Selling your home as a short sale and finding a real estate professional who knows how to handle your home and the transaction properly can feel like walking through a minefield. Lots of agents want the listings, but you need to find someone with some very specific qualifications because of the intricacies involved in handling the short sale process. Selecting someone other than an experienced professional can lead to worse problems than you have now. Below is some information to help you select the right agent to list your home.
Agents that list short sales for sale know that these transactions are more complicated than a traditional sale. Good agents will know that they need specialized training to handle and organize the additional details. Make sure your agent has at least one of the nationally recognized certifications. Of course, we all know that training isn’t everything, but this will at least narrow your field to a smaller list of agents who have taken the time and care to take the additional step of perfecting the trade knowledge.
Ask if the agent has ever closed a short sale listing. It’s a reasonable request and will let you begin to see if you are going to be working with someone who has done this before. An agent should be able to tell you that they have listings, have some under contract or have closed several in the past. You owe it to yourself to make sure you get someone with some experience to help you.
Each short sale transaction is different and each bank is constantly changing the process to get a home approved. The more experience, the better.
We often hear agents say that short sales don’t need to be marketed in the same way that traditional listings do because they are priced lower so they are therefore easier to sell with less marketing efforts. It’s been our experience that this type of thinking is a mistake. For every dollar under your loan amount your home sells for, the bank who has your loan loses a dollar. The banks themselves want to see that a true good faith effort has been made to sell your home for the highest amount possible. To ensure that the home is selling for a fair price, your lender will either order an independent appraisal or what is referred to in the industry as a BPO which is when another independent del estate agent provides the bank with a price for the home. This takes real, traditional marketing and you should never settle for less!
This means that you need a sign, a professional flyer and excellent photos just like every other listing.
The Pitfalls of Choosing the Wrong Agent
Don’t set yourself up for an uncontrolled process that leads to a foreclosure because the agent didn’t handle the short sale properly. Make sure you have a competent agent. If things go wrong, you could end up with a foreclosure or a bankruptcy. You need to prevent these pitfalls by selecting an agent who is competent, experience and trained to handle your short sale.
Whatever the reason is that you need a short sale, make sure that you select the right agent or things will go from bad to worse.