I agree with the others, having your own "experienced" representation may prove to be a better option.
Make sure the agent:
1. Is full-time (It is difficult, but not impossible, to stay on top of industry news when you are part-time)
2. Has short sale experiene representing buyers and sellers if possible.
3. Has a plan - he or she should be able to provide to you in writing what to expect in the short sale process and how they plan to help represent you through the transaction from beginning to end.
It's a great time to buy! You will be glad you did, Happy Home Hunting!!!
The Short Sale Lady(TM)
An NAR/SFR-Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource is your best bet.
It is like having a bartender who has become experienced at pouring drinks.
Using a disclosed dual agent to represent both seller and buyer is usually okay (I'm just talking about California, and the agency relationships must be disclosed to all parties) if the seller and the listing agent are also okay with it. There is usually no advantage to seller or buyer to have a dual disclosed agent either. Some posters will hate the idea because there are occasional perils. They will try to make you uncomfortable with the idea of using disclosed dual agency. But if it is properly disclosed to all parties and they all agree to dual agency, then who is being harmed?
If you have the listing agent write the contract, the listing agent must disclose to both the buyer and the seller that they have morphed from being a sellers agent into being a disclosed dual agent.
if both parties are happy not having exclusive representation, are knowledgeable, and businesslike, a dual agency transaction can lead to successful conclusion for all parties.
Dual agency with the same agent is the exception though. Most buyers select an agent that is not the seller's agent.
Some times two different agents work for the same broker, That is technically, also, dual disclosed agency, but since the people are not the same person , it 'feels' different.
In a short sale, the lender requires that the seller receive no proceeds from the sale, so there is virtually nothing to negotiate on behalf of the seller except the timeframe on when they will close. All pricing, and negotiations for repairs, etc. will be completed with the seller's lender, not the seller themselves. So in the few times that I have represented a buyer on one of my short sale listings, it was because I could then keep this buyer better informed on the progress of the short sale.
When I am representing a buyer, I continue to tour homes in the market even when we have an offer in on a short sale. The reason is that no agent has control over when the lender will complete their approval, if at all. This is especially true if the lender is Bank of America. I have a buyer who has been waiting 10 months on their offer to have the lender give approval. And during that time, we are still looking at all other homes that come on the market. It's been, understandably, a very frustrating process but the buyer wants this specific house over any other we've seen.
So your buyer's agent (even if they have one of the short sale listings that you're interested in) should continue to work with you to keep you up to date on the market until you're actually in escrow.
(and by the way, I also just had a short sale offer approved for my buyer in 2 days so there's no fixed timeframe on when a lender might approve your short sale offer) Good luck Curious!
Would you ask for a "second opinion" from the same doctor?
This is very similar.....our recommendation is to not put all your eggs in one basket and seek your own personal representation.
The Eckler Team
These transactions take time but can lead to a very positive result if you are patient and working with qualified people on the seller and buyer ends. It is possible that the home may go into foreclosure before the final closing date. If this happens you have lost your investment in any inspections, etc..
Short sale rules are per the lender for that specific situation. There are not guidelines that are cast in stone for each sale. The seller hardship package must be in "perfect" submittal shape which is the key to a successful short sale. The seller hardship package contains very confidential and personal information about the seller and the buyer has no right to any information in this package. An attorney is favoried to assist all parties. If you truly love this house be prepared for the struggles that exist. If you do not have the time, patience and council of a great attorney I truly would suggest that you move on.
Hope that helps.