Sunday, November 6, 2011

Man's short sale spurs website to help others

Scottsdale businessman Sean Tierney said he went through a short sale earlier this year and found the experience so convoluted that he launched a website to help others.

"I was looking for a resource to allow me to get me straight answers to questions. Since nothing existed, I decided to build it," he said.

The website is interactive, so people going through short sales -- or on the brink of them -- can ask questions and get answers from 152 experts Tierney and his business partner Seth Rich, a Scottsdale real-estate agent, have assembled.

So far, 59 questions on the site have generated 223 answers from experts. Thousands have read them, he said.

There are questions asking about the average time for a short sale, whether a homeowner can sell to a friend or relative, and how to choose a real-estate agent to handle a short sale. Questions also have asked about the meaning of short-sale jargon.

The site generates answers from real-estate agents in nearly all 50 states.

They like to provide advice because it sets them apart, Tierney said.

"You build your reputation as an agent; if you're more knowledgeable, people likely want to work with you," he said.

The men are recruiting others with expertise from the legal, mortgage and title industries.

"We are picky about who we take," said Tierney, who looks at credentials, number of deals closed and average dollar volumes.

His own short sale hit many snags, and he listens to others' horror stories.

Problems occur because so many people are involved in approving the sale, and there are many opportunities for roadblocks, Tierney said.

"From my impression ... it's not an issue of malice or ignorance; it's a matter of two arms of the business not talking to each other," he said.

Going through a short sale is never pleasant, Tierney said, but he made the best of a bad situation by creating the website. "It's hugely satisfying to build this resource so other people have (the information) I wanted," he said.

During Tierney's short sale, Rich was juggling 30 such sales.

"He has a huge success rate. ... I started thinking, 'How can we turn what (Rich) knows into a formula and help others.'"

by Luci Scott The Arizona Republic Nov. 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Man's short sale spurs website to help others

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