Which real estate agent to use in a short sale?
January 7, 2013 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Does it matter which real estate agent I use in a short sale? Is legal representation a necessary first step?

After many months of trying to re-finance / modify the loan on my house, my primary lender has informed me that modification is not possible (I owe $410k, house worth $275k) and that I should do a short sale. They stated that my foreclosure date is in April. They are dangling the possibility of $14k in moving assistance. They recommended a real estate agent to work with, whom I've never met.

I've called a lawyer to just get some feedback and she's in agreement that I should do a short sale, since I have not been able to modify the loan after 18 months of not paying the mortgage and the fact that I'm not working (steady employment has been spotty).

This weekend I looked at places to rent and found one. Of course the real estate agent representing the rental would like to sell my house. I understand that 6% commission is typical, with half going to buyer representative and half to seller representative, or about $7k to each agent.

Should I hire the lawyer for $450 to represent me? Does it matter which real estate agent I work with? Is that $14k they're dangling somehow linked to using their agent, or is there other precedent for getting some money for moving expenses?
posted by indigo4963 to Work & Money (2 answers total)
I forgot to mention that this is in Connecticut.
posted by indigo4963 at 8:14 AM on January 7, 2013

You absolutely want an agent that has significant experience in short sales. Check references and make sure the agent knows what he/she is doing. Short sales are a royal PITA. I have a friend that is an expert in them (not in CT unfortunately) and the stories I hear about clueless agents that claim to be experts after doing a 20 minute webinar are scary.
posted by COD at 8:25 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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