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Mike Cooper's Blog

By Mike Cooper | Broker in Winchester, VA

What Can a Buyer's Agent do in a Short Sale?

I received a call from a buyer yesterday who wanted an unbiased opinion about a contract she is involved in.  She's working with another agent.  I rarely accept those kinds of requests.  I don't like the idea of offering advice to another agent's client without his/her agreement, but this one came from a good friend who is a lender.  So, I agreed to listen and offer limited input.

What the conversation evolved around was her agent's unwillingness to be assertive on a short sale contract she has submitted.  The breaking point for her was the foreclosure listing that showed up in the paper yesterday.  When she called her agent, he said there was nothing he could do.  She asked him to call the bank, call the listing agent, call somebody.  He refused.  He told her it is what it is, and they will have to see how it works out as is.

I explained that the buyer's agent has a lot more trouble doing things in the Checklistnegotiating area with the bank than the listing agent, such as;

  • A buyer's agent most likely cannot stop a foreclosure sale.  Many banks will not stop the foreclosure process just because a house is under a short sale contract.  Some will.
  • A buyer's agent generally can only speak with the bank if he/she has been given written permissionwith the agreement of the seller, listing agent and the bank.  It really is rare.  I've done it, but it's rare.
  • A buyer's agent does have a responsibility to explain the difference between an REO, short sale and a fair market sale.  Each one is specific. 
  • A buyer's agent should be honest on the first day if he/she is uncomfortable showing short sales or REOs to clients.  There are some great buys in those two categories, but if the agent doesn't have the experience to see one Checklistthrough to closing, or if he/she doesn't have the stomach for a complicated sale he/she should tell the client right up front that he cannot help him with those types of listings.
  • A buyer's agent should be able to explain the details of what to expect through each phase of the contract process as a contract moves along.  Buyer's get nervous really fast when they think nothing is happening. 

Of course, there are many more things a buyer's agent needs to think about and do with a buyer, but when working with distressed properties, a buyer's agent has even more considerations.  He/she should be proactive throughout the process and keep the buyer up to date even if there is nothing to report.  

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6. Winchester, Virginia is a great place to buy a house at great discount!

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10. What can I do to sell my home more quickly?


Give me a call for all your real estate needs, and let's make something amazing happen. 

Mike Cooper @ Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., 888-722-6029

Real Estate Sales and Property Management

(Disclaimer:  All grammatical mistakes, punctuation breakdowns and misspellings are purely for your amusement and entertainment.  Feel free to cackle.)


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