Qualifying a Listing agent for a short sale
Lets face it. Time is money. When working as a buyers agent in a short sale, it is extremely important to qualify the listing agent for competency. After all, the last thing any agent wants is a wait of several months in a short sale that is going nowhere fast due to inexperience of the listing agent, only to have the buyer back out of the transaction.
Prior to showing ANY short sale listing, its a good idea to screen the listing agent to see if it is worth spending your time and your buyers time on it. When working as a buyers agent in a short sale transaction, you will want to quiz the listing agent to see what their knowledge and experience is with short sale transactions, you will want to use caution if the agent is inexperienced or not confident.
Here are some helpful questions to ask a listing agent:
- Have you closed any Short Sales before?
- Has the lien holder been notified of the intent to short sale?
- Have you received any offers on the property?
- Has the complete short sale package been sent to the lien holder AND have you confirmed receipt?
- What communications, if any, have you had with the bank?
- Have you the seller been assigned a Loss Mitigator?
- Has there been a BPO? Did you meet the BPO agent? Did you get the results back?
- Is there one or two loans? Any other liens?
- What are the names of the banks? Are these FHA or VA loans?
- Is there Mortgage Insurance?
- How long do you estimate that the lender will take to provide an answer to an offer?
A good rule of thumb is that the listing agent should be "hands on" when it comes to the process, have knowledge of the process, and be able to give updates when needed. Taking the time in advance to ask some questions like the ones above will ultimately save you and your buyers many headaches in the long run. Doing so can lead to a much smoother transaction, and ultimately a much happier buyer!
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