As if we need another issue to contend with…….
My partner and I recently re-directed our marketing efforts to include potential “short sales”. Although we both communicate regularly with our sphere (past clients, friends and business associates), neither of us has made a habit of sending vast quantities of mail to people we don’t know.
The short sale market has changed our philosophy a bit. Typically these homeowners are in trouble and we feel a sense of obligation to help. It’s also a formula to head off foreclosure and ultimately a little healthier for our market as a whole. We’ve become reluctant experts in this field and now market ourselves to homeowners in distress. We’ve run into a few Loan Modification schemes out there and wanted to offer some advice:
- Beware of “up front” fees, particularly if they don’t clearly spell out or guarantee their future performance.
- Check with your Lender(s) yourself. We often find that 3rd parties often charge for a service that can be easily handled by the homeowner.
- If it sound to good to be true, it probably is. We’re all looking for hope aren’t we? This can create an easy target for some.
- Ask for and check references.
- Check with the Real Estate Division.
- Get advice from a trusted attorney and/or real estate broker.
There are some legitimate business models to help distressed homeowners. There are also many free services available for counseling and advice. A seasoned, reputable real estate broker or agent is a great place to start.