Home Buying in 33150>Question Details

Robertjohnne…, Home Buyer in Miami Beach, FL

how can i go about finding an agent who really specializes in short sales and foreclosures... most steer me away from it

Asked by Robertjohnnewell, Miami Beach, FL Tue Apr 16, 2013

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David Hantman (305) 527-4922’s answer
The reason why most steer you away from Short-Sales and/or Foreclosures is because in years past it has gotten a bad rap and it can take months and months to close.

However, in recent months banks are getting a lot better, now it takes at least 60-90 days at the most or even sooner.

We have a great team and if your interested in short-sales and/or foreclosures please let me know!

David Hantman
Real Estate Associate-Macken Realty
Phone: (305) 527-4922
Email: davidahantman@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 2, 2013
I don't steer my clients away from short sales and foreclosures, but I do warn them - this is a form of gambling.

In short sales, the game is to bet high enough to get the bank to take the offer, rather than just foreclosing on the home. Don't bother with back-up offers, look at the active properties.

On foreclosures, there will be multiple offers. If you want to submit a low-ball, don't be surprised when the bank fails to take it.

And make sure that your agent runs the comps for every property, and don't overlook the active sales. I actually found one online auction where the foreclosure sold for more than one of the other units for sale!

Give me a call if you want to discuss a specific search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
Best bet is to ask the agent. It also depends what you are looking for. If you told these agents you want to buy a home and close in 30 days or less, most would tell you to avoid short sales, and foreclosures may or may not close in that time period. If you are in no hurry and find a home you really like that is a short sale, then by all means go for it, they can offer some excellent deals. Foreclosures can also be great deals, you just need to factor in the cost of repairs that will need to be done, and yes the days of low bids on foreclosures are over, most are now selling for at or above asking price. But when you really look at it foreclosures still typically offer a better deal than a traditional sale. Most of the time with the foreclosure deals the stuff that you need to replace, kitchen, bathrooms, carpet, paint fixtures ect is stuff that even if move in ready on a traditional sale would typically be 20-40 years outdated and you would want to replace it anyways. I lean toward the investor side of the market and always see more value in a foreclosure that has been updated vs a traditional sale in good condition but still looks like 1960.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2014
Why wait 3-7 months to pay market value and do repairs ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2014
Very hard to say an agent specializes in short sales unless they have dealt with every single bank and loan servicer. A mortgagee/lender must first accept the sellers reason for doing a short sale. Most sellers have have circumstances that warrant a short sale. They give the brokerage permission to speak to the servicer on their behalf. No two servers are alike. BofA, Wells, Ocwen all have different requirements.
If you want to discuss this topic more, I'll be glad to go over some of my past results dealing with short sales. Click on my picture to get my contact information.

Manny Hayes/LRESA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2014
I do specialize in short sales and foreclosures.

If you are comfortable with "gambling" as Ann put it, I'm here to help.

Short sales take a long time, and there is no warranty that it would get approved by the lender. Or, sellers could change their mind about selling (if they were able to find a job or work out a loan mod with their bank). Or, the house would appraise higher then the buyer's offer (by a lot). Or, the seller would not qualify for a "hardship" situation - in the eyes of the bank. Or, the bank would be unwilling to accept any offer - some banks prefer foreclosures to short sales...

Foreclosures are a bidding war. Sometimes, the buyer is lucky - and the bank takes an offer lower than the asking price. More often now, we see buyers paying near or over asking - to leave the competition behind...

Both types of properties often require a lot of money on repairs after the purchase, so the buyer needs to remember it. Home insurance could be higher, if the roof is old and windows are not covered with shatters or are high impact windows.

