How to hire a short sale superstar or agent?
Short sale is not an easy task so at the time of selecting a short sale agent everyone should be careful. Short sale transaction is very complicated and it requires a lot of skills and expertise to make it successful. Selections of wrong agent many be a worst thing that can be happening in this process. Don’t make the mistake of choosing an agent to do your short sale simply because the agent has a flashy website or has taken a couple of short sale classes. Real estate training companies also want to capitalize on short sale. They offer many training programs for agents and make up their own certifications. An agent can’t learn in three hours how to be a short sale agent. So don’t fall victim to choosing a short sale agent solely on credentials because those credentials might be worthless. Here are some important factors which should be considered while choosing a short sale agent.
Experience in short sale:-
Do not be misguided by an efficient, fast-talking real estate agent who might claim to be a short sale specialist. It’s very popular in some areas for agents to call themselves a short sale specialist after taking a short sale class. A short sale class, even one which results in certification, does not make an agent a short sale agent. For example, you will find agents who were selling short sales before certification classes existed. Some certification companies are in business solely to seek money from agents in exchange for handing over a certification. There is often no guarantee the agent has learned anything or that there is any significant knowledge to be gained from the certification instructor.
Experience in short sales means one thing: experience closing short sales. The number varies with the opportunities available in any given area. Nobody can tell you an agent who closes one short sale a month is worse than an agent who closes 20 short sales a month, except that the agent who closes a greater number most likely has more experience. Experience that could benefit the seller.
Experience with your short sale bank:-
Watch out for agents who may overplay their behind the scenes contacts at any given bank. Bank employees come and go like a revolving door. Especially be doubtful of agents who claim they have a hotline to a government agency to fight taxation or deficiency judgments because there is no such hotline.
If your bank is a small-time oddball institution, you might have a hard time finding an agent who has experience with that bank. But most competent short sale agents have worked with the top 4 major banks such as:
- Bank of America
- One Main Financial (formerly Citimortgage)
- JP Morgan Chase
- Wells Fargo Bank
The advantage to hiring a short sale agent who has closed short sales with your bank is that agent might have gained valuable insight into your bank’s short sale process. However, bear in mind that although banks routinely change their short sale forms and policy procedures on a regular basis, your agent should have on hand the forms you need to complete, such as the bank’s third party authorization.
Experienced at selling homes at your town:-
If you can hire a short sale agent who has experience with your bank, you are 10 steps further ahead than the guy down the street with a for sale sign stuck in his yard for a year. If you can find an agent with the top 2 characteristics, plus the agent has sold other homes in your area, you have struck gold. There is no better combination than an agent with these top 3 characteristics.
Not only an agent has need to know how to process a short sale, head off potential problems, but a short sale agent must know how to keep a buyer interested in waiting for short sale approval and how to best market your home to the available pool of buyers.
On top of this, the agent must be able to appeal to buyers who will want to buy in your area and be familiar with local custom. Moreover, it also helps if your agent is well known in your neighborhood. A well-respected agent will get along well with other buyer’s agents and will make buyers feel comfortable enough to write an offer to buy a short sale.
- If an agent does not have experience in short sales and negotiating the contracts, they probably do not have the contacts within the banks and do not know the language needed in the contracts to protect you. Not having this information can cost you months during the process, or even worse, foreclosure.
- Make sure that the agent you interview and chose is the agent that you will be working with throughout the transaction. Many times after your initial appointment, you will be dealing with assistants and other agents, not the agent you hired.