As a buyer I'd advise using a real estate agent short sale or not, the realtor will be getting paid by the seller anyway so there is no extra cost to you.
How commissions work: A realtor meets with the seller agrees to list their home for sale in exchange for a percentage of the sales amount for example lets say 6% in this case but the listing agent doesn't keep all that.
Total Commission 6%
Listing agent will offer a portion of that amount to a cooperating brokerage for bringing in a buyer to purchase the home and lets say in this example they are offering 3% to cooperating brokers aka the buyers agent. That is how the realtor gets paid, from the amount that was established between the listing agency and the seller at the time of listing the property for sale. Therefore you won't have to pull any extra money out of your pocket to pay a realtor to assist you in finding a home and representing your best interest.
That being said, let's move on...
We are doing a lot of short sales these days, basically a short sale is nothing new. The concept of short sales has been around as long as mortgages. A short sale is when a seller owes more on their mortgage than the home is worth so in order to sell their home they would not have enough money to satisfy their mortgage with the bank SO...
If you are a seller a bank will only consider a short sale if the seller is using a Realtor, no if ands or buts!
The seller doesn't need to do anything different other than ensure their offer is accepted by BOTH the seller AND their bank(s) if the seller has more than one mortgage. These transaction tend to be more complicated and you need to stay on top of them and the sellers realtor and attorney to ensure they are following up regularly with the sellers bank(s) to ensure all the required paperwork has been submitted to the bank and that it has not been lost in the sea of short sales waiting to be decided if they are acceptable to the sellers bank.
All short sales are "Subject To" the banks approval that goes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd or other mortgages and they can take a long time to get back letting you know if your offer was accepted or not. This is why it is important to stay on top of them. I have one short sale right not, I'm representing the seller and staying on top of things however since the offer came in I've been trying to get a decision for about 3 months now!!!!
This is a bit longer than usual but just so you know, it can take a while before you even get an answer as to if the bank will take your offer. Be ready to wait ! ! ! !
Don't offer too low, if you can find out how much is owed on the mortgages you will see that many banks find 75% payoff acceptable however I've seen as low as 60% accepted but that is not very common.
Good Luck.... and use the Free help a realtor can provide to you, they will also stay on top of the transaction to ensure at the least if they are a bad realtor that the transaction closes so they can get paid which will save you headaches in the long run...
Sweet Deals Ahead! Stay Tuned...