Choosing an Agent to List your Under Water Property

When interviewing agents to list and sell your Short Sale, i.e., your real estate which is currently worth less than the total owed on the mortgage, there are many factors to consider.   Personality compatibility, motivation level, persuasiveness, compassion, are all factors in selecting a “partner” to help you succeed in the business of selling your biggest asset.

Also, does the agent have experience selling upside down properties? How many short sales has the agent completed in the past 6 months?   Does the agent make a good “listing presentation”?    How does the realtor’s CMA (comparative market analysis or estimate of value of your house) compare to other indications of a good listing price such as your tax assessment, Zillow, Trulia, and other listing agent presentations?

A short sale realtor needs to know the right price to list in order to not leave the homeowner languishing in negative cash flow any longer than necessary, but also the right price to garner the approval of the homeowner’s mortgage lender, investor, servicer, government underwriter, etc..

Now, in the latest experiment in fixing one problem to create three more, the Department of HUD may be implementing a new short sale regulation next month which prevents your listing agent from selling your home to any other agents in her brokerage!    This may have a small and positive impact on a small but significant problem with short sale fraud, but one of the big unintended consequences of this regulation might be to lead savvy short selling homeowners to hire listing agents from the smallest possible brokerage!!!    Some brokerages in Virginia have in excess of a thousand agents.   Rather than disqualify 1,000+ agents from selling your short sale listing, it may make more sense to consider listing your home with an agent from the smallest brokerage you can find, assuming they score well on the tests above.

If you’d like to read more about this short-sighted new policy for yourself, please click on this link to Inman News.

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