Market Conditions in Chicago>Question Details

Tom, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Specialized agents?

Asked by Tom, Chicago, IL Sun Jul 27, 2008

I'm a buyer in Chicago that may be interested in shopping short sales and similar - are there agents who specialize in this sort of thing? Most agents seem to turn their nose up at making multiple low offers and entering into a process that takes months.

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Hi Tom,

Short sales are hard to work with for many reasons, the first being the situation itself. The person facing the short sale is very unhappy. Couple that with the bank looking over their shoulder at every turn and the constant barrage of phone calls from folks off the street asking to purchase their home at half price. That is just from the homeowners perspective.

From the agent's perspective, 9 times out of 10 you have no idea the home is a short sale (depending on your local MLS) so you believe you are working a regular offer only to discover too late, whoops a short sale. Or better, you have a buyer who is only looking for short sales and they know from several sites that there are "hundreds" of foreclosures in your town and gives you the list. As you troll around to discover if the home is listed, what point of the process is the home at and whether a lender is involved, you talk to irate home owners, exhausted and frustrated listing agents and overworked lender property minders.

Then you make a low ball offer and are rejected for the very simple reason of the definition of a short sale - the owner owes more. The current owner can not accept a low ball offer because they don't have money, not a surprise considering they are in foreclosure. The bank doesn't want to lose half of it's investment and often times can't. (Some lending institutions are beginning to move inventory now.)

To answer your initial question, the answer is a few. We are all being invited to take classes on short-sales, usually from the listing agent perspective. There are many horror stories from buyer agents, of lending institutions cutting an agents wages by 2/3 after the offer has been accepted. Could you imagine being asked by your employer to do three times the work for 1/3 the salary?

So, if you don't find agents jumping all over themselves to guide you through the short sale buying process, please don't be surprised or angry. It is just an ugly and sad process for everyone involved.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
Hi Tom-
I would be happy to work with you.
There are multiple types of investment properties. As I'm sure you already know.
Short sales take the longest because currently there are so many of them. But, there are Pre-Foreclosures, Foreclosures, and Auctions, rent with options, Deed in Lieu, etc. Which do you prefer?
Please check out my website for the next investor seminar. I'd love to have you join us.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Perhaps I worded the question poorly - most agents turn their noses up at making low offers in these situations, which likely have a slimmer probability of acceptance. As a result, the agent needs to make multiple offers for a single buyer (over time, of course).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008

It's not that agents turn their noses up at submitting multiple offers, it is simply that our code of ethics precludes such activity. Any knowledgeable agent is going to step away from engaging in the type of behavior that you describe because in our profession it's one offer at a time. By the same token feel free to take up the first respondent's offer or be a happy hunter on your own. But please have a good attorney on hand should your multiple offers come to fruition and you are left holding the bag of making multiple purchases.

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
short sales are tough and could potentially be a lot of work for no payoff- I always prefer to work with the banks properties has there is always less drama. Let me know what you are looking for and I'll be happy to see if I can help. and or
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
I am a short sale expert my area in the San Fernando Valley. It takes a certain type of agent who has patience and doesnt mind constant and continually follow up on a routine basis. Some lenders work faster than others in regards to a short pay approval. If you truly know the value of what you are getting as a buyer, then it is worth the wait, that is if you can wait. Anticpate the process time to range anywhere from 45-60 days for short pay approval. Depending on the lender and or servicing company combined with If you are dealing with a good short sale expert, it may be as short as 21-30 days for an approval.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
The site below is very consumer friendly and offers a lot of great information, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about short sales.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 12, 2008
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA

I am a real estate agent. A Realtor. That is what I do! I love to help make deals for my clients! I hope you find a great agent to work with in your area!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
In short, Yes, there are agents who specialize in short sales, but not as many as you'd think.

It DOES take a lot of time, but in certain areas like here in SoCal, "regular" sellers are hard to come by, and banks tend to be very stubborn with their REO's.

Our business DOES focus on Short Sales, because when they are done right, people walk away a lot better off than they could have been. It also doesn't hurt to know that you are helping people with serious problems =D

Please visit our site http://( if you have more questions!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008

You bring up a very good point.

If a Real Estate Agent were to charge you an up front fee to start the process would you pay it and what's that service worth to you?

I'm just curious because it's all about the "time". We mainly work on a contingent basis.

Last week I received a call from a person who wanted to buy a home as an investment. He wanted a short sale. He had all these plans of buying, fixing up the home and renting it out until the market turns around. I first asked him if he was qualified with a bank. I asked him for his bank information and he said that getting a loan wasn't a problem. He got upset because I even asked him that question. I never heard back from him after that. Last Tuesday, 3 days after I spoke with this guy, I find out that he called back and spoke with another agent in my office. The agent tells me that he took this guy out and showed him 4 houses Sunday afternoon. When it came time to writing an offer the guy started making up excuses. 2 days later he takes the guy out again and showed him 2 more homes. One of them was exactly what he was looking for. Today is Monday of the following week and after a whole Sunday afternoon and a Tuesday evening of about 9 hours, including time to find the homes and numerous phone calls the guy hasn't called back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Understand it is more work, but it really shocks me that no one has come up with an alternate commission structure for this type of situation (ie a retainer and commission based on % off of original list, or similar). In this case, it seems like the agent is creating a lot more value than just showing you the nearest train stop and calling a lender - I would think it would be a more work, but more reward situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Where is Dickel? I pulled up your name in the Multiple Listing of Northern Illinois and your name doesn't come up. I even googled your name and couldn't find anything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
I agree with what you're saying. Remember the 80/20 rule? It's more like 90/10. The agent does have to be patient and spend a lot of time before a possible payoff happens. Some of these short sales may take 30 to 60 days just to get a final approval from the bank.

My suggestion is to find a hungry agent who is willing to spend the time. They need to be aggresive, yet willing to "wait" for a closing. It's easy to say "I'll help", but honestly it depends on where you're looking.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Tom - I work with investors a lot - I assume that is what you are based on the fact that you are willing to go fishing a bit? Here's the best way to get a professional on your side... find someone that specializes in just this kind of thing and offer a retainer. Then, they are not working for free. You want a professional, right? Most professionals require that they get paid - it seems fair, right? My investors, once they see how I operate, never have an issue with this and in the end, I save them more than I cost them. If you are looking for an agent like that I can refer you, but contact me directly... I will want to know a little more about you so I can match you with the right person. or 7036693142
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
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