What You Should Know Before Choosing a Short Sale Realtor
Why This is Important:
The process of choosing a short sale realtor is one that should be taken seriously. There are numerous challenges you may come across during the short sale process, and choosing the right short sale realtor can make all the difference in your end result. Short Sales are time sensitive and each mistake or lost oppurtunity can lead to costly results. Do not be carried away by misleading websites, leading sales pitches and especially charismatic tv salesmen. When you hear things like you could be rich instantly, or all your problems can be taken care of overnight, do not believe it. Choosing a short sale realtor involves much more than this if your goal is to settle financial obligations. Many Realtors actually have started looking at the short sale with greater upside potential compared to other options like foreclosures or loan modification.
First off, generally a 3 hour online course isn't enough to give the necessary training needed to be adept at this type of real estate transaction. There are different nuances and
complexities in most transactions of this type. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying not to do your homework and do research. As a matter of fact, even just a little research on your own
can go a long way in choosing the right short sale Realtor.
Be mindful that there are some real estate agents that claim to be short sale Realtors but do not have the education or experience neccesary to provide you with the services you need. This is where your own knowledge can help to separate the winnow from the chaff. It is important to make sure you know the major steps on what to expect throughout the short sale process. You should ask the real estate agent detailed questions to ensure that the agent is both knowledgeable and able to provide the type or services he or she lists. Failure to provide clear answers to detailed questions should not only raise concern but also be a tip off to start looking somewhere else. One thing to watch out for is fees and costs that involve the agent. When discussing fees, a professional short sale realtor should know all pertinent costs especially including all up front costs due by the homeowner. Some state laws actually forbid up front fees related to the short sale, but some may disregard that and still seek fees that are due right away. Even worse, there are scams that involve "real estate agents" collecting fees that are not clearly explained, sometimes not even valid. Another red flag is a guarentee of results - any short sale agent that guarentees results should raise a red flag considering almost nothing is ever guaranteed in real estate.
Short sales can be volatile, they can vary, they can bring about a number of nuances and unique challenges. This is why experience can be so important - just for the knowledge base alone that an experienced short sales realtor can draw from. If possible, ask for names of clients so you can talk with others about their experience. Even if it's just an email address, references can give you some first hand insight into a client's experience. If the Realtor does not give out references, this should be a sign that something is not right. It may be that there are no previous short sale clients or previous clients do not have anything positive to say about the services provided. Either way, it's not a good sign. It is vital to have a open and honest working relationship with your realtor. You should not feel uncomfortable advocating for your needs and asking questions. Make sure to ask about potential liabilities, risks, and pitfalls that can happen as well. This is a subtle cue that having the agent be straightforward with you is your priority. They need to be your partner, to work with you and that means not shielding you away from the negatives or spinning things in sales-pitchy fashion. Also, your agent be connected with attorneys and certified public accounts who know about the legalities and tax issues. It should not be expected that all real estate agents have a full understanding of bankruptcy, real estate, and tax law, but he or she should possess a basic understanding of these important components.