Frequently Asked Questions
What is a short sale or pre-foreclosure property?
A short sale occurs when a homeowner sells their property for less than what they owe on it. The process requires negotiation with the homeowner's lender.
After a buyer and seller agree and have a ratified contract, the listing agent must then work with the homeowner's lender(s) to obtain their approval to allow the transaction to proceed at the agreed upon price. The lender will review the current market value of the property and decide whether to forgive the homeowner for the difference between what they owe and what the house can sell for. This process can take anywhere from 60-90 days.
Do I have to pay my real estate agent up front for handling my short sale?
Absolutely not. Any agent that asks for money up front is not the right one to handle your short sale. If an agent asks for money, ask them what they would do if your house was a "regular" listing. They would take the listing and wait to get paid at closing, right? Then that is what they should do for yours too.
Do I need a buyer's agent?
Having a buyer's agent means that you have someone representing your interests in the real estate transaction. There are several contingencies present in the standard purchase contract that agents have already learned to navigate. Those contingencies include (but are not limited to) financing, appraisal, third party approval, home inspection, and possible pre-settlement occupancy. A buyer's agent will help you meet all contingency deadlines, make arrangements with the listing agent for any requests and put you in touch with industry professionals as the needs arise.
In an environment where many homes are being sold "as-is" (such as short sales and bank owned homes), having an agent is crucial. Agents create relationships with professionals in every industry, from home inspectors to mold remediation and an agent can guide you to individuals who are already tested for quality of work.