How To Choose A Short Sale Agent in Florida

Your Success Depends on the Short Sale Agent You Choose

A quick word to the wise… pick your short sale agent very carefully. A short sale is way too complex of a transaction to trust a new agent with. And don’t make the mistake of just hiring the agent with the flashiest website either. When dealing with a short sale, you need a short sale specialist… an agent who specializes in short sales.

Back in 2006 when the market crashed and short sales were everywhere, a lot of agents decided to specialize in short sales. Real estate training companies made big profits by offering short-sale training to thousands of agents. However, there’s no way you can learn how to be a short sale agent in just 3 hours. Unfortunately, many homeowners fell victim to these newbie agents claiming to be short sale specialists resulting in a failed short sale transaction.

Now in 2020, short sales in Orlando are not as abundant and there are a lot fewer short sale agents. Many times I get referrals from other real estate agents in Orlando because they don’t want to deal with the extra work involved with processing a short sale.

Ask a Real Estate Agent to Refer You To a Short Sale Agent

If you have a friend or relative that’s a real estate agent, chances are they’ll be able to refer you to a good short-sale agent. Short sales require a lot more work than a traditional transaction which is why most agents avoid them and are happy to refer them to another agent.

How Experienced Should my Short Sale Agent Be?

There are realtors out there that have been in the industry for several decades and have a ton of experience. However, some real estate agents stay in the business for longer than they should. What I mean by that is… the real estate business changes constantly and if you have an agent that’s set in their ways of doing things and not willing to keep up with the changes, then you’re in trouble and you should probably find another agent.

When it comes to finding an experienced short sale agent, you need to verify how active they’ve been recent. Ask them to show you proof of recently closed short sale transactions and find out how many clients they’re currently working with. Sure, they must have been doing short sales for a long time but even more important is what have they done lately.

I’ve been a short sale agent in Orlando, FL since 2004 with thousands of closed short sale transactions and I can tell you that there have been a lot of changes in the way short sales were handled back then and now in 2020. From different incentive programs being offered by lenders to the Federal rules and regulations, everything will continue to change.

When choosing a short sale agent, here are a few questions you should ask:

  • How many years have you been a short sale agent? Your short sale agent should have a minimum of 3 years experience in selling short sales. There’s no better teacher than experience. Making mistakes and finding out things the hard way is a great way to learn and avoid making those mistakes on future short sale deals. If you’re able to find an agent with experience in real estate investing, even better.
  • How many short sale transactions have you closed? Just imagine the knowledge of a short sale agent that has closed over 1,000 short sale transactions. These are the elite short sale agents and they will know what each of the top lenders will require, how they operate and what to expect. They will also have short sale packages from every single bank on hand. These agents will more than likely have systems in place to help streamline the process while providing you with individual attention.
  • Do you foresee any problems with my short sale? An experienced short sale agent will know if there are any red flags to warn the seller about just by asking a few questions. Remember, a real estate agent is not allowed to give tax or legal advice. However, the agent should be familiar enough to point out some potential tax consequences, legal issues, etc. Your short sale agent should be able to refer you to a real estate attorney in needed.
  • Do you have any experience with my lender? A past deal doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the same response from a bank, but it can be a good indicator. Different banks have different processes and some are much tougher to negotiate with than others. Chances are that your short sale agent will have some experience with your lender, unless your lender is a private entity or investor. If you have a loan with a private investor, you may not get the answer you want but at least you’ll get a quick response.
  • Will you be processing my short sale? Make sure the agent you’re talking to is also the person processing your short sale. If an agent is too busy, they may pass your short sale off to a third party processors who may not even be licensed. Some people believe real estate attorneys are the best negotiators for handling short sales. This isn’t the case, I actually have several real estate attorneys referring there Orlando short sales to me. The difference is that an attorney will charge you whether the deal closes or not and a real estate agent only gets paid if the deal goes through.
  • How long do you expect it will take for my short sale to close? If you haven’t yet heard, short sales are anything but short. However, if your short sale agent has recently done some deals with your lender, they should have a pretty good idea how long everything will take.

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