Investors and Realtors how to creatively purchase and sell short sales with her Step-by-Step System. She has helped Investors and Realtors earn hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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