A short sale is a unique type of home sale that allows a homeowner to satisfy their debts to a mortgage holder without having to pay out of pocket. If you've fallen in love with a home that's listed as a short sale, make sure you hire a realtor specializing in this type of transaction so you can meet all the deadlines and get your paperwork in order before another buyer swoops in. Look for a realtor with these four characteristics to get the best results when buying a short sale home.
Many Closed Sales
Don't just look for a realtor who has been in the business for 20 or 30 years. Even after all that experience, they may have only closed one or two short sales during that time since these transactions are not that common. Ask your potential realtor exactly how many short sales they've successfully closed during their career, and find out how many were completed each year and how long ago those transactions took place. A realtor that closed 10 short sales last year will naturally be in better practice than someone who hasn't closed one in a few years.
Of course, short sales experience is more important than knowledge of your particular neighborhood because the complex paperwork is essential to get right. However, it's still best to stick with a realtor with state experience and preferably regional familiarity too. This allows your agent to give you more accurate advice on the worth of the property and navigate local city and state laws regarding short sales.
Short sales hinge completely on the mortgage lender's acceptance of your offer as a buyer. Since the lender is agreeing to take an amount smaller than the debt in exchange for the house, this process can be tricky even for experienced realtors. A realtor who has already dealt with the particular bank holding the property can give you an advantage in closing the deal and doing it without months of delay.
Finally, remember that all the major real estate agent organizations have their own certifications for specialist realtors. Find out what organization your agent belongs to and make sure they hold the relevant certificate or training program completion number for extra short sale training. These courses include education on all the relevant legal and financial issues, so without this kind of proof of training it's possible your specialist is not quite as well-educated as they claim.