More important than ever before is the process of "sizing up" those who's services you employ. When you are talking about undertaking a hardship like "short sale", getting the right feel is a critical step.
If you were to go to a doctor, and if the diagnosis were serious, you would probably get a second opinion. The same should apply to any Short Sale you are considering having negotiated on your behalf.
At the end of the day it is your name and credit that has been affected. You are the "owner" of the property and you are hiring the agent or agents to seek approval on your behalf. This is reflective in one of the steps where the short sale real estate agent will have the client sign paperwork that gives them permission to inquire on the "human owners" behalf about the specifics on the loan or loans.
Because you, the short sale seller, has filled out the letter of hardship, signed the offer, given authorization for us to act on your behalf, and signed off on an offer - it is in your best interest to check out those whom you are hiring to complete your short sale.
You will get it - do a bit of a Google or Bing Search related to the Short Sale agent or team of short sale agents you are hiring. Look around a bit then set up an appointment at their offices and sit down and look deep in their eyes asking them the following questions.
- Can you guarantee that no one will come after me at anytime when the short sale has been completed? (no one can absolutely guarantee this)
- Should I seek any other advice related to me having a short sale negotiated? (absolutely - like an Real Estate Attorney and CPA)
- Should I continue to make my payments? (only you can make this decision)
- I have an account with some money in it - Should I disclose that to my bank on the financial documents you are asking me to fill out? (absolutely - if you hide anything, it could be found out and cause you much pain)
- Will a Shot Sale Hurt my Credit? (absolutely)
- When can I buy a home again? (rule of thumb, depending on how the "charge off" is handled - 2.5 - 3 years. This could change at any time)
- Should I just claim bankruptcy? (suggestion, seek the advice of a BK attorney as well. Remember, some BK attorneys are wanting to sell their services, some real estate agents are no different. Size them up and get second opinions here as well.)
Be Safe and here is a Santa Clarita Real Estate Daily Video that I thought might give you some more insight about meeting your real estate / short sale representative in person!