I give free consultations all the time to people who are in need of help and information about a short sale. Many times near the end of the conversation after I talk about my experience, my success rate and my contacts and relationships with the bank, a homeowner will ask me, “ What is your experience with selling homes in MY AREA?”
Well first let me say that I have sold homes in nearly every zip code in San Diego County and am fairly familiar with most popular areas. Likewise I have a team of many agents who help me with my listings and their marketing, all of whom are specialist for a short sale in areas all over San Diego.
Next I would like to point out a few differences between a traditional listing and a short sale listing. In a traditional listing you are trying to obtain top dollar, and to do that you need to utilize marketing to its upmost. And this is where a local area expert may have a slight advantage over another agent. They could use their knowledge of the community or schools in their marketing pieces to possibly entice buyers or get answers for a prospective buyer a little quicker. But due to the internet and the resources I have as a large listing broker I can pretty much find out all the same information very quickly, and we do research the property for hours and the surrounding community before implementing a listing or the marketing for a listing.
In a short sale however, I have to say that the easiest part of doing a short sale transaction is obtaining an offer. And because of this, marketing all the nuances of a particular community, complex or development is mostly irrelevant. The real meat and potatoes of a short sale, lies in communicating with the banks, negotiating the best possible outcome for the homeowner or borrower, get deficiencies waived, holding the deal together, and getting all parties to agree to terms of the short sale. In a short sale you typically have the lender or sometimes two lenders, the HOA, the IRS, the CA state franchise tax board, the local property tax assessor, private party liens, the buyers, the buyers agent, and the buyer lender who all need to agree to the short sale transaction terms. This in and of itself are very difficult and require a certain skill and level of experience. Most real estate agents stay far away from short sales in San Diego because they require so much knowledge and work. Some real estate agents attempt short sales not even knowing what they are getting into because they need to try and maintain a pay check.
With this being said in a short sale it is my opinion that consumers should NOT be worried about a real estate agents local area expertise, but rather the level of knowledge and experience of their short sale agent. Your entire financial future depends on it and because you as a homeowner or borrower DO NOT pay any fees to the real estate agent, why wouldn’t you want to work with the best? If you don’t chose the most capable and experienced real estate agent to work for your financial future, you are in essence selling yourself short!