Home Buying in Florida>Question Details

Nadja, Home Buyer in South Florida, FL

How can I find an experienced short sale agent to help me buy a home?

Asked by Nadja, South Florida, FL Sun Aug 3, 2008

I'm a first time home buyer looking for a property in the Margate/Coral Springs, Florida area and every property I find in my price range is a short sale. I'm very interested in buying a short sale, but every agent I have spoken with does not have enough short sale experience. Some have actually told me they didn't have experience, others said they did but I found more accurate information just searching online. I'm serious about buying a property, and I need an agent that can guide me and help me through this process. What questions should I ask a prospective agent to ascertain his/her knowledge and experience with buying short sales? How can I be sure that an agent has enough knowledge to help me write up a serious offer and follow up with the lender so it doesn't take 3 months to get a reply?

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Jeff you can search the Floirda MLS at http://www.floridamlshub.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 7, 2008
Nadja, I would agree with everyone so far, but I would like to add a couple things. I consider myself a Short Sale Specialist, with this I can, in many cases, speed up the process with bank a bit, sometimes a little and many times a lot, when I am the Listing agent. Not so long ago, I would say that the buyers agent doesn't really need to "know" short sales, but I am starting to lean the other way on this topic. I have no problem showing my buyers short sale properties, once they understand several things. 1) It may take several weeks before hearing anything and even then it may not work out 2) Before showing them a short sale, I will question the listing agent to see what they have done so far and determine its potential of closing. 3) It may take several weeks before hearing anything and even then it may not work out . While I find all 3 important, I repeat 1 and 3 because it is possible to take, what seems like forever before you do hear something, but to me, 2 is the most important. Reason being, I don't have to worry about 1 and 3 because, if the Listing Agent doesn't give me the correct answers to my questions, I won't show my client the property. A buyers agent must at least know the basics of the short sale process, otherwise they won't be able to ask the Listing agent the "right " questions. I can't count how many times Listing agents tell me they have done a ton of these, or they been doing them for years, or whatever, and then I ask them very simple questions that they should definitely know the answer to and it is so far from correct, it's not even funny. I think the best was when the agent told me he had closed several over the past few months and then my next question was "Has the BPO been completed?" and he said "What's a BPO?" To you, this may mean nothing, but to an knowledgeable agent of short sales, this was a quick yes or no question and a standard item that must be completed. Just so you know, a BPO is Broker Price Opinion, which is "like" an appraisal. Once I determine the agents knowledge, I then determine if I will show a client the property, unless of course my client vetos me and wants to see it anyway and then I review 1 and 3 with them. An agent doesn't have to be experienced, as much as they MUST be knowledgeable on the process. Even with all things in your favor, you may still not be able to complete the purchase. I think I will agree with Jim on calling the local Title Company and asking them for an agent or two who does a lot of short sales with them. If you know others, maybe friends or family, that have bought or sold a short sale, ask them who they used. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Short Sales are challenging but are rewarding at times. Sellers have to be relentless in their pursuit of finding not only the correct person but finding anyone to communicate with. There are excellent responses here. You might call Title Companies in the area or a Real Estate Atty. We have used Title Works in Coral Springs, Atty. Michael Rich at times for assistance. They may be able to recommend a Realtor to you. HUD statements will have to be submitted and the hardship packet needs completed by Seller. You and your Realtor need to be probing and patient. Always inspect the house. Have a Home Inspector go through it. Check everything! You are probably buying the home in and AS Is condition. Keep looking, you may find a good value without all the headaches.
Jim Soda 941-809-7759
Prudential Palms Realty
jim@jimsoda.com
Sarasota - Lakewood Ranch - Longboat Key
Web Reference: http://www.jimsoda.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Jeff and Ginny are pretty accurate in their answer to you. Remember, in a short sale situation, it really is the bank that is running the show, and no matter how experienced or inexperienced an agent is, there is a large portion of this transaction that is totally out of their control. And the previous answers are correct in that the listing agent actually is the one who needs the most experience. The buyer's agent pretty much does the usual things an agent does for a buyer. However, you are buying an "as is" property so many of the protections you would get in a normal situation don't apply to this situation. Actually, if you shop smart, you can get good deals without resorting to short sales!
Web Reference: http://www.MykeTriebold.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 4, 2008
Unfortunately, the listing agent is the person you'll really be needing to be experienced. The buyers agent has little control over calling the bank, poking, cajoling or trying to move things along. A buyers agent can write a contract, give you great advise and do a CMA on the property for you but the agent that listed the home is driving the buggy, so to speak.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 4, 2008
We recommend calling the managing broker of a large real estate company in your area and ask the broker to suggest an agent with continuing education classes and experience with short sales and/or foreclosured properties. You are right to want help with this process.

However, let me assure you that even the most experienced agent cannot hurry up the process much. The mortgage lender dictates the timing. Lenders are overwhelmed with short sales and foreclosures.

Any offer that you submit for a short sale or a foreclosed property will be an "as is" situation. The seller will make no repairs. There is a special addenda in Florida that will need to be added to a short sale or foreclosed property offer.

Some agents do not wish to work with short sales or foreclosed properties because the mortgage lender can and usually will reduce any commission even though short sales are usually more work. Be sure you act efficiently as soon as your offer is accepted - inspections, survey, mortgage application and so forth. Your Realtor will help you with this planning and recommend reliable professionals.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 3, 2008
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