Home Buying in North Port>Question Details

Zoe Sharrona, Home Buyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL

How does one find a reputable agent specializing in short sales?

Asked by Zoe Sharrona, Fort Lauderdale, FL Fri Jan 6, 2012

We are living in CA and are looking for a single family home to buy in the North Port or Port Charlotte region of Florida. How can we find a good agent who will help us find the right property and lead us through the process? It is my understanding that short sales can be tricky. We can pay cash and will be coming to the area next month to look around.

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Mark Bachman’s answer
You may want to consider a bank owned property rather than a short sale. Short sales are not always the "best deals" out there. If you are a cash buyer many times the sellers on bank owned property will take a lower cash offer over a higher financed offer so it puts you in a great negotiating position.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 9, 2012

Short sales are a major part of the real estate market in Southwest Florida. The majority of agents have sold these to their buyers. What you need to understand is that you will need to be patient once you have submitted your offer and it is accepted by the sellers. It then goes to the bank for approval I personally have had banks come back as quickly as two weeks with a response, but the majority of the banks have taken 45 days to six months. As long as you are willing to wait you will be fine.

Joanne LaFleur Broker'Associate
Jones & Company Realty
(239) 634-0982
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 9, 2012
Interview your local agents and ask them questions about how they work and about the processes involved in purchasing property. TRUST YOUR GUT as you are going to find out who knows what they are really doing just by asking!!

Make sure that this agent works FULL TIME in the business!

You deserve the best!

Brooke Hengst
REALTOR, CDPE, The Elite Team
Your Castle Real Estate
p: (720) 988-5952
Web Reference: http://www.brookehengst.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 9, 2012

Contact as many agents that you can in North Port and interview each of them by phone. Ask a few questions about thier success and experience in short-sale closed transactions. The short-sale process can be tricky- I would consider being open to any and all transactions that are available and not be firmly set on short-sales only. Just my opinion.

Mott Marvin Kornicki ~ Realtor® • That's what its all about ~≈~ expanding our networks! Here is our Linked-IN Company Profile; https://www.linkedin.com/company/waterway-realty-realtors- •

Miami Beach Real Estate Guy
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 9, 2012
In a Short Sale the Seller has 100% control over which Buyer he will sign a contract with.

The underlying lienholders will have to approve the "Short" payoff but do not control who the Seller choses to sell his house to.

Of course you cannot buy a Short Sale much below market because the first lienholder will do their due diligence and hire a licensed appraiser or one or two Realtors to render a Broker Price Opinion of value.

So bottom line is if you cannot get a contract signed by the Seller, the underlying lenders will not ever see your offer. Generally speaking lenders will only look at one contract and will not "REQUIRE" a Seller requesting a Short Sale to submit multiple contracts. I suppose it may happen but usually the lender will look at only contract.

The first hurdle is getting a Seller to sign your contract so you can have a "chance" of getting a property slightly below market value. Insult or otherwise upset the Seller then you may hinder your chance at the Seller signing your contract versus the many, many other offers that will surely present themselves if the listing price is below market value.

Good luck!

All the best,
Alma Kee
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Hi Zoe,
You should find someone that has experience in dealing with short sales as well as someone that knows the area. I have lived in North Port for over 20 years and have experience working with short sales for buyers and sellers. If you would like me to help you find the perfect home, please give me a call at (941) 587-5293. I look forward to hearing form you.

Debbie Bennice, SFR
Century 21 Almar & Associates
1970 Cochran Blvd
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Email: Debbiebennice@msn.com
Office: 941-627-3321
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
Hello Zoe, Not sure if any one has answered to your questions about short sales. We have a division in our real estate office that specializes in short sales. If your still looking in North Port (or anywhere else) please call me, my name is Ken Williams 941-623-3266 and I work for Erin Catron and Company in down town Punta Gorda, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
Search for a Certified Distressed Property Expert (an agent that is certified to handle the distressed properties). http://www.cdpe.com/find/cdpe
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Look for a Remax Agent and one with a CDPE Certification. (Certified Distress Property Expert. http://www.CDPE.com

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 3, 2012
Hello Sharonwriter: Your question is appreciated! Many Buyers and Sellers have trouble deciding which Realtor will be best for them. Look at it this way: If you were offered $100,000 to play on either team at tomorrow's Super Bowl game, how would you prepare for it? Would you just run onto the field in a swimsuit and squeeze into a vacant spot on the line? Or follow whoever started running? Or, try to tackle that Incredible Hulk coming straight at you? We're pretty sure you get the picture. You should interview several coaches, readup on all the important rules of the game, pick your team from the best players, and your game equipment, field, plan, and commitment should be ready, willing and able to win (without costing you an arm and a leg and a head injury). Be prepared to make your best choice of plays and make sure your team supports and encourages you. HAVE A SUPER GAME!
Barrie White, Realtor/Consultant/CDPE/SFR
RE/MAX Palm Realty's Get It Done Team
(941) 628-6344
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 3, 2012
This is in response to Realtor Faye.... once a contract is signed, the seller is not required to accept a backup offer.

