Home Selling in Sacramento>Question Details

Cpe1, Home Seller in Sacramento, CA

what is the most important advice in finding the right real estate agent for a short sale for my home?

Asked by Cpe1, Sacramento, CA Tue Aug 18, 2009

I am almost ready to do a short sale and I had a referral to use a friend's dad that lives out of the area. Is that the smartest thing to do since he does not live locally?

Help the community by answering this question:


I''m not an agent -- just a client. We recently completed a short sale on an investment property. We have never done anything like this before and to say we were gun shy would be an understatement. My advice to you would be this -- Don't call one of those companies who claim they do nothing but short sales and can do things "quicker" -- What you need is simple -
Interview Agents who have RECENT experience with Short Sales.
Find an agent who has a hands on approach and is not wishy washy.
Ask - does this agent have personal knowledge on assisting with a short sale?
Very Important: Does the Agent have an Assistant who is just as hands on, knows the process well, has communication directly with the lenders? I feel an Assistant can really be a deal breaker because someone back at the office to keep checking on things and keep communication as well as documents moving in the right direction in a timely manner is CRUCIAL -- Short Sales as well as Loan Modifications can be tricky. Lenders sometimes give you a short timeframe to get required docs back to them. If your realtor is doing ten other things they might not be right there -- front and center - monitoring your Short Sale and making sure requests from lenders are satisfied as best they can be. Short Sales as well as Loan Modifications can be stopped forcing you to start over again if a document is just one day late in getting to them so you need EXPERT HELP -- I recommend Shirley Kistler! --
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
The most important question is; Have you completed short sales in the past or in the past markets (1989) Yes, we had short sales in 1989/1991... The real estate agent you hire should have first hand knowledge as to how to present a short sale package to the lender and have access to all the information that is required by the lender. There are some agents that third party the short sale package off to another short sale company however in my opinion you need first hand service and first hand knowledge to be effective..
You need an agent that is very familar with YOUR market...It is critical ..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
If friends father is not local to your area so to speak your concerns could be valid.

Many agents have now starting remove themselves from short sale, foreclosures based on all issues and drama from bank, false media information and much more.

Here in Dallas we no longer offer services for listing/buyers agent for short sale, we are discussing by year end no longer represent buyers regards foreclosures.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
There are always trade offs in anything you choose to do.

Pros and Cons (For and Against)

Pro: Agent is a friends Dad: This may seem to be advantage, especially if you already know him personally and know he is of good character and trustworthy.

unknown factor: Is friends Dad experienced as a real estate agent in California, and knowledgeable about how to conduct a short sale and market a short listing?

unknown factor: Out of area: Can he post to the local MLS? If not, that is a hobble.

unknown factor; Out of area: does he travel here frequently. Is out of area sort of close by: like Placerville or Auburn or is it an airplane ride away? Lots of people cover geographical areas that cover 3 or 4 counties, or more, It can be done.

He does have to have a California Real Estate salesperson (or broker) license to take a listing in this state.

The skills and eagerness to work to sell your listing might overcome the disadvantage of not being local.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA

You have received a lot of great informaiton regarding choosing the right agent. So, I just wanted to reiterate the most important parts; First, not every situation warrants a short sale. You need to sit down with several agents, as someone recommended, and discuss your situation. During that conversation, the first advice you should receive is to talk to your CPA regarding your circumstances and be sure a short sale is right for you. Second, you need to be comfortable with the agent, the system they use, do they return your phone calls. Lastly, the absolutely need to have current experience. Do they have current short sale listings. Bank requirements are changing daily. If they are not working on short sales today in this environment, their knowledge and experience may not be of much help. And being local helps a lot. At some point there will be a negotiation between your agent and the lender regarding price, local trends, etc. Your agent needs to know the area.

There are many agents both in Sacramento and on Trulia that are working on and closing short sales. Another great resource to check out is http://www.cdpe.com. The site will allow you to search for agents working short sales throughout the country and in Sacramento. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
I might add, that you need an agent that your bank, or mortgage company, is willing to work with. They usually screen the agents, and have a list of preferred ones.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
Hi Cpe1,

Candidly, selecting the right agent for your Sacramento short sale will be the single most important factor in the successful completion of your transaction.

Let's step aside from the fact that this agent is not local for a minute...does this agent have a proven track record of closing short sales? If this agent has not closed at least 10 of them, then the answer is no. You absolutely need to select an agent who knows these very complicated transactions backwards and forward. I also highly recommend selecting an agent who does not farm out the negotation of these to a 3rd party. You will want one source of the status of your short sale, and one source of accountability.

Ok...so regarding the fact that this agent is not local. In addition to a proven track record, the local reputation of your agent is pretty important too. There are two of us here on Trulia in the Sacramento marketplace that have a great reputation locally for CLOSING short sales - myself (Erin Attardi), and Elizabeth Weintraub (who will probably throw her 2 cents in this morning as well). Other local agents know we know what we are doing, and do not hesitate for a minute to show our short sale listings and encourage their clients to bring offers.

There are other local Sacramento short sale agents who know what they are doing as well...do your research and find a local short sale pro.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
Erin Stumpf…, Real Estate Pro in Sacramento, CA

Steve hit the nail on the head.....it's important to find yourself working with someone that truly understands the "short sale" process. Of additional importance is finding an individual that has the ability to be both aggressive and persistant when dealing with the bank.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
I have to agree with Steve's answer below. Some agents will tell you what you want to hear, but the bottom line is can the agent produce the outcome you are needing in this situation? There are many agents that handle short sales, and many agents that say they handle short sales, but actually outsource the negotiations to another company because they do not know how they work. I personally know the process and do work very hard at my job. I also have been handling short sale negotiations for a couple other agents ( and a broker ) over the last 2 years to help them complete their sales. I would love to answer any questions you might have to better help you understand the process. Bottom line is that you are now in a situation that you need someone to understand and work hard for you to get the best possible outcome.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
The best advise is to find someone who has had REAl extensive training in submitting the SELLER'S packet to the bank or who ever holds the loan. The Agent needs to do a lot of homewaork on behalf of the seller prior to listing the home for sale. Any Agent can list a home for sale, but only a few can actually get it sold in a timely manner. If any Agent tells you they have experience with short sales, don't be afraid ro ask for references and follow up with them. You as a seller must qualify for a short sale which means in brief, that you can't have liquid cash sitting in the bank, other positive cash flow investments, an RV, a boat, and be on vacation when selling as a short sale. I would recommend interviewing at least 3-4 Agents from different companies and DON'T tell them you have already spoken to another Agent. Get the advise of all of them and then go with who you feel is the most trust worthy and someone who isn't just in it for the commission. Short Sales are very emotional and should not be taken upon by amatures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
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