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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stinking up the place...

Today’s issue of RealtyTimes contains an article titles “Short Sales Still Irritate” by Bob Hunt. It cites a recent survey by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) that not surprisingly showed continued and growing frustration on the part of Realtors with the short sale process and the banks involved with them. I suspect that “Short Sales Still Infuriate” would have been a more apropos title.

The Hunt article discusses the work that CAR (supported by NAR) has done to try to get changes mandated to the banks, thus far to no avail; and their recent spate of advertising imploring the lenders to get their act together. It also gives statistics from the CAR survey that indicate that the overwhelming majority of survey respondents have had unsuccessful or unsatisfying experiences trying to do short sales. At the end it also cites that the survey says that the vast majority of the Realtors surveyed said that they would never recommend the lenders that they’ve had to deal with on short sales – as if the lenders cared.

Therein lies a part of the problem – the lenders just don’t care. They don’t care if Realtors don’t like them or their process. They don’t care if their own clients don’t like them or their process. The only people they care about are the politicians that they buy to make sure that they are kept whole in the current economic mess. The article pointed out that legislation backed by CAR to mandate specific decision timelines for short sales - H.R. 1498, "Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2011" - is bottled up in some House sub-committee in Congress, where undoubtedly some loyal lender-sponsored toady will probably keep it off the agenda until it dies.

So, being dissatisfied and unhappy with short sales is, and will be, a fact of life for Realtors and their clients on both sides of the deal for the foreseeable future. I guess we need to get over it and get on with things.

For Realtors who just don’t want to deal with them directly, short sales will be like the skunk that walks around your house at night. You may not have dealt with it directly, but the smell is always there and it stinks up the whole area. Short sale lenders are our skunks as Realtors. Some Realtors will figure out ways to work with them without getting sprayed. Some will try and back off after getting sprayed a time or two and many will just have to continue to do business in the area surrounded by the smell of the skunks that they don’t deal with directly. It stinks, but it is reality.

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