September 4th, 2010 12:13 PM by Dave Gubler
Short Sale Attorney? I am hearing this question more and more often in these difficult times.
Q: Do I need to hire an attorney to do a short sale?
A: An Emphatic "NO" In My Opinion!
Anwswer: It is my belief that you will be represented best in a short sale transaction by a competent and experienced real estate agent who works every day in the real estate business, will market your property aggressively in order to attract buyers, and who is very experienced at negotiating short sales with the lenders. An experienced short sale agent or "short sale specialist" should have successfully negotiated and closed many short sales in this downturn cycle (circa 2006). A short sale specialist will be able to prove their success in closing short sales & eliminating deficiency judgments, promissory notes and seller contributions.
With few exceptions I believe a short sale attorney at best simply adds to the overall cost of the transaction (which may have future implications for sellers) and does not add much in the way of value or protection to the homeowner/seller. Some short sale attorneys appear to rely upon the "implied aegis" that hiring a lawyer inspires while the work is actually done by an employee of the attorney with little or no real estate experience (let alone short sale experience) whatsoever. Whomever you choose to represent you in a short sale (agent or "short sale attorney") it is important to interview them carefully and examine their track record of real world experience & success (with short sales) rather than the number of designations they have next to their name or their slick marketing campaign.
If you have questions about the tax implications of a short sale you should seek the counsel of a qualified CPA or tax accountant.
If you feel that bankruptcy may be an option you should seek the advice of a competent bankruptcy attorney. A word of caution, though: Many attorneys seem to be preying on the fear and desperation of homeowners facing foreclosure. Their websites utilize scare tactics in order to make you think that you would be "crazy" to do a short sale without first hiring an attorney. It seems that most attorneys subcontract out their short sales in any case. They imply or assert that attorneys are the professional qualified to interpret a short sale approval. Their aim seems to be to create the impression that retaining an attorney is a normal and accepted practice when a short sale is necessary.
This, quite simply, IS NOT THE TRUTH! The vast majority of short sales are conducted by real estate brokers and agents who are experienced at negotiating with lenders and DO NOT CHARGE UPFRONT FEES for their services.
For More Answers To Your Short Sale Questions visit All About Short Sales.