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Representing a Short Sale Buyer

by Chicago Agent

by Jim Murrin

In order to be successful in today’s challenging real estate market, it is critical for a real estate agent to adapt to the ever-changing industry environment. This means an agent must stay educated on recent trends occurring in the marketplace, and how they relate to their business and clients.

One of the most prevalent changes occurring in our industry is the amount of short sales that are currently being offered for sale. Short sales make up a large percentage of the available inventory currently being marketed in the MLS. It is critical to include these properties on your buyer’s tour in order for your client to see a true sample of what is available.

I have spoken with several real estate agents that have shied away from shorts sales because of the complexity associated with the transactions. I have even had agents tell me they would never show a short sale because they are too much of a hassle. These comments concern me, as it would be a disservice to your client not to show them properties that are being marketed as short sales. Some would argue that it is your fiduciary responsibility as a Realtor.

Short sales can present a tremendous opportunity for your buyers. Many short sales are priced well below market value and can allow buyers to purchase a property with instant equity. This isn’t always the case, but in many instances it is, so they should be considered.

It is possible that a short sale is not in your client’s best interest. The timeframe and uncertainty of the transaction may not work with your client’s expectations. However, it is critical for you to allow your buyers to come to this conclusion on their own.

Agents often asked me what they need to know in order to effectively represent a buyer in a short sale transaction. I always stress the importance of educating themselves and their buyers on the short sale process, and to get as much information from the listing agent as possible. Understanding this process and setting proper expectations with your buyer goes a long way toward making them comfortable purchasing a short sale.

Short sales make up a large portion of the inventory currently being offered for sale. The amount of short sales in the marketplace has continued to increase and will continue for years to come. It is critical for agents to include short sales in all of their buyers’ tours and to familiarize themselves with the short sale buying process. This will allow you to service your clients better and ultimately provide them with the best purchase options.

Jim Murrin is the director of short sales and REO for Jameson Real Estate, and the founder of Your Debt Solutions. He can be reached at jmurrin@jameson.com.

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