Do you need a Realtor for a short sale?




Is a Realtor required for a short sale?

YES! There is almost a 100% chance you will need a Realtor for a short sale. 

If you need to sell, but owe more than your home could sell for, you may be considering a short sale. In a short sale the property is sold for less than the mortgage balance, with the lenders agreement.

In virtually all short sales, your lender will require that a real estate agent is involved and that home was listed in MLS, available to the open market, and will require documentation proving such in order to get short sale approval.  

Short sales are complex transactions requiring specialized expertise and are best handled by Realtors with plenty of experience in these types of transactions.

How does the Realtor get paid?

You may be wondering how real estate agents get paid in a short sale, since there are no proceeds. The good news is the commissions are covered in the sale!

commissions short sale

How to find the right Realtor for your short sale:

Short sales can be daunting, and your best bet for a smooth transaction is to get just the right help! Very few Realtors actually understand the short sale process or have a lot of experience with them, so ask the right questions!


  • How long have you been doing short sales? Short sales are highly complex transactions and very different from traditional real estate sales. Financial consequences for short sellers can be significant. It’s critical to have your short sale handled by a