Selecting the Short Sale Listing Agent

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short salesSelecting a short sale listing agent to sell your home is a topic that I have written about before. In fact, this is the third in a series of posts that is designed to help potential short sale sellers to make the best decisions when selecting a short sale listing agent.

The first post, “When Considering a Short Sale, These Are the Questions to Ask”, and the second post, “When Considering a Short Sale, Interview Agents First” , were written to help Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside and San Diego County sellers to have the key information required in selecting a short sale listing agent who can get the job done. By “get the job done,” I mean obtain short sale approval letters that forgive any of the seller’s mortgage debt if they are upside down on their property and need to sell. The second goal of getting the job done is seeing a successful closing as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Something happened yesterday that prompted me to have an idea for this third post on selecting a short sale listing agent. Yesterday, I received the following voicemail (words not exact):

“My name is John Doe and I am calling with regard to your short sale listing at 123 Main Street. Could you please give my Realtor® a call and tell him how we can access the property?”

The message goes on to state the Realtor’s contact information.

While the individual who called me was a buyer, I would like to be perfectly clear to all short sale sellers and short sale buyers—actually any sellers and buyers—as to what you should expect when hiring a Realtor®.

If you hire a Realtor® to help you sell or purchase a home, than you should expect that the Realtor® make all phone calls regarding property showings. Buyers do not need to call listing agents to set up a showing appointment unless they want the listing agent to represent them in the purchase.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, short sale sellers should expect the listing agent or third party negotiator to make all of the contact with the mortgage lender on behalf of the seller. The seller does not need to make any calls to the bank with regard to the short sale. Once in a blue moon, the mortgage lender will want to speak with the seller at some point during the short sale process. However, these requests are few and far between.

The short sale listing agent is paid the commission which is a percentage of the bank’s net proceeds. Listing your home for sale and negotiating with the lien holders is a service for which the Realtor® is paid a commission. When you pay someone to do something for you, you should not have to then go and do it yourself.

In the case of the buyer’s voicemail, I did have a quick laugh. The property has been in ‘pending’ and is about to close escrow. The MLS listing actually noted that there would be no more showings and that the seller had requested that no lockbox be installed. So, here the buyer’s agent was not even checking our local MLS.

As you begin to explore your real estate options, please keep this blog post and my previous posts on the subject in mind when you are wondering about how to select a short sale listing agent.


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