Why Won’t My Agent Show Me Short Sale Listings?

More and more buyers’ agents are steering their buyers away from short sales. One lady who called on us to show her our short sale listings asked why her former agent refused.

With short sales making up a good portion of the inventory, she felt that she was narrowing her choices and probably missing out on some bargains. And of course, she was.

Buyer agents who know short sales are always willing to show our short sale listings.
The first reason many buyer agents steer clients away from short sales is that the client has indicated a need to purchase and close in a short time frame. In that case, the buyer should avoid short sale listings. No matter how skilled the listing agent happens to be, a short sale takes longer than a traditional sale, simply because it requires approval from so many people.

Depending upon the bank’s procedures, an experienced short sale agent can usually gain approval within 30-90 days. With an inexperienced listing agent it could take 6 months or more.

Getting approval from a homeowner can take only a day or two.

Next, the buyer’s agent in question may have had a bad experience.

She may have submitted a short sale offer on a home listed by an agent who didn’t submit the short sale request properly, or who didn’t follow up. Or, perhaps the listing agent was a poor negotiator. Or, perhaps the buyers’ agent didn’t understand his or her duties in the short sale process.

The number of problems that inexperience can cause are what lead us to say “Always use an experienced short sale agent.”

However, all of us had a first short sale, so we don’t want to bash anyone for jumping into something new. An inexperienced agent can do well if they have an experienced agent as a mentor to give assistance and advice as they go through the process the first few times.

Although no one can predict what the banks will do in each new transaction, we who specialize in short sales are careful to study each bank’s policies and procedures so that we can price our listings correctly and present an acceptable package the first time. Knowing what each lender wants and expects also enables us to negotiate from a strong position.

If your agent refuses to show you short sales, ask why. If you have time restraints, then your agent is correct. You should avoid them. But if the reason is your agent’s prior bad experience with short sales, ask him or her to only show you short sales listed by agents who specialize in short sales and have an outstanding track record for closing.

If you’re a buyer looking for an agent to guide you expertly through a short sale purchase, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

I specialize in San Diego short sales – and I’ve successfully sold and closed 98% of my listings over the past 10 years.

I’ll be happy to show you my current short sale listings. And if you’re already working with a buyer’s agent, I’ll be pleased to cooperate with that agent to help you own the home of your dreams. Ask your agent to get in touch with me.

If you have questions about the short sale process and how it differs from purchasing a non-distressed San Diego home, please do call me at 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. I’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Please note that the information provided on this short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.