Agents of Change
Think about what happens when you conduct a successful short sale: the homeowner is spared the emotional and economic trauma that comes with foreclosure and eviction; the lender saves tens of thousands of dollars in legal and processing fees; a home buyer gets a property below market value; and you make a commission. Who loses in that transaction?
There will be over 1 million REOs on the market by the end of this year. Until this inventory is exhausted, home prices and new home sales will continue to languish. Bank-owned homes can quickly ruin a neighborhood-nothing drives property values down more rapidly than vacant homes, and nothing is more of a safety hazard than an empty, boarded-up property. The faster you can help a first-time home buyer take possession of an REO, the faster the neighborhood has a chance to stabilize and recover. Foreclosure sales, in today's troubled market, present a rare opportunity to do well for yourself while doing good for others.
The current problem isn't a battle between Main Street and Wall Street; it's a systemic problem that threatens both. Like it or not, your role in this drama has shifted from "real estate agent" to "agent of change." And you are uniquely positioned to help affect the recovery for which the powers-that-be have provided massive financing. Start flapping, and let's see what happens.
bt Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.