Every offer is different and although it's true that the Seller may believe one offer is better than another (because the buyer is kinder) when in fact another buyer may offer slightly more, the seller has 100% control over which offer she will accept. This is the "reality" of Short Sales. It must be an "arms length" transaction so the Seller cannot sell to a family member or business associate but I have seen sellers attempt the lowest possible sell price with a "kind" buyer versus a nasty insulting buyer or an irritating or insulting Realtor.

This is my "hands on" experience. Just a word to the wise...

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
I must respectfully disagree with the previous answer. Any Seller on a short Sale transaction who does not submit or notify his lender of a highest and best offer may be committing Bank or Mortgage fraud. Even if the Seller has signed a waiver NOT to submit back-up offers it is his fiduciary duty to at least notify the lender of higher offer. Withholding a higher offer could be a federal mortgage crime.
I would suggest you look for a Realtor who has a record of not only being a Buyer’s representative but someone who lists, sells and has negotiated short sales. The CDPE designation is a good guide as it shows the Realtor has taken the time to learn the legal aspects of the short sale and keeps up on the current trends and changes in all aspects of Short Sales.
Good Luck in your search.

Faye Doyle, LLC
GRI: Graduate Real Estate Institute

CDPE: Certified Distressed Property Expert

ABR: Accredited Buyer's Representative
WCR: Woman's Council of Realtors

TRC: Transnational Referral Certification

e-PRO®: Certification Internet Professionalism

Coldwell Banker Downtown

100 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

Cell: 941-504-7496

Fax: 941-364-8740

Email: fayedoylellc@gmail.com
Website: http://www.FayeDoyle.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012

I just realized that there is one VERY important tip if you are pursuing a short sale property....

ABSOLUTELY do not hire a Realtor that may offend a seller or the listing agent in a Short Sale because the seller is under no obligation to accept the highest offer for his house and may go with a "nicer" buyer and "nicer" Realtor. Do NOT make any demands of a Short Sell owner or if they're present during showings do not make any negative comments about the property. Your only "negotiation" with the Seller is getting him/her to submit your below market offer to the lender that ultimately has to approve the sale. So if you foolishly think you can get the seller to try a lowball price if you insult him about the condition of his house, you might as well forget it!

Also DO NOT call or email or annoy the listing agent in any way. Let your Buyer's agent make all contact with the listing agent.

I'm going through a Short Sale transaction right now (I'm the listing agent) with an absurdly abusive buyer working with another Realtor and if there is any way to kick them out of the contract, I may suggest it to the Seller! Those buyers have truly been very foolish. We also have 2 other backup offers so the Seller has nothing to lose by kicking out the current abusive buyers... lol... Luckily they have a nice Realtor at their side or the Seller probably wouldn't have given them the chance to get a great house and a bargain price.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Dear Sharon,

It is very important to have the right Realtor for the short sale process. Look for designations as CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert or SFR - Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource. That means, those Realtors have handled these kind of transactions successful.

You have a great weekend

Werner Untrieser
Broker Associate, GRI, CRS, CIPS, TRC, SFR
Web Reference: http://WernerUntrieser.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Oh and it's important to find an experienced Realtor (at least 5 years experience in North Port) so they can help inform you of known areas with toxic Chinese Drywall, Radon, Sinkholes, Flooding and other perils.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Hi Sharron,

Your "buyers" agent has pretty much zero control over a short sale other than devising your offer so that you do not put any earnest (good faith) money upfront until/if your contract ever gets approved by the lenders and other lienholders on a short sale.

There are many risks with short sales--especially if the seller and price have never been previously approved.

1) Although the property looks nice when you made your offer and you included appliances, light fixtures, etc. on your contract... by the time (6 months possibly) the sale is approved, the property could have been rented out to a tenant with destructive pets that damaged the woodwork, flooring, etc. All appliances and light fixtures may be missing... no utilities on at the house during the humid summer months creating a very molding situation, the list goes on and on.

Also owners that are "gaming" the system may intentionally delay the process so they can live "rent free" for months on end or collect rents for many many months.

So if you're buying from out of state, you can't simply come in and pick a property and expect that it will ever close or be in the condition it was when you saw it!

To capture the very best "deal" you may want to concentrate on bank owned listings. On those, you need to pretty much ignore the asking price and ask your Realtor to give you a Comparative Market Analysis and base your offer on the current market value. I see many, many, bank owned listings that are priced significantly below market value and they ultimately sell well above the asking price.

Good luck!

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee
Future Home Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
I made the same move from Ca to Florida.. We just had a deal fall appart on a bank foreclosure in North Port and now is available. Give me a call 941-730-1247 thanks Joe
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012

We would encourage you to not only explore the short sale market but the foreclosure market and even the regular sales in this area. Many buyers overlook regular sales assuming that the best opportunities are with distressed sales. Many sellers in this area have accepted and adjusted their expectation to be able to compete with the most desirable market segment in their area. So it may be a mistake to limit your options to only short sales.

