Top 5 Mistakes in Choosing a Short Sale Realtor

short sale negotiators

Choosing the right realtor to sell your home is something that you should take very seriously. The sale or purchase of a home is one of if not the most important transactions that a person will ever be involved in within their lifetime. So what if you’re in need of a short sale? Then you really need to be careful because short sale listings are a completely different animal than traditional listings. There is a lot more work involved with completing a short sale and that’s just the beginning. Realtors that specialize in doing short sales have to be highly skilled negotiators and have to possess a “never give up” attitude in order to be successful.

Following is a list of 5 things that homeowners should look out for when hiring a realtor to do their short sale.

1- Realtors that only work part-time- It’s hard enough to work a short sale as it is. Imagine if your short sale realtor had another job during the day when the lenders are working. Part-time realtors have no business working with short sales because it can take twice as long to get it done and when you’re doing a short sale, time is of the essence. Lenders can still continue with foreclosure proceedings even during the short sale process.

2- Realtors that outsource all the work- There are some realtors out there that don’t care for all the extra work that a short sale requires of them so they outsource their short sale files to a third party. I personally would never do this because I think it’s unethical and misleading to the homeowner. If a realtor is advertising themselves as a short sale specialist or expert then I feel that realtor should do all the work, not someone else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have an assistant or processor in your office to help move things along, but this is very different than outsourcing the entire process to a third party. Also, third-party negotiators will add extra fees to a short sale which can cause the deal to fall apart entirely. Make sure to ask the agent if they are going to work on your file or will it be outsourced to another company.

3- Insist on weekly progress updates- Homeowners that are in pre-foreclosure are stressed out enough about their situation as it is. Imagine how much more stressed a homeowner will be if they have no clue about what’s going on with their house. It’s important that you make things clear with the realtor up front by getting them to commit to weekly updates with your file even if nothing’s happened on any particular week. If the realtor can’t commit to keeping you “the homeowner” in the loop every step of the way, then you shouldn’t hire them.

4- Check their track record- Research the agent to see what they’ve accomplished in their real estate carer lately. A good short sale agent should be working with several files at any given time. Also, find out how many short sales they’ve completed in the past six months or year. An agent that’s good at doing short sales should have at the very least, three happy clients that would be willing to tell you all about their experience with that agent.  If you’re their only short sale client then seller beware!

5- Interview Several agents before choosing one- There are a lot of great short-sale agents out there which means you can afford to interview a few before making your choice. Pick at least two or three that satisfy the checklist above and see which one you feel would do the best job for you according to your needs. Remember, this person is going to be handling the sale of your home from beginning to end. Make sure that you feel comfortable with them. Just because a real estate agent is great at doing short sales, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the best agent for you.

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