What is a short sale? Well, in a nutshell, it’s when a seller needs to sell their home but the value is less than what they owe. The short in short sale comes from the bank being left short of funds to satisfy the debt. In many cases they will waive the deficit if properly negotiated, but you should know that sometimes, a seller may still have financial obligations even though the property has been sold.
For most, the thought of a short sale brings forth a barrage of emotions. Anger, sadness and lots of worry. Let me let you in on a little secret: I’ve been there and been through it. You need to know it’s okay. People short sell their homes for many reasons and no two short sales are alike. It’s how you handle the short sale that counts. You will see many agents that claim to be “Short Sale Specialists”. I guess that is their right, but I don’t really think you can take a class in short sales and be a specialist. If you don’t know already let me give you the best piece of advice when considering a short sale: DO NOT LET YOUR REALTOR NEGOTIATE YOUR SHORT SALE!
Yes, you heard me correctly. Realtors are generally no more qualified to negotiate your short sale than I am to cut your hair or do your dental work. Many agents truly believe that because they hold a real estate license, they are instantly qualified to negotiate with a bank. It’s simply not true and a dangerous proposition for both the seller and agent. It’s so problematic, that most reputable agencies will not allow their agents to take a short sale unless it is handled by a reputable short sale firm. Many agents still try to do short sales and I suppose a few are successful, but a majority of them have no clue what they are doing and how their actions can effect their seller.
So what SHOULD a seller do? Well, in my office, we use an attorney based negotiation firm. They eat, sleep and breathe short sales. Listen, agents have the best on intentions, but their job is to market the home and secure a good buyer for it.. Any agent worth hiring does not have the time to wait for a bank to call about your short sale. A short sale requires a lot of follow up and the ability to take a phone call at any given time. Do yourself a favor an hire a professional. The cost is minimal and the value is immense. Knowing that your legal rights are being addressed and your future financial viability are being considered is comforting. Most agents don’t know how to get the deficiency waived, thereby protecting you from future liability. I have to question to motive of an agent who wants to do their own short sale.
They make no more commission doing the negotiation themselves and they have to work more to get them approved, not to mention that they can lose their license and be fined if they do it wrong. I don’t know about you, but it seems like a bad way to do business. There is a lot that goes along with shorts sales and rather than write a novel here, feel free to give me a call. I’ll tell you all I know!