How do I find a short sale listing agent?
Its easy to find a regular listing agent, but to find a short sale listing agent who specializes in handling distressed property and negotiating short sales can be a lot tougher. Negotiating a short sale requires a lot more than just sticking a sign in the yard and putting the home the multiple listing service. Since short sales are very paperwork-intensive and time consuming, a lot of agents won’t touch them.
Having negotiated short sales for the past 10 years, I know first hand that short sales require a ton of work. These are not for the faint of heart. Homeowners should not risk their financial future on a novice agent who does not understand the short sale process.
If you are a homeowner in distress, hiring a regular real estate agent to handle your short sale will likely kill your ability to get a short sale approved and you risk your house going to foreclosure. Take the time you need to hire a short sale listing agent who can help you get your short sale done because you may not get a second chance.
Similar to finding a short sale buyer’s agent specialist, if you follow some of the steps below, you will greatly increase your odds of finding a seasoned short sale listing agent:
Search online for a short sale listing agent. Decide on some key words that would be appropriate for your area like “Houston short sale listing agent” or “Houston listing agent short sales.” Once you pull up your search results, read through the different websites, blogs, and directories. Decide if you’ve read about anyone who you think would be a good fit for your situation.
Agent referral from a friend. Ask your friends if they know a short sale listing agent in Houston who specializes in distressed property. Do not be surprised if your friends don’t know a short sale listing agent specialist. But even if they can recommend a regular listing agent, this agent may be able to help identify another agent who specializes in negotiating short sales.
Ask a real estate agent for a short sale listing specialist. Real estate agents can be very discerning of others in their profession. If you ask a real estate agent if they can recommend a short sale listing agent specialist, they will know all the places to help you narrow down a short list of agent specialists for you to contact. Since it is customary for agents to pay referral fees, the referring agent is likely to do extensive research on who is really good as a short sale listing agent because they only get paid a referral fee if their deal closes.
Go to short sale open houses. If you attend short sale open houses, you can talk to a short sale listing agent first hand about how they are going about negotiating short sales. Ask if they can describe the last short sale that they negotiated and how that went.
Search the MLS for a short sale listing agent. If you have a realtor friend who can search short sale transactions to help you identify some short sale listing agents who are handling transactions in your neighborhood, this can help you create a short list of agents to call.
Make sure you interview several different agents to gauge their short sale negotiation experience. You also want to get a sense of how you might work together.
There are many ways to find a short sale listing agent. You will know instinctively right away who is a good fit for your situation.