Home > Do BEFORE listing your home a short sale, Uncategorized > Top 5 Questions to ask your Short Sale Agent before listing your home as a short sale:

Top 5 Questions to ask your Short Sale Agent before listing your home as a short sale:

Top 5 Important Questions to ask your Short Sale Agent before listing your home as a short sale:
1. Are you educated and certified in short sales or do you hire a negotiator that is?
2. Are you familiar with the area and live close to where this home is listed?
3. How often and WHAT will you be communicating to me in this short sale process?
4. What fees will I be responsible for if bank agrees to short sale?
5. What liabilities and taxes might I be responsible for once short sale closes?

As we all know this is a very tough Real Estate Market, unlike any I have seen in the last 15 years. Ramona Real Estate is no different. Like any other business, Real estate can be broad and not all agents are the same or trained in every area. Many have worked with REO’s and Short Sales, while others have not. Short Sales are a unique niche and require experience and education to execute thoroughly and correctly. There are many pitfalls when dealing with the banks and negotiating these transactions. If I were a buyer looking for an Agent to list my house as a Short Sale, these are the main questions I would ask when interviewing Agents;
1. Are you educated and certified in short sales or do you hire a negotiator that is? This is very important because the agent needs to know how to navigate through an often tumultuous transaction. There is a Designation (SFS) Short Sale that agents can achieve that educates the agents specifically on short sales. In addition, Agents can also hire Short Sale Negotiators as part of their team, these negotiators work only on closing short sale transactions, that is their specialty. They are often better equipped to handle the volume of calls and time and activity that is required to close the sale.
2. Is your Agent familiar with the area and live close to the area where your home is listed for sale? The amount of activity and impromptu calls that agents get to show these homes, in my opinion, requires the agent to be available to show your home when the buyer calls come in. Ask your agent if they show homes 7 days a week or if their assistant assists on their days off. Tomorrow may be too late to show as the buyer is off looking at other homes. Also, how quickly can they get to the house? If your agent lives 40 miles away, not very quickly. Make sure your agent is familiar with your area, in order to share all the great features of living in your town, the agent has to first know the area.
3. How often and WHAT will you be communicating to me in this short sale process? It may be a long drawn out process once your home is listed, because now the negotiations with the bank are just beginning. Typically, short sales can take 3 months to 14 months to close. I just recently closed one after 17 months. It is true, since the HAFVA government regulations, the process is more streamlined and hopefully we will see banks moving more quickly to comply, but it is still a slow process. So remember, have patience and ask your agent HOW, WHEN and WHAT will agent communicate to you while this process unfolds. Do you want to know every detail? Or just the important items such as approvals, prices, terms etc. Will agent be emailing or calling you? What do you prefer? I generally do a weekly email update to keep my clients informed.
4. What fees will I be responsible for if bank agrees to short sale? Be Careful, banks don’t always agree to all fees. Be sure to ask your agent what bank will not pay so there are no surprises at closing. Ask for a seller settlement statement in writing from escrow. This will break down all costs to you.
5. What liabilities and taxes might I be responsible for once short sale closes? You may be responsible for taxes or payments, depending on your bank and your situation. It is always important to seek advice from a Real Estate Short Sale Attorney as well as your CPA when selling your home as a short sale. Remember, REALTOR’s facilitate the sale, we cannot advise you on the tax ramifications or liabilities associated with your particular sale. Only your attorney can look at your unique picture and offer advise, so consult your attorney as well as your CPA because often times there ARE tax implications that occur after the home is sold.
Hopefully this information helps if you are considering a Short Sale. Feel free to call anytime with questions.
Regina Flores, #760-788-0721
copyright-Regina Flores-2010

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