Tips for Realtors to use Bank of America’s Equator

Posted on June 18, 2010. Filed under: Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales |

Allen Seelenbinder answers Realtor's questionsI went to a seminar today on using Equator, here are some tips for all!

Equator has 5 stages:

1.  Initiation – seller calls & signs up to initiate
2.  Document collection – seller uploads hardship docs & Realtors upload offers
3.  Valuations – BPO & appraisal is done
4.  Negotiations – counter offers & 3rd party investor approvals
5.  Closing – handling escrow & title transfer

To better step (um, jump) through through them, check out bankofamerica.reo.com/shortsaletraining

Realtors, make your short sale process shorter:

- have the seller contact the loan servicer asap to advise s/he is trying to sell
- ensure your customer financials are in pdf format
- confirm all requested documents & tasks are accurate & completed asap
- double check purchase offer is legitimate & @ fully executed
- make sure the purchase offer is the best possible at fair market value
- include listing information & comparables to support price w/your purchase offer

Success Secrets

In Equator you can add attachments when you email negotiators..  Listing agents, email your COMPS; they WILL be reviewed.  Help the bank help you.  Show them you’ve done everything possible to get the best value.  Tell the bank how many offers you had, your open houses, your marketing, so they know you’ve minimized their loss.  Remember, the bank is losing $$ here so offers need to be reasonable.

NEVER, ever, for the love of God, use the reject button in Equator.  It closes your file!!!! There is a button to submit with changes, use THAT instead :)

Itemize your escrow items, too.  Don’t forget to include buyer credits, this happens too much & causes deals to blow up!!

When you submit your counter offer in equator, push the close date out 60 days. If you pass approval date, then a new BPO & approval usually need to be done, and that can set you back 3 whole weeks!  This can make any deal crumble, so just get the extra padding upfront.  *note* if property is going to auction, that won’t work, so set the closing to be the day before scheduled sale.

Stop clogging up the phones, B of A has a rule ‘if its not in Equator, it didn’t happen’…so use  Equator to give you the paper trail you need.  You can escalate right there through the system, copy a manager if necessary.  ***ANGIE TIP*** if a conversation is necessary, and you’ve tried 3 emails through the system, tweet @bofa_help .  I always get a call back within 48 hrs :)

Say ‘actionable item’ in the subject, not urgent. Everyone says urgent.  What many consider urgent is truly not urgent, but actionable items=urgent to B of A, ok?

Today a VP at Bank of America, Allen Seelenbinder, advised us cash offers mean nothingB of A doesn’t care about your quick close, they care about minimizing their loss. Present your highest & best offers as opposed to lowball quick close cash.

Also, write your repairs into the contract, the bank doesn’t play well with new terms after appraisals!  How will you know?  Bring your trusty B of A local lender to the property, they can help advise you on standard repairs B of A is willing to do.

Realtors Pelt Bank of America with questions

What if the buyer walks?  Why do you automatically close my file? Unfortunately, we have to completely start over including submitting the sellers info again into equator.  Its for privacy purposes, so its not gonna change.  There is a 5 percent chance you can pull a switcheroo:  upload a NEW, better offer FIRST.  Then the next day, email the negotiator the cancellation of the first offer and request the switch out for the better offer.  In some cases this is allowed.

Will B of A pay a negotiation fee? NO, agents or buyers need to absorb.

Will B of A allow closing cost credits?
YES, but submit everything correctly in equator.

How can we escalate a file in equator? CC the manager or team leader on an actionable item!!  (for our technically clueless that means CTRL+click all titles you want to copy)  OR, worst case, you can call your local B of A loan offer and they can talk to the OC approval head.  There is such a person, however, Allen would not release his/her name to the ‘dogs’ :)

Will B of A reduce Realtor commissions?  Tax us for dual agency? Contrary to popular belief they try not to…commission can be 6 percent for properties up to 250k, 5 percent for 500k, higher than that your commissions can be reduced more.  Allen jokes…You can always ask the seller to pay the rest…the bank is taking a loss too.   Now Angie must joke…sure, how about we charge per phone call, email, and walked buyer then, cool?  Seriously, this process is a B for all of us.

Allen, way to let yourself get on the hot seat.  I’ve done customer service for Realtors before… they can be a mean, loud, unhappy bunch.  You handled yourself with class, and taught us how to work with B of A better.

Hopefully this post will help some struggling agents – tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam your Equator tips, or comment them below!!

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One Response to “Tips for Realtors to use Bank of America’s Equator”

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[...] Today I’m taking a few hours out of the busy day to listen to Allen Seelenbinder, a VP with Bank of America, tell Realtors how to work better with B of A to get our short sales closed quicker.  Definitely good use of time, because short sales take waaaaay too long!!!  For Realtors looking for Equator tips, check this post. [...]


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    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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