As an agent representing a motivated buyer of a short sale there is a number of questions that should be answered before deciding if the property is a worthehile effort. Consider the following:

1. Has the seller communicated the need to do a short sale with their lender?

2. Does the lender appear willing to work with the owner?

3. Have they submitted the necessary paperwork?

4. Did they submit a letter of hardship?

5. Has the lender appointed a "loss mitigator?"

6. Has the lender done BPO's or an appraisal?

7. Has the lender established and acceptable price?

8. Are there multiple loans on the property?

9. Are there additional liens on the property?

10. Is the seller working with an attorney?

The answers to these important questions should provide a greater level of understanding and clarify whether or not it is an opportunity that should be persued.

As a side note: US News & World Report recently recognized the Port Charlotte area as one of the top 10 places to relocate in the country based on opportunity, quality of life, and value.

We would be happy to entertain any question you may have about the buying process, the area, etc.

With best regards,


0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Sharon, look for a Realtor who has the CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) designation. All you have to do is ask. Let me know how I can help
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
I am happy to help you find the perfect home, whether it be a short sale, foreclosure or a traditional sale. I've closed over 1,500 homes successfully and I am licensed in both Florida AND California. I just bought a home in 2006 from California myself, sight unseen, so I know what you're going through.
I am also currently helping a client from Southern Cali find a short sale at the moment. I have fantastic references and you can check out more about me here and read my testimonials: http://www.rentbuysellsarasota.com/testimonials/

I'm not afraid of a shortsale, the process is incredibly uncomplicated and easy to manage, it's really not that much different than a traditional sale, you just have a few more players in the game. :)
Contact me anytime to discuss more details and I can start sending you listings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Hi Sharronwriter:

I would not limit your self to a short sale or foreclosure. I would look at the entire market as even the owner who is not under the direction of a bank needs to compete.

Here is a snapshot of the market to help arm you with facts about short sales. In Sarasota County...right now (not last quarter), this is the break down:

Total Short Sales %
Active Listings 5,157 581 11%
Under Contract 1,859 1,081 58%
Sold Last Year 9,537 1,776 18%

You could say that while 58% of the pendings are short sales and that only 18% of the total sales are short sales. This also means, 82% of the sales last year are not short sales. Every situation requires a different strategy to get the best deal.

More and more there are buyers who come to us not wanting to wait out the short sale process. There are exceptions but the success or failure of a short sale actually closing has more to do with the seller's bank. When considering a short sale, I look to the track record of the agent OR that the seller has some sort of representation to close the deal. There are no guarantees and you have to be ready to wait. The seller's bank doesn't care if you have cash or that you are using another banks cash to buy the home. I wrote a more in depth article about short sales in November that you may be interested in.


Feel free to use our site to search our site for listings. We have every listing from all brokers and our advanced search allows you to look just for short sales or eliminate them. If you choose to register, we will send you the newest listings and price changes daily. You can cancel anytime.

Best of luck in your home search. If we can be of any assistance, please contact us.

John Woodward
Sarasota Real Estate Group
"Since 1991"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012

I tell all my clients to stay away from short sales if at all possible. There are many great deals out there with out having to buy a short sale.
I hate to have a family fall in love with home and not end up with it because the bank came back and waned to much for it, the seller on the day of closing decided he is not moving, I have these things happen to my buyers.
I am a buyers agent in the area and I promise that you can find a great deal with out the heart ache.
THere are some good short sales out there and your agent has to know weather it is or not. A good one would be one the bank has already aproved the price, the agent for the seller has done many already and knows what they are doing ect.....
If you have more questions you are more than welcome to call me anytime
I live here, I work here and I play here..............
Catherine Anderson
C-21 Almar North Port Florida
941-237-6792 cell
941-257-8876 home
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Hi Sharon,

You will want to talk to a couple of agents, and likely some of their clients as well, to see who you are comfortable with.
Experience is necessary, and so is education.

http://www.skgflorida.com/Pages/skgbrochure.aspx is an introduction.

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a home. Weighing the pros and cons of a short sale versus a bank owned versus buying from an individual takes a conversation with an agent who can help you to understand the differences.

I have some references on my Linkedin account, and can put you in touch with others if you are interested.


I also have information on deed in lieu, short sales and foreclosures on the site http://www.ExplainShortSales.com

All the Best,

Sandals Realty http://www.ExplainShortSales.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
When finding a short sale agent, the same rules apply. Make sure the agent actually has short sale experience. Although a lot of agents have "certifications" in short sales, these are usually worthless, unless the agent has done and completed short sales in the past. You do not want to be a guinea pig.
Short sales only get tricky on the seller side, but buyer be aware. These deals can take time.

If you dont want to wait, you may want to consider buying an REO property. Statistically they sell for 30% less than retail, while short sales dont necessarily offer a better deal over a normal sale. Remember, the bank approves a short sale if the offer is close to appraisal value, which is 100% retail.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
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