With REO sales making up roughly 11% of total sales, it’s important for Realtors to know the short-sale market well, said Equator Vice President of Certification Ashley Bean, when leading a panel discussion at the REOMAC 2013 Summit & Expo in Dallas.

During the same panel discussion, a number of short sales experts discussed the health of the industry and gave tips to attendees on how to close more sales.()

In 2011, the average time it took to complete a short sale was only 108 days, according to Bean. That is a far cry from the 148-day average that came the following year. Now, in 2013, we’ve pushed the time back down slightly, with the average somewhere between 120 and 130 days, the Equator VP said. 

Bean added that Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan and Georgia are the fastest-moving states, which she notes is likely a result of the number of short sales that agents have worked in those markets already, providing them with plenty of experience. 

Abel Fregoso, vice president and national field short sale manager for Wells Fargo (WFC), told the crowd that there is a significant divide between the eastern and the western regions of the country. 

The West is in full recovery mode, while the East is still struggling to rebound. But Fregoso warned it may take longer than most people think. 

Fregoso explained that in the ‘90s, the last housing downturn, the amount of 30-day delinquencies maxed out at 3.3%. It wasn’t until 13 years later, in 2005, that those numbers leveled out to 1.5%.

However, in the third quarter of 2013, that number crept back up to 11.3% and still remains above 10% in 2013. 

"We are starting to see some recovery in some pocket markets," said Fregoso, although he reminded the crowd that it took 13 years to return to normal last time.

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The panelists also reiterated the importance of detail when submitting a short sale offer. Make sure everything is consistent with the paperwork, advised Burrell.

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"When you meet with these potential sellers, you want to make sure you have their best interest at heart," he said, adding that its important for agents to be seen as a resolution expert. 

Additionally, all panelists encouraged the crowd of agents and brokers to educate themselves and stay up to speed on the ever-changing short sale market. Knowledge is power, they noted, and it’s crucial to stay in the loop on what banks are doing at any given time.

mhopkins@housingwire.com