I had a call today from a woman who is considering listing her home as a short sale in Carlsbad, California. She got my name from a local Active Rain buddy and local Realtor®. The referral came because this homeowner was making the rounds talking with local real estate agents and attorneys, and receiving all sorts of information and advice about short sale transactions.
I know that there is some famous adage about how there are as many opinions as there are people in the world. (Can’t remember the turn of phrase) But… this was the perfect example.
When considering something as serious as a short sale transaction, it is vital to seek out the advice of experts. However, there becomes a point when information can become overwhelming, confusing, and even conflicting.
If you or anyone you know is considering a short sale, here are a few questions that you should ask a prospective listing agent before hiring him or her to sell your home:
How many short sale transactions did you personally list (and close) last year? (Please note my italics.)
The answer should be very interesting. Many agents take unlimited short sale listings, but have a tough time getting those short sales approved by the banks and closed. Since the seller’s goal is a successful closing, then the close ratio is extremely important. It has been reported that the average success in closing short sale transactions is somewhere between 15 and 45 percent. Learning more about the follow through and success rates of the prospective listing agent is vital.
The word ‘personally’ was italicized above. Sellers will want to learn about how the listing agent is personally involved in the negotiations. Does the agent have a team of negotiators? Does the agent make all of the phone calls himself? Does the agent hire an outside negotiation company to do the job? Who is that outside negotiation company and what is their track record?
The demeanor of the agent, the facial expression and the answers to these questions will help to reveal the most experienced and best agent for the job.
There are many important factors to consider when listing your home in a short sale. The above tips will help you as you begin to consider your options.