Seven Red Flags About Program 3648 and Program HR 3648 Short Sales

By
Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

program 3648Due to my high visibility online as a Sacramento short sale agent, I receive a lot of email spam, much of it centering on short sales. When I received an email from Program 3648, I deleted it, and all those that came after it. I mean, who calls itself Program 3648 or Program HR 3648 -- is this the X-Files?

But on Wednesday, I stopped to read one of these emails. The email aroused my suspicions because it talked about Administration Policy and promised full commissions on short sales, while naming a bunch of major lenders. I know that full commission is an impossible guarantee. Red flag. I also noted the email was absent a company name but sported a Washington, D.C. address, made to look like it could be a government-sponsored entity. #2 red flag.

So, I decided to check it out and signed up for the Program 3648 webinar. It started out innocent enough. To qualify for the program, an agent must:

  • Be full-time
  • Have short sale experience
  • Be able to handle at least 15 short sale listings
  • Possess a proactive approach
  • Maintain a proper mindset

That last 2 requirements were a bit peculiar because every successful short sale agent I know has those qualities. To push a "proactive approach" or "proper mindset," well, those are not things one would promote to an experienced real estate agent. It's insulting. But it's new information to an inexperienced agent. #3 red flag.

Program 3648 and Program HR 3648 also sport a little icon as their logo. It looks suspiciously like a government symbol with an eagle in the middle and lettering so tiny you can't read it, but it's not a government entity. #4 red flag.

Basically, this is how the program was laid out. An agent pays an upfront fee, signs a 6-month contract and agrees to pay a triple-digit monthly fee to Program 3648 or Program HR 3648. In return, the agent receives training on how to become a short sale listing agent . . . Wait. Didn't they just say they wanted experienced short sale agents? #5 red flag.

The agent will receive a list of 150 leads. These leads consist of homeowners who are 30 days or more behind in their mortgage payments. If an agent wanted to find a list of homeowners who have a Notice of Default filed against their homes, this information is available for free in the Sacramento County public records. The idea is agents then call or send direct mail to the homeowners, in essence, the program purports to turn real estate agents into telemarketers. #6 red flag.

What busy and successful short sale agent would want to do telemarketing? Probably none. But a brand new agent who has no business might be tempted to sign up for this program.

Program 3648 and Program HR 3648 also provide all the short sale negotiation for the agent. Gosh, I hope Program 3648 is a licensed real estate broker because only real estate brokers or lawyers can collect a commission, regardless of what they call it, to negotiate a short sale.

But the weird twist is the listing agent somehow charges the short sale buyer 1% of the sales price and makes the buyer pay its negotiation fee, 20% of which is rebated to the listing agent. Why would a buyer agree to pay a commission of 1% to the listing agent and the listing agent's third-party negotiator? #7 red flag.

I disconnected at that point. How many red flags does an agent need? I can already hear the lawyers at Lyon Real Estate having conniption fits over this.

Photo: Big Stock Photo

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Re-Bloggged 9 times:

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Topic:
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California Short Sales, REO's, and Foreclosures
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Comments 76 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,146,404
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

People get away with crap, Bill, because nobody complains or rats them out. And even when they are ratted out, they pack up their bags, change the name of the DBA and move on to the next town. Nothing changes much from century to century.

July 18, 2013 06:54 PM
Rainmaker
931,222
Nick T Pappas
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL

Elizabeth, I came across this post while Google-ing HR3648 Program...I just found a listing in my MLS with a form attached to the listing called a Facilitation FEE Agreement.  First time I every saw it and it's as you say the buyer agrees to pay 1% fee or $1,500 (whichever is more) as a fee to facilitate the short sale process and Payable to Real Prompt Realty Company a parent company of the HR3648 Program).   

January 06, 2014 01:51 PM
Rainmaker
1,146,404
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

I'm sure some buyers think it is worth it to pay a 1% premium, although I don't really understand why. In my Sacramento MLS, a seller would need to authorize such a stipulation because I woud not be amazed if some sellers have no idea what's going on.

January 06, 2014 01:59 PM
Rainmaker
52,871
Cathy Baumbusch
cathybREALtor
RE/MAX Executives

I just got an email from them today. Subject line: Alexandria Referral for Cathy.

February 03, 2014 12:49 PM
Rainmaker
1,146,404
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

They continue to get more clever, huh?

February 03, 2014 01:00 PM
Rainmaker
1,146,404

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents

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Additional Information

Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento office. Selling since 1974. Homebuying expert at About.com. Best short sale agent in Sacramento. Elizabeth sells homes from Galt to Lincoln.
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Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, who specializes not only in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento but sells extensively from Elk Grove to Lincoln. Weintraub is prominently known as the #1 Sacramento Short Sale agent throughout the Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you.