Dealing With Real Estate Agents Who Are Short Sale "Specialists"

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As a short sale investor, you may find that there are times when you find a good short sale deal with the help of a real estate agent.
Many times, the agent in question will bill him or herself as a "short sale specialist," which may be a title that helps attract listings and implies a familiarity with the short sale process.
As short sales take over more and more of the market, increasing numbers of agents are labeling themselves in this way.
But does this actually mean anything, and is the title worth the commission that the individual in question is going to charge someone - probably you? In some cases, working with an agent who specializes in short sales can really smooth the way through a transaction.
If the agent has connections with the lender who has the lien on the property or has already done a great deal of the legwork necessary to set up the property for a short sale, then their commission may be a small price to pay for the time, effort and money you will save getting the deal under way.
In cases where the agent actually has standing relationships with lenders or has already set up the property to be short-sale ready, it will likely be worth it to work with them.
However, other "specialists" may have far more limited use.
Some agents simply add this descriptor to their list of titles to indicate that they will work with short sales or know the basics about what one is.
In this type of scenario, they may be little help and you may end up spending a lot of time explaining what you are doing or trying to work around them rather than being able to utilize them as part of your team.
If the real estate agent in question cannot contribute to the process in a positive manner, then their specialization will probably not be something that makes them an attractive temporary member of your deal-making team.
Of course, if you find the property with the help of an agent who is a short sale specialist, then regardless of whether or not that billing is accurate, you will likely have to work with them.
However, if you have a choice in the matter, look for agents who have the relationships and experience to actually back up their claims before you sign them on.
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