How to Handle Declining Markets

Newport Beach, CA-With a housing slowdown nationwide, sellers are in a position to be hurt more in a down market and cannot fail to recognize what they need to do to make their properties sellable.

Hold back on high prices and ask a price commensurate of the marketplace. This is the advice of one industry veteran who has been in the business for more than 20 years. Take a back-to-basics approach and focus on communication at every level of the business, especially if the seller must get the property off the books quickly, says CJ Gehlke, president and founder of REO Nationwide, a nationwide outsource company here.

No matter what market it is, a seller is in trouble if they price too high, said Ms. Gehlke. "If you are in a down market, that doesn't mean that you change what you are doing. You get back to basics. It gives us a wakeup call to pay attention," she says.

Success in a real estate downturn is all about communication and making good choices. "Communication becomes more important in a down market. Good business practice is always important but difficult to attain, particularly when we have a whole industry of new staff, some of who have not seen a down market," said Ms. Gehlke. "Many have retired. And there is no school to teach new people and get them fit for a down market. It's all about everyday good business, which becomes even more important."

The goal is to give the owner of the property as much information as possible on the home and to give the lender choices for how to deal with the asset. The asset management company provides choices for how to market the property and turn the asset into cash in as little time as possible. Lenders clean up inventory by using auctions.

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