You would think that all the stuff published by financial advice websites would have some consumers more educated about the role of real estate agents, especially in the case of a short sale. They don't. I have to educate many who reach out to me and set them straight on certain ideas in their head that they get from who knows where- most likely these asinine "what your agent hopes you never know" online columns that sow discord rather than educate.
A few brief examples:
- The Open Listing. The guy is essentially a FSBO but wants me to do the short sale once he gets a buyer. Do it Yourself is fine if you are building a picnic table, but not saving your financial rear. When it is explained that he saves nothing the way he theoretically would if he had, say, equity, I still get blank stares.
- The Un-Bundler. The Un-Bundler wants me to do their short sale, but wants to keep cousin Ethel as the listing agent. I have to explain to this person that the only compensation paid by lenders in a short sale is a brokerage fee, and I cannot take an upfront fee from him. He has a choice: List with me or have cousin Ethel dock her license with me. But I'm not doing all the dirty work for another agent.
- The Competitor. The competitor wants half my commission if they find the buyer. I have to explain to them that I don't compete with clients, but more importantly, paying them a rebate in a short sale is bank fraud. They probably got this advice off some website somewhere that isn't talking about short sales specifically but addresses negotiating commissions.
These three people are bad enough in a regular sale, but in a short sale they are nuts. What they need to understand is that if you want my expertise, you have to hire me under the terms of an Exclusive Right to Sell agreement. This doesn't make you "captive" any more than it makes me a captive- I am held to the highest standards of ethics and service under those terms. You don't haggle over services with your plumber, lawyer, electrician or doctor. Add me to the list. Can you imagine telling your electrician "If I help a little will you give me a lower bill?" You'll get electrocuted! Moreover, once you are a short sale, you need an expert at the helm, and do it yourself is no longer a viable option. Straight talk: You've been doing it yourself thus far and now you face foreclosure. Fire yourself and hire me.