Posted by: Catherine | March 30, 2010

Choosing the right agent for your short sale listing

How do you know who is the best for your short sale listing.  I’m going to say right now , it is NOT just like any other real estate transaction.

One huge question to ask is “who is handling the contact with the bank, and what are they going to do for me?” 

That question is important because ALL TOO OFTEN now we are seeing agents take short sale listings, and then hand over , what is frankly the most important part of a short sale, to a 3rd party.  Who is the 3rd party? Well, good question.  Who should it be?  It SHOULD BE the person/brokerage/entity you trust, the one you enlisted to act on your behalf and the one who has a fiduciary duty to you.  Now, that is my opinion. 

Did you know that many 3rd party short sale companies are processors, and NOT “negotiators.”  So who is “negotiating” with your bank for favorable terms?  Not your agent?  Then who?  Are they licensed in any way?  Are they insured?  Do they have E & O insurance?  Can they work on YOUR LOAN?  Did you know that many have limited liability insurance and can not help you with FHA, CalHFA or any other loan that is not a “major institution?”  Government loans – no.  HOA issues – no.  Outside liens – no.  Hmmmmmm…..

Are they only processing the paperwork back and forth between you and your lender?  If so, who is working on your behalf to be sure you get the best language available.  Did you know many major lenders will remove deficiency language if asked, depending upon your loan?  Did they even try?  Did you know that in almost ALL cases what is covered insofar as the second liens and HOAs is NEGOTIABLE? Are they negotiating to get everything cleared up upon closing?  Are they adequately accounting for the past due and future dues, liens, taxes owed.

Just some thoughts.   I negotiate my own short sales.  Some say that it’s not an effective use of an agent’s time, but I feel very differently. I feel it is my duty to represent a seller to my highest ability and I don’t feel right about handing over this important negotiation to a third party.  But… that’s just how I do business.  I can keep my finger on the pulse of the deal.   You are kept abreast of all the nuances.  You will know and not be surprised by any challenges, and you’ll know that it was handled with the utmost skill, integrity and experience.

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