Short sale or not short sale? That’s the question.

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Client after client, I have to explain the differences between a short sale, a foreclosure or just a plain regular sale. People want to know and be educated on the matter. And most of the time, they don’t want to touch a short sale at all after understanding the full short sale process.

I’ve read also that many real estate agents are in the same boat than I am and I wonder if they are not showing their clients short sales because they don’t want to deal with short sales or if their buyers have made the choice to eliminate them from their home search. Most of the time, for me, clients just say no to short sales because it’s time consuming.

I had a thought about that the other day and wondering if an agent choose to exclude short sales regardless what their client wants, does that violate the Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract?  What if the agent eliminates short sale properties that match a buyer’s criteria and the buyer never chose to exclude short sales from their search?  I’ll say yes, if you have such a contract in force. And I rarely go with it. On the other hand, I feel that I save time and money to my clients. I’ll add short sales only if my clients ask for it.

There are situations where short sales obviously do not work for buyers.  If the buyer has to buy a home fast due to a lease expiring or he has been transferred to another work branch and staying in a hotel room is not acceptable, especially with family members, pursuing short sales is probably not a good idea.  There are cases where a buyer really likes a short sale property but doesn’t have time to play the waiting game.  Most of the time, I write a time contingency for my client and keep looking for a better property.

Whether they are afraid of them, hate dealing with them, or do not have the knowledge to work them, agents who do not want to show buyers short sales need to make it clear to their buyer that they do not show short sale properties.  If the buyer still wants to view short sales, the real estate agent needs to refer the buyer to another qualified agent. Because let’s face it, if no one is showing short sales, they’re not going to be sold anytime soon. A good solution in my opinion is for the listing agent to get an acceptable price from the bank before putting the property for sale to the public. The sales price will be accepted by the bank and we can face a regular sale within acceptable time frame.

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