Three years ago you would not have been able to find a single article in any newspaper or online publication about short sales. Today, there is an average of 5-10 new pieces each and every day. Over the course of a year, that translates to nearly 3000 different articles on short sales published every 12 months.
What does all this publicity mean to short sale investors?
It means that the concept of a short sale is now mainstream and is looked upon as a normal and viable option for homeowners to avoid foreclosure. In years past, many homeowners didn't believe it was possible that they could “walk away” from their upside down property without getting hit with a foreclosure. Now, a homeowner can type into the Google search bar “what is a short sale” and get 119,000,000 results. With all of this free, accurate information about the benefits and drawbacks of a short sale, homeowners can now make better informed decisions as to whether or not to pursue a short sale.
As a short sale investor, when you reach out to your local community to help homeowners in distress, you will find that many are already aware of a short sale and therefore it is much easier to start the process of helping them because they already want you to do a short sale. Therefore, for brand new short sale investors, all of this publicity is positive reinforcement that they are in the right business; helping people as well as earning a great living for their efforts.
Also, when any great opportunity experiences this much publicity, it will attract all sorts of people, including the good, the bad and the ugly. There are always a few bad apples in every industry and this one is no different. During the mortgage boom of 2003 to 2006, thousands rushed into becoming mortgage brokers to cash in on the lucrative mortgage origination business. Most brokers did the right thing and offered their customers the best loans their customer's could qualify for. However, you probably read articles of mortgage officers who exercised questionable judgment, shoved their clients into awful loans and in the end, the borrowers ended up in foreclosure and subsequently those mortgage brokers ended up in trouble.
The same is true today. I recently read a story of a person who negotiated short sales and then resold the properties to prisoners. He falsified these convicts loan applications to get the loans approved and of course, these inmates did not pay the mortgages because they were in jail! That's an example of publicity attracting a bad apple to the industry.
In the end, all this publicity has been a tremendous positive. But capitalism without compassion is destructive. As investors, your goal should be to make sure all parties involved in a transaction win. The actions you take have an impact on all the other investors across the country. When you exercise integrity and honesty in your dealings, it reflects positively on all of us short sale investors.