Ask them how many short sales they have closed in the past 2-3 years and what percentage of their business it is. Many agents attend a class and have a certification, but experience is also critical. I did my first short sale in 2002 and do a few every year, but I don't pursue this like other agents. They can be time consuming and frustrating and if you don't know what you are doing they can be a mess.
As a buyer, you want your agent to know short sales and be able to be certain that the listing agent is experienced as well. The buyer's agent doesn't too much, but what they can do in early investigations can make a huge difference in the final outcome. Best of luck.
I agree with the comments made by Dan of WA. Many agents will claim to be experts in all types of areas but those that have closed the deals and stayed steadfast throughout the difficult process of the short sale purchases are the agents you want on your side. Asking how often an agent works that area is also important. Tampa Bay area is vast and the communitees in Ruskin and Apollo Beach are very different from say South Tampa or Westchase.
Have a list of questions and speak with a few agents in the Ruskin and Apollo Beach area before making your choice. It is important to find someone who you will work well with, due to the process being lengthy and difficult at times.
Tracy Hoyt, Realtor
Prudential Tropical Realty
3228 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Suite 102
Valrico, Florida 33596
Cell (813) 352-6219
Office (813) 643-9977 x1358
Fax (813) 643-9970
Delivering a World Class Experience...
One Client at a Time
One important trait you will want to search for in an agent who will assist you is her ability to get the Seller to accept your offers over others who will want a chance at buying his house at a bargain price.
You also need to understand the pitfalls of going after a short sale. You see the asking price is pure fiction until/if 1) the seller is approved for a short sale and 2) the appraisal proves the sale price is not too low. You need to be prepared to close as soon as 30 days or wait a year or possibly longer to ever close. You need to be prepared that the condition has changed significantly from the time you make your offer and ultimately the Short Sale is approved. Many Short Sellers will put in a tenant with destructive pets or vacate the property and it sits without electricity over the humid summer months and gathers mold.
Bottom line is you MUST continue to "shop" up until the day you finally get a short sale approval letter in your hands... AND absolutely do not deposit any money until/if you get an approval letter.
On bank owned, you MUST get out the first day it is listed and submit your offer the FIRST day, too. You will be "bidding" against other ALL CASH buyers so you need to have a strong preapproval letter if you are not paying all cash. HUD owned foreclosures will require you to bid before the intial 10 day deadline if you are planning to occupy as your primary residence. If you are buying as an "investment" then many REOs will not be available for you to buy unless no owner occupant makes a reasonable offer in the first 10 days to 2 weeks.
Regular sales are going fast nowadays, too. The supply of available properties will soon decrease significantly with the new program where the REOs will be packaged up and sold to investment firms who will then agree to keep them off the market for a few years as rentals. Take a look at the REO initiative:
All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
I am a CDPE (Certified Distress Property Expert) and SFR (Shortsale & Foreclosure Resource Certified) and also live and work in South Shore (which includes the AB and Rukin Area). Please refer to my website http://www.FindHelpForHomeOwners.com which is designed to help Homeowners who are experiencing difficult times and are delinquent on their mortgages.
Or you may check out http://www.PhilFowler.com. to search for properties
You are right. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable Realtor who has spent the time to truly become an expert e.g. become CDPE, SFR. I can give you references of satisfied Ruskin Homeowners who used my services within the past 2 months.
Realtor CDPE, SFR, e-PRO, TRC, ILHM
RE/MAX Across the Bay