I have been recently reading a few blogs written by fellow agents about short sales and Realtors. One of the first ones I read a few days ago divulged into the topic of Realtors being sued because they were unable to procure a buyer for the house before it went into foreclosure. As ludicrous as it is, it apparently has gotten some merit on the west coast.
The other one which I found extremely interesting had to deal with the Ethics rules that we as Realtors have to abide by. I actually went back and read over article 11 that she referred to in detail. She was 100% right. If you are not competent enough to handle a transaction find someone that can. It is a fiduciary responsibility we owe clients.
Well after reading those blogs and the numerous comments on each one. I decided it was time to write about my personal experince in the short sale arena and my dealings with agents.
I think both arguments and blogs were right. We as Realtors cannot guarantee we can procure a buyer for you. We do our best to analyze the current market conditions and market the home best as we can to attract as many potential buyers. On the same hand we do owe it to our clients to pass off the short sale if we are not sure of what we are doing.
I have been involved on both ends of the transactions. I deal a lot with short sales in trying to help sellers avoid the stigma of foreclosure and buyers looking for a good deal on a home. I have come to some rational conclusions. One's, that I am sure are shared by many agents out there as well.
When I represent a buyer in a transaction. I have a responsibility to look out for their best interests above all else. If they select a group of homes to look at as a potential purchase; I do my research on the home. The first thing I check is if it is a short sale. If it is I personally call the Realtor who is handling it and ask a lot of questions. if I do not get the answers I want I advise my clients not to pursue that home. I tell them that the agent is not competent in Short Sales and the whole deal could and probably will blow up before we get a chance to close...(trust me I have watched it happen more than once). Thus, the only ones losing in this transaction are the homeowners. Their home is not being shown and it has nothing to do with price or marketability of the home. It is the agent.
On the selling end I make sure that my clients are fully aware of the ramifications of a short sale as well as a foreclosure can have on them. I REFUSE to take a short sale listing unless I know they have consulted with both an attorney and an accountant about the ramifications of it and the consequences that can arise. Only after I am thoroughly satisified they understand that will I accept the listing. Guess what I have sold them all that I got. The others went with a different agent becuase they thought I was to demanding....and the irony is some are still on the market four and five months later and some went into forclosure. Some did sell as well. but a Short Sale is demanding of a Realtor's time and energy. it is not like handling a reguilar transdaction. there is a lot more involved in it and the homeowners have to be on board with it as well.
Make sure your agent is fully versed in short sales. If you are buyuing ask how the process goes, the timeline involved, the bank, their experince dealing with the bank. On the selling end make sure you have an agent who knows what to do with a short sale listing. Is not afraid to ask the tough questions and will put the time and effort in to make sure it closes. Unfortuantely, most agents are just taking listings to get a commission and are not competent in the sale of a short sale.