Do I Need To Hire An Attorney To Do A Short Sale? - Short Sale Answers

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Ladera Ranch BRE# 01274644

I am hearing this question more and more often in these difficult times.

Question: Do I need to hire an attorney to do a short sale?

Answer: It is my belief that you will be represented best in a short sale transaction by a competent and experienced real estate agent who works every day in the real estate business, will market your property aggressively in order to attract buyers, and who is very experienced at negotiating short sales with the lenders.  An experienced short sale agent or "short sale specialist" should have successfully negotiated and closed 50+ short sales in this downturn cycle (circa 2006).

If you have questions about the tax implications of a short sale you should seek the counsel of a qualified CPA or tax accountant.

If you feel that bankruptcy may be an option you should seek the advice of a competent bankruptcy attorney.  A word of caution, though: Many attorneys seem to be preying on the fear and desperation of homeowners facing foreclosure.  Their websites utilize scare tactics in order to make you think that you would be "crazy" to do a short sale without first hiring an attorney. It seems that most attorneys subcontract out their short sales in any case.  They imply or assert that attorneys are the professional qualified to interpret a short sale approval.  Their aim seems to be to create the impression that retaining an attorney is a normal and accepted practice when a short sale is necessary.

This, quite simply, IS NOT THE TRUTH!  The vast majority of short sales are conducted by real estate brokers and agents who are experienced at negotiating with lenders and DO NOT CHARGE UPFRONT FEES for their services. 

For More Answers To Your Short Sale Questions visit my Short Sale Anwers Page.

Short Sale Puzzle

Dave Gubler: IML Real Estate



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OC Real Estate Solutions                                                            

by DAVE GUBLER| IML REAL ESTATE |  broker license #: 01274644

direct: 949 292 2763   |   office: 949 273 8923 
web: | blog: oc real estate solutions

Successes! 40 Homes Sold In The Last 12 Months: SOLD GALLERY


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Jeffrey Smith
Author of 'Realtors Guide To Short Sale Success - Eustis, FL
Short Sale Education

And the rules and laws are different in every state

Jan 27, 2010 08:49 AM #1
David Cahill
Century 21 Cahill Associates - Boston, MA

I think a bank would like to talk to an agent more than an attorney.  Also, the attorney's usually charge a ton for what the agents are already being paid to do.

Jan 27, 2010 03:56 PM #2
Ray Wright
Keller Williams Realty - Riverside, CA
SoCal Realtor - A.L.C.


Leave the attorney in court.

I had a seller who's brother-in-law was a "Real Estate Attorney".  The seller had him scrutinize and butt in all thru the transaction.  The attorney almost killed the deal and we almost got sued!

I asked the seller, who do you want to sell your home?  Someone who has SOLD a lot of homes (me)?  Or someone who has read a lot of books about selling homes (the attorney)?  I finally told the seller it was him or me he had to listen to and luckily the seller fired his in-law.

We closed soon thereafter with no more problems.

Jan 27, 2010 06:16 PM #3
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Dave Gubler

Realtor | Orange County
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