Do You List Short Sales? Be Careful!
The current economy, with it’s abundance of foreclosures and short sales, has meant more work for real estate agents – there’s no doubt about that.
Now, there’s also a new danger for agents who list short sales.
It seems the FBI is getting involved, accusing agents of conspiracy to commit fraud if they fail to submit all short sale offers to the bank.
They say that an agent is required to submit all offers up until the time the bank has given approval of the first offer.
And… at the same time, many of those short sale lenders are refusing to accept further offers after they’re already working with an offer. Some, in fact, are leaving it up to the agent and the homeowner to decide which offer to submit when there are multiple offers.
That seems to me like shirking their duty – and laying the responsibility for their actions onto the agent and the homeowner.
What to do? The Long Island Board of Realtors has a good idea. They suggest that you make a copy of each new offer and send it – certified mail – to the lender.
And of course, leave a paper trail that the FBI can easily follow should they decide to investigate you.
In addition, I suggest you document every conversation via notes in the file or in your day planner. If you have emails to and from the lender, print them out and put them in the file.
As a citizen watching all this – I feel that the FBI (or someone) should have been watching the lenders and preventing them from committing fraud on trusting consumers. For them now to investigate the real estate agents who are trying to cure the mess the banks made just seems… wrong.