Short sales are far more complicated than conventional home sales. One of the reasons for the additional complications is the intimate involvement with the bank. The bank is almost as involved in the transaction as the seller. They have to approve the price and they have final approval of the sale. This added involvement complicates the home selling process by adding additional approvals, additional delays and could result in the rejection of many offers the seller wants to take.
To handle the added complications of a short sale, you need a Realtor that is experienced in performing short sales and knows how to effectively negotiate with the bank. Notice I said “experienced in.” I didn’t say “took a class in” or “has a Short Sale Designation or certification.” Don’t make the mistake of letting an inexperienced agent learn what to do and what not to do with your property. If the agent fails, you will probably be headed towards foreclosure.
The biggest short sale mistake I see real estate agents doing all the time is advertising a low price for the short sale property that wasn’t approved by the bank. This wastes everyone’s time. They lure buyers to the property in hopes of getting the home for the listed price or less, only to find out later on that the advertised price was not approved by the bank and the bank wants thousands or tens of thousands more. I consider this either misleading, a form of bait-and-switch fraud, or just sheer stupidity and ignorance. In some cases, when it’s horribly off, I consider it all three.
Another problem agents make is revealing too much information to the buyer. The agent negotiating on behalf of the seller is in possession of a lot of personal financial information and a lot of private information regarding the loan, the short sale and foreclosure. A lot of this information should not be revealed to the buyer.
And finally, another problem I see is negotiating with the bank. Real estate agents know how to negotiate with buyers and sellers, or at least they should know. Negotiating with banks is a whole other matter. When you negotiate with the bank, you must prove that the homeowner can’t afford the loan payments and you must also prove the property’s value. These negotiations are pretty hard because you’re dealing with business facts and figures, and there’s little middle ground to form a compromise. After all, you can’t ask them to only take half of the house.
If you suspect that you may need to perform a short sale to sell you home, be sure to find an agent with experience selling short sale properties and discuss their experience and short sale strategies during the interview.
Bill Gassett, a Short Sale Realtor in Massachusetts shared his experience with short sales in this article. http://massrealestatenews.com/short-sale-realtor-mistakes/