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REALTOR – Educate Thyself!

It’s a New Market

There’s quite a bit of talk about the number of agents who may be leaving the industry this year. The pressure of staying afloat in a new and challenging business environment has proven to be the straw that broke the camels back. In real estate words, another transaction that didn’t close! Or another client who didn’t qualify! In one week, when my team had 10 buyers who didn’t qualify, you almost want to try something new.

On the flip side are agents who are staying around, grasping at straws, trying anything new to stay afloat. I commend those who are searchng for ways to expand their business. Many are changing directions into the short sale business. I caution agents to not jump on this bandwagon if their heart is not in it. It is not a task for the faint of heart or those without some training.

The Code

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires we protect and promote our clients interest:

Article 1
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client

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Article 11
The services which REALTORS® provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specifically, residential real estate brokerage………………
REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client.

The client of a REALTOR® who needs a short sale, should have the very best representation available; someone who is knowledgable about short sales and the process.

Educate Yourself

A quick review of short sale listings in my area, which expired, then later went to Sherrif’s Sale, reveals the agent did not have a complete understanding of the process.

The one dead give away – price.

Short Sales not only require knowledge of the process, they require knowledge of pricing. A client does not stand a chance of receiving an offer when the price of the property is within the range of all other properties which are expiring. In a short sale situation, we are selling short. Even when priced right, sometimes the home still does not sell. You never have a chance of assisting your seller in avoiding foreclosure if you don’t understand the pricing issues and bank guidelines.

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As REALTORS, we have an obligation to our clients to represent their best interest. If an agent does not know how to complete a short sale, they should not be doing them. There are plenty of classes available.  Take some training and go for it!

The Quiz shouldn’t be at your clients expense!

Written By

Paula is team leader for The "Home to Indy" Team in Indianapolis . She is passionate about education and client care and believes an empowered client is better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. You'll find her online at Agent Genius,Twitter and sharing her insights about her local real estate market at Home To Indy.



  1. Missy Caulk

    January 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    So true, when I take a short sale, I lower the price every two weeks.

    Every package is 100% complete BEFORE I submit any offers, with everything the bank has asked for.

  2. Paula Henry

    January 8, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Missy – And that will keep your client from foreclosure and get you paid.

    The “package” is a whole other post – congrats on your success!

  3. Brady Pevehouse

    January 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    While it is not rocket science doing what we do, but often there is an art, and even sometimes the art of the deal is focusing on the little details.

    If the package is not 100% complete, then it is not a package. Incomplete packages get burried and agents that think being rude is how they get to the top decision makers will never make it past the gate keepers 98% of the time. Education and Experience are extremely valuable when dealing with short sales.

    The only thing I suggest we add / focus on is thoroughly suggesting using a full time agent!

  4. Paula Henry

    January 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Brady – You’re right, it’s not rocket science and anything less than an educated full time Realtor is a disservice to the client.

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