HI,

 

I was told that banks are now going to be requiring that the agents that are allowed to work on their short sales be certified.  Has anyone heard about this?

 

I am a believer that if you have experience in short sales and a group , like this one, to help with random questions it should be sufficient.

 

Is this all a hype so the NAR or local boards can get Realtors to pay for more courses?

 

Thoughts....

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Despite creating a training program and designation, I agree that there is no substitute for experience! While the banks could care less, and I don't believe they legally CAN insist an agent have specific training, the "powers that be" that are trying to get banks to use them for mitigation work and to refer short sale listings (Equator and Titanium) DO have their own training programs that they demand agents complete.

We're similar, but 1.) We don't "require" you to take our program, and 2.) We exclusively use other avenues to generate motivated short sale sellers and have not relied on financial institutions YET for our business.

Again, I don't think lenders legally CAN demand agents have certain training, its a conflict, and they also do not own the properties...
I would imagine, as in most other "employment" criteria, experience counts as well as education. I feel they should have more of an issue with an agent listing a short sale that is experienced and has a succesful tract record, but that's just my vote (I do have a CDPE and SFR desig/cert).

Here is why I do feel there needs to be some regulation...I had a call from a seller today who has had his house listed for several months with no showings for over a month. He has FIVE months of resourses left to make his payments and then he is broke. His agent has done nothing other than list the home in MLS. There has been no communication with his bank and he was told there is nothing you can do until there is an offer!!!!! Total lack of concern and incompetence! AND this is an otherwise experienced agent who supports herself from real estate. THAT's why there would be concern for banks requiring education, in my opinion. Agent like that one have an ethical problem in my opinion!
Yeah Janet, that agent was incompetent. The banks try to tell you to list the property at fair market value, eventhough they are not the owner, but yet they want offers coming in. That agent should have used their common sense and lowered the price of the home to get in offers. Even my first shortsale, I didn't listen to the bank, and had enough common sense to know that it was a distress sale, and it needed to be priced right to get in offers.

Sometimes some agents get in their own way. I remember a couple years I prospected a fsbo and found out she was a potential shortsale candidate. I brought the homeowner a potential buyer who was an investor,but it didn't meet the investors criteria, so the investor turned the prospect back over to me. The prospect told me how she was having problems even getting the bank on the phone,and that even her past agent couldn't get the bank on the phone.I sat in her house for a while and got the bank on the phone, and got the process started. The home owner then told me that she felt conflicted about using me to list the property because she promised the last realtor if she ever got the bank on the phone,and they allowed her to do a shortsale she would list with her again. I told her I was experienced, and I was able to get the bank on the phone, and the past realtor could not. She still said she felt conflicted, and said that she really liked the realtor because she spent a lot of time,effort, and money on the home in the past. So I let her go.
The other agent listed the property, and days later had the nerve to call me about my buyer.I told her it didn't fit my buyer's criteria, and if my buyer wanted the property he would have bought it without her being involved. A few weeks passed, and the realtor called me, and asked me for my advice because she was not getting any offers. She stated to me that the bank required her to list the property at fair market value. I explained to her that for one, the property was priced over market value, and also that the home belonged to the seller and not the bank, and that she needed to drop the price. Then as if I spoke a foreign language, she told me that she would call the bank and ask for permission to lower the price. Needless to say, she never lowered the price, and a total of 4 months in the process and the homeowner was foreclosed on. Even short sale training can't teach common sense.
I am pushing for licensing requirements. 99% of agents (and attorneys) should not be doing short sales. It's coming.
It would be nice to have SOMETHING out there Joseph, but I'm not sure it is possible or practical to have a special licensing just to do short sales.

So Joseph, you're actually proposing a licensing for just short sale negotiator/loss mitigation? NOT some weekend training class, but a real regulated licensing process...

That's interesting. Mainly in the sense that the training could ALSO be used for the negotiators at the lenders. Not really a bad idea, but then I wonder about the practicality of it, and that by the time they actually put it together short sales might be dying down...
So what License do you suggest, or see coming?... Brokers only... In California the only real difference is the Short Sale Addendum and the Demand that the Bank produces... Can you regulate all the differences in each of the banks? I think the Treasury Department is trying to do that now with "HAFA" but the Banks seem slow to jump on the program.

You say its coming.. when is that going to happen in your state? Is there a law pending in your State, I would love to see how it reads.

Licensing is coming but it won't mean much as there are really good agents who can close a short sale and really bad agents who let something fall between the cracks, same goes for the bank side.

I was in a meeting where the lender said over 300K short sales were initiated in Equator and only 70K closed. The bank wants to work with competent agents, and yes we all know that the bank employees have not made it easy either but there is an argument for truly understanding what is at stake and being proficient at processing short sales.

Joe - who are you pushing the issue of licensing with?

The challenge with certifications in my opinion is that ANYONE can get them.
I agree with Joseph and Cidalia...but the way banks will work around anyone being able to get certified is to only use agents certified through THEIR program, and put them on a grading system. It happened during the REO frenzy, I don't see why they wouldn't do the same with short sales.
Your so right.. most of the classes have open book tests if there is any test. I have never known anyone to fail a Certificate Test. The industry should force you to upgrade to Broker in 5 years or force you out but that is just my opinion.
One of the biggest problems is that is the lenders and servicers who are poorly trained and have no clue what they are doing many times. That's where I could see a licensing coming in handy like Joseph was saying. EVERYONE would have to have one, even the negotiators with the lenders!
All of the Boards are getting more and more heat from Brokers that think they are over stating the value of the classes that they offer. I know of one group that is teaching "short sales"and not one of the people is or ever has been a Broker or knew what Supplemental Directive 09-09 was. We need to express our opinions with our local, state and national Boards.

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