Buyers and Sellers both need to be aware of the many scenarios that can be involved with a short sale. For sellers especially, it can be all too tempting to just jump blindly into a short sale; who wouldn't want to get in on a good deal that will end up saving them thousands? However, YOU MUST slow your roll and sit down with your leasing agent for a serious conversation that will assess their ability to handle the sale of your home.
Ask them about their experience. Not all real estate agents are alike. Just as teachers and doctors have their own areas of expertise, so do real estate agents; and short sales is just one of them. You want a realtor that knows the ins and outs of short sales. An agent with expertise in this area knows how to get things done. With any other agent, you could just be on a slow track to nowhere.
Can they complete the financial package? It's not uncommon for financial institutions to have their own short sale packages that must be submitted before a short sale can be considered. This can be a lot of information that MUST be very detailed and submitted along with the supporting documentation. Your agent must fully understand this package and be able to help you with it in order to help move things along. An experienced agent in this area saves you time and money.
Ask them how many offers they'll be submitting to the lender. This answer should be obvious. Although there will be many offers made on the property, your agent should be focusing on only ONE of them. Your agent should be able to look through all the many offers and choose the one that will be most likely to get approval from the lender. Additionally, a realtor who makes more than one offer could cause raised eyebrows and suspicions on their ethics.
Working with a short sale real estate agent has many advantages over doing it on your own. Short sales are meant to be a good deal to help you but if you're working with the wrong agent, it could be your worst nightmare.