Jacksonville Florida Short Sales FAQ:How Do I Hire The Best Short Sale Agent?
This is very important. Not just any agent who lists homes, will be the best short sale agent. Here are some questions to ask:
- How many short sales have you closed?
You want an agent who has some short sale experience. Every agent had to start at their first short sale, but you don’t want to be that first experiment.
- How many have you not closed and what were their outcomes?
Not every short sale will close. Some sellers may change their mind, do a deed in lieu, or even foreclosure. The house may have ended up with major structural repairs that the owner just couldn’t afford to make. These are things an agent can’t control. However, a successful short sale agent should have a higher percentage of successful short sale closings.
- Do you handle the short sale yourself or do you have a 3rd party negotiator or attorney handle it?
Not all agents handle their own short sales. They may take the listing and then hand the file over to an attorney’s office, title company or a 3rd party negotiating company. They get updates, then pass the updates on to you. This can be an issue if the company, who the agent has handed your file off to, doesn’t have a system in place or they are not very aggressive in follow ups and escalations. If the agent handles it themselves, they should have a system in place themselves for updates and a checklist to make sure every step is being completed and when. They should also have an attorney or two to help with legal issues or to step in to help if needed.
- Do you market short sales the same way as normal listings?
Some agents don’t do the same marketing on their short sale listings as they do their normal sales. I’ve seen some short sales not have any pictures and have been on the market for 6 months or more! There’s no reason that a short sale listing should be treated less than a normal listing.
- What is your short sale education?
Education is important and laws or short sale rules change frequently. Are they part of a network of short sale agents who share new information? If so, they probably are on top of the changes. Now if the agent has a designation, maybe a CDPE or something similar, that designation DOES NOT mean they truly are an expert. They may not have done 1 short sale, but took the class, paid their fee and passed a test. You still want to ask them all these questions. And don’t believe them if they tell you that, because they have one of those designations, they will do a better job than an experienced short sale agent who doesn’t have a designation. That’s not always the case.
- How often will I get updates?
You should expect weekly updates, even if those updates are to say that they called the lender and nothing has changed.
- What are the ramifications of me doing a short sale?
They should be able to explain the ramifications you may face. Whether it’s 1099, cash contribution, promissory note and credit. They can not give you tax or legal advice, unless they are an attorney or a CPA. If they are neither, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
- How will you determine the price for my home?
The correct answer is based on the market and what has sold in the past 4 months, maybe 6 months. If they tell you at the amount of your mortgage, and the market value is not at your mortgage amount, then that is a red flag. If they want to price it way below market, that’s a red flag as well. You will waste precious time, if the bank doesn’t accept that lower offer and the buyer walks.
- How will you handle the lender in situations of lack of communication from them or negative outcomes?
This is another good one. I don’t think there is just one correct answer. If they say they won’t do anything, well that’s not good, so that should be a pass. You want to look for an agent who will be respectful to others, being rude doesn’t cause positive outcomes. Do they have contacts for higher executives from the various lenders or do they know how to get those contacts, for times when a file needs to be escalated?
These are not all you can ask, and I’m sure you have more, specific to your situation. Doing a short sale can be a stressful time, so hiring the best short sale agent is very important to a successful short sale.
See below for FAQs on short sales in the Jacksonville Florida and surrounding areas.
Got questions? Are you in a short sale and/or pre-foreclosure situation with your Jacksonville Home? Call me at 904-910-3516 or send me an email at email@example.com.
I am not an attorney or tax expert, you should seek legal or tax advice from an attorney and CPA.
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