The number one thing you need to understand about a short sale is that the short sale lender must realize the true market value of a property. Recently we got a house in Sanford that needs everything and I mean everything redone inside and out. The house has multiple types of siding, the tile inside the house has been pieced together, various sizes and colors, and is pushing up from the ground due to water damage, the rotted wall from the 3rd bedroom was removed which makes the house a 2 bedroom, the air conditioner is not working, doors, lights, fixtures are all missing, and the kitchen cabinets have mold all over them. SPS is the servicer for the Short Sale Lender and they are really easy to work with. In fact, they normally process a short sale within 30 days, so you need to be ready when you submit the short sale package to the bank and ask them to provide you with a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) or an Appraisal.
We submitted everything into the bank and were very excited to immediately hear from a BPO Agent (Real Estate Agent) stating that she has been instructed by the Bank to go out and get value. We scheduled an appointment to meet her out there. We had everything ready in a BPO/Appraisal Package to provide to her. We had the following items: Purchase Agreement, Estimate for Repairs from a Contractor, Comparables and liens from the City for major code violations.
We were at the house 30 minutes in advance so that we could be ready to meet, as some BPO Agents/Appraisers will come to the property earlier than what they stated and we did not want to miss meeting her there. However, to our surprise, she sent a guy to take pictures of the property which we call “a picture taker.” Now you would think that pictures are worth a thousand words, however, this picture taker did not provide the Real Estate Agent with any information about the repairs, comparables or liens on the property. However, we did forward it to the Agent, but since they only make $50 to $75 on a BPO, she was pretty much done with the value on the property. As you would guess, the value came back “HIGH.”
This was very disappointing knowing that SPS works quickly. Now we have to fight the value of the property. First off, we instructed SPS that the Real Estate Agent did not even come to the house and sent a picture taker doing a MAJOR disservice to the Bank. What that means is that she as a Real Estate Agent is giving her opinion of value on a home that she didn’t even look at. Of course we pointed out all the problems with the house to the picture taker but the physical smell and condition alone would have had this Real Estate Agent rethinking her value by far, had she actually shown up. This house can only be sold to a cash buyer due to the condition of everything!! A conventional buyer would not be able to even get financing due to every single room in the house has major damage including the roof! The house is not habitable as it stands.
When you fight value of the property depending on the type of loan, the purpose to dispute the value is to get another BPO Agent that will come out to the house and report all of the repairs needed. Obviously, if you have been doing short sales for sometime you understand that any cosmetic repairs such as paint, carpet and updating is not considered. However, non-functional use of the property such as it has missing doors, tile pushed up from the ground, mold, entire walls removed, air conditioner not working, roof leaking these items are not cosmetic and need to be considered in the value.
So now the fight is on!! We have to send in all the pictures, repair costs with pictures of the condition and the repairs needed and comparables to justify that their price is too high. I wish we could send them the smell or the feel of the property when you walk in, as you can’t even catch your breath! Then we need to wait for the investor to review the pictures, repair estimates and comparables to see if they are willing to order another BPO. If they do not, then we need to wait out the BPO value for 90 days, as that is how long the value will be effective with the Bank. During this time, the house will just deteriorate even more which is disappointing. All it took was for a Real Estate Agent to come out and do her job instead of just looking at pictures. Our goal is for the Bank to see the injustice that the BPO Agent did and re-order another BPO so that this property can be sold asap.
The lesson learned in this situation is if the Real Estate Agent states that she is coming out and sends a picture taker instead, refuse to allow access to them and call the bank and request another BPO Agent as they are supposed to spend a minimum of 15 minutes in a home, per another BPO Agent. If you know anything about BPO Agents, they race through the home in 5 minutes or less and they don’t tell the true story to the Bank which causes lots of delays in short sales. Always meet the BPO Agent, have a list of repairs from a contractor and comparables. Remember though, they do not have to take this information from you, but the Bank will always want to see them, so you need to be prepared!!!
Please keep sending me your questions and topics that you would like to hear about, so I can be sure to keep feeding you with the information that you need in order to move confidently through 2016 and bring your Real Estate Dreams to Life!