So, foreclosures and short sales can be great - if you are willing to be very patient and accept the hassle they often come with.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2014
Any agent will be happy and willing and able to help you..............if you are wiling to make a non-refundable retainer that can be credited to you at closing. Agents KNOW a amature buyer will be on the losing side of a short sale 70% of the time. That doesn't seem like a good proposition when one realizes all that is involved.
As Ann indicated, a buyer indicating they are looking to purchase a short sale and includes the phrase 'really specializes' suggests there is a real disconnect from reality. Of course there are better ways to purchase a short sale than looking for one on the MLS or Trulia or Zillow.
Most agents who 'really specialize' in short sales have an internal group of buyers who have demonstrated they will not waste the agents time, resources and efforts. These are the 'really specialized' agents who really don't need or want to educate a newbie regarding the compliexities of a short sale transaction AND who will most likely second guess the agent by soliciting opinions from strangers on the internet.
Agents are actually looking for specialized buyers who understand short sales and willing to make a committment. Most end user buyers will abandon the process way, way too early. But they ALL say they are serious. The meager inventory tends to throw buyers into this environment. Agents understand the situaion and KNOW this buyer, most buyers do not have what is required. They do not have the flexibility, the focus, the patience, the resources, the experience and the vision to see a short sale through to the end.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
Find an agent/broker that has been working full time in RE since 2008. Then your guaranteed to be working with someone that specializes in distressed property. If they worked and sold in the last 5 years, they are well aware of the distressed property market since that was the bulk of the market then.
You are searching for distressed property at a very awkward time because most of the bargains were sold in 09-10 to cash buyers/investors. Now, it is a very different market. Even when you do find an REO that is worthwhile, the seller has become well educated. They fix up the properties before selling, list higher and the end result for buyers/investors is a waste of time. At the end of last year, my investment clients began buying new construction! That was completely unheard of in 09-10 because there were so many distressed bargains coming on the market. Now, you will be hard pressed to find a distressed property that actually compared favorably to other investment options.
It's possible the agents you have talked to are just well aware of the realities of the current market. There is no inventive to sell you a regular resale vs a distressed property. The commission rates are usually the same. Maybe they just want to save time and avoid hassles for you and themselves?
If you have an uneducated agent showing you short sales it will not go well. Short sales take time and dedication. That being said, I wouldn't assume that these agents would avoid short sales. In fact, an uneducated agent would probably drive around for days putting multiple offers on short sales without a clue as to the actual closing process. So, the more likely scenario is that the agents you have spoken to are well versed in the distressed market but realize the reality of getting the most for your investment $ requires you to broaden your search to include all types of sales.

I'm not taking sides or trying to be harsh, just an honest opinion. Often times since last year, investors inquire of distressed property deals believing they can still get the same cash flow and rate of return as investors from 09-10. It is a different world now, there are still plenty of great investments, some distressed, some not. But, the idea that an REO is a superior investment is just not true. In 09-10 if you bought anything other than an REO, I would have called you crazy. Now, it's a different investment environment.

Hope that helps by giving you perspective from a broker that specializes in investment property. You will be able to find a great deal, but you must broaden your horizons and find an agent that you trust as being dedicated and educated in the current market.

Best of luck to you and your search,
If I can be of more help to you please click on my profile picture or follow the link below to my site.

Danny Barto
Galleon Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
Truth is, any agent can do either.

Short sales are a hurry up and wait and having an agent that stays on top of the bank or the sellers agent to bug the bank is key.

Foreclosures are like any other sale, the bank is likely the seller and wants it sold ASAP.

Some Fannie Mae owned properties are needing an agent that logs into the site and uploads offers and then follows up with paperwork.

Puck an agent your gut tells you is the one and you will be fine.

If you need to see short sales or foreclosures for sale, I have them on my site http://www.kevincloutier.com by city in my area.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
Mosy Buyers, even though they may say so, are not patient enough to go through the process;
This can be hell on the Agent and usually ends up in cancellation.
A good Agent will do what you wish;
Just be sure of what you want to wish for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
Typically agents who specialize in short sales and foreclosures will include it somewhere in their profile or website. There are also designations for short sale/REO specialists who have completed classes covering those types of transactions.

You can also search on Trulia. Go up to the top where it says "Find a Pro" and enter your location and keywords. For example, I just searched Miami Beach, FL and found Marc Middleton who lists Short Sales and REOs as his specialities. He has 15 recommendations, which is good.

Here is the link:


I don't know Marc, so I can't personally recommend him, but I just wanted to show you that there are ways to find agents who specialize in what you are looking for.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
thanks for all the replies
i was involved in a short sale and they wanted a sellers contribution of 14k which i was willing todo
however my agent and lawyer tried to play hardball and force them to put it in the hud statement so it fell apart at the last minute
then a cash buyer came along and paid 20k more cash than i would have paid all together, so fairly distrustful of agents and the whole process at this point,
Flag Tue Apr 16, 2013
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