The number of buyers was starting to decrease. It is my estimate that the absolute peak of the Arizona real estate boom was July 2005. Some may argue it was later, but being very active in the business, it was at this time I felt something was wrong. Through the end of 2005, asking prices were continuing to increase, but sales volume was beginning to decrease. Many sellers felt their homes were worth much more than they were really worth. It took a while for reality to sink in and prices began to decrease for homes in Arizona.
Through 2006, asking prices continued to fall, but most sellers could still sell their homes for more than they had paid. Many sellers still did not realize what was happening and refused to "give their home away", even though they still may have had equity at that time. This was a tough time for everyone, as nobody knew exactly what was about to happen to home vales and home sales in Arizona.
Sales and prices continued to decline all through 2007. Probably in late 2006 is when sellers started to ask what their options were. Even at the time, short sales were not common, so most agents had to learn as they went. There were classes available and members of The Valley Solutions Team attended each and every class we could. The problem was nobody even at that time was teaching anything relative to the scope of the problem. What I mean is if banks only had to deal with one or two short sales here and there, everything would work as taught. We all know this is not the case. I believe at any given time, right now there are over 12,000 short sales and 12,000 bank owned homes listed in the MLS in Arizona alone. Expand that to the rest of the country and the true scope of this disaster can be seen.
The Valley Solutions Team did not give up. We worked hard for our clients and got many deals closed. In hindsight we worked too hard. We were doing what we were taught. Put together a complete file, market the home for as much money as possible, submit to the lender and call and follow up relentlessly until we received an answer. The problem we experienced along with just about every other agent was the excessive time the lenders took to respond. By the time the lender said YES, the buyer had moved on. Usually they did not want to wait up to 90 days or more to get the answer and if they did wait, usually the home had dropped even further in value, making what once looked like a good deal to now look like a bad deal.
What does this mean to you? The Valley Solutions Team will now assist in gathering the information necessary as well as market the property to the very high standards set by the owner of the team. When an offer is received, we will work to put together a package that will be acceptable to the lender. We will then begin negotiating the deal in the shortest amount of time. The cost of everything to the seller is zero, as all professional service fees are now paid for out of the proceeds at close of escrow.