This post........opinion on Realtor vs. Attorney representation in short sales. Next post...how to find a representative.
I have worked on short sales where the listing came as a result from a referral from an attorney. Although the referral source was an attorney, we, at the brokerage negotiated all terms between the bank, presented the hardship package and discussed the real estate market to assure the bank the best possible price was achieved. Part of getting a bank to accept a short sale is helping them understand why this presented offer is the best business decision for them. Our bullet point list of market conditions, other offers, and state of the market has been key to the decision making process. Once an agreement was reached, the attorney reviewed the paperwork prior to signing and finalizing the contracts. I have also worked on short sales where I represented the buyer, with a few currently presented offers that are awaiting decisions.
This morning, a LA (listing agent) called me to tell me that her seller had the sellersâ€™ attorney present a short sale offer to an attorney representing the lender. The LA is beside herself because the attorney has just blown a potential deal with a fantastic buyer. I rep the buyer; we will simply move on to another property. The Realtor has years of experience and the attorney has never been involved with a short sale.
When representing a seller in a short sale recently, I had an attorney contact me who wanted to submit an offer for a buyer client, but declined to provide the necessary paperwork. The attorney believed he knew more, because he was an attorney. (yawn) His clientâ€™s offer was rejected, even though the offer price was slightly higher. I know many great attorneys; this one was an arrogant goofball. I didnt' represent the buyer, but I felt sorry for the buyer.
I am confident in my ability to represent a seller or buyer in a short sale, and have found our process of broker to bank negotiations, followed by bringing an attorney in to review documents before finalizing to be the best course of action. I am sure there are success stories when attorneys have been the negotiator. And, surely, there are stories where an agent/brokerâ€™s inexperience has botched a deal.
Bottom Line: The person handling the negotiations should be knowledgeable, experienced and be willing to go the distance. If you find an agent who can demonstrate proficiency, go forward. If you choose to go the route of an attorney, make sure the attorney has experience in that arena, along with the commitment and tolerance to deal with the banks without charging you a fortune for doing so.
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey