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Investors: Be Prepared to Use a Realtor for Short Sales

by Jeanette Fisher

Although many of today's most popular investment gurus are touting the benefits of buying properties through short sales, many of them are forgetting to tell their students that a growing number of lenders are insisting upon having a real estate agent involved.

First, lenders are busy people and want to deal with other professionals to save themselves time and frustration. If you acknowledge that, you'll find that a realtor can be an invaluable help in getting your short sales through, because lenders will be more willing to talk to them. That’s especially true if you're working on your first short sale.

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Lenders also know that agents are licensed and can be contacted easily if problems should arise later on. Finding an experienced agent is best, of course, but just having an agent act as a go-between can save lots of headaches and delays when you're trying to put together a short sale.

Something else to remember is that lenders aren't in the business of educating people on how to buy properties through short sales. Whenever possible, they want to deal with buyers who already have a handle on the process. However, even if you've done several short sales, you're likely to encounter an increasing number of lenders who will insist on having a realtor involved.

Therefore, you'll find it worthwhile to take one or more courses on how short sales work. You'll find opportunities to learn about short sales in most larger cities through continuing education programs, real estate companies, or sometimes even through lenders themselves. As with any form of investing, the more you know, the less frustrating you'll find the process.

On the dark side, the rise in educational opportunities isn't due to any form of good-heartedness on the part of the lending industry. On the contrary, lenders are realizing that more and more homeowners are going to be finding themselves squeezed in the coming months and years, which will mean a growing number of foreclosures. Since the lenders aren't in the business of owning property, they're going to be offering investment class to help move foreclosure properties faster. After all, they're businesspeople, first and foremost.

Short sales can be frustrating under the best of conditions, but having an experienced real estate agent help you navigate the process by acting as a professional liaison between you and the lender can often spell the difference between success and failure.

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Copyright © 2007 Jeanette J. Fisher
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