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Reducing the Public's Confusion About Losing a Home to Foreclosure

by Gee Dunsten

Sellers - Gee's articleThe real estate community must continue to educate each other.  Agents need to understand the basic concepts of short sales and loan modification, such as:

1. How they work.
2. The most effective ways to communicate with the lenders.
3. Improved ability to describe to their customer, in easy-to-understand terms, what they are doing and why.
4. How to articulate the benefits of pursuing a loan modification or short sale in a constructive and positive way.

Most of the leading short sale agents don't start their first seller interview by talking about how they will sell their home. Instead, they start by determining what the sellers really need: "Do you really need to stay in this house?" or "Do you have the ability to stay in this house, or do you really need to sell it?"
Most homeowners don't know what a short sale is or what a loan modification might be. They often don't realize that they may have the opportunity to keep their home. 

The agent might be able to say: "You may be better off staying here. There’s a mortgage modification program that the federal government has in place that I think you might be eligible for. So, before we start talking about selling your house, you might want to explore the options for keeping it."

I know this might sound counter-intuitive, because most real estate agents are in the sales business. They don't get paid for getting sellers to stay in their houses.

Real estate, however, is a relationship and referral business and if you help someone keep their home, how many referrals do you think you are going to get as a result? The homeowners will be so grateful that you put their needs above your own need to earn a living, and that the relationship will serve you in the long run.

So, let's continue to do our best to help more agents get better educated, so they can better educate their customers.

Gee DunstenGee Dunsten entered the real estate business in 1972. Starting in residential sales, he progressed from general sales manager to owner/broker in 10 years. In 1986, Gee sold his business and returned to his first love, selling real estate. His selling career has crossed the $200 million mark, and he is currently an associate broker with Long & Foster in Ocean City, MD.  Gee has been a senior instructor with the Council of Residential Specialists for more than 24 years and served as CRS president in 2001. Gee was inducted into the Real Estate Experts Hall of Fame in 2012 and was recently selected as one of ten Top 5 Elite Speakers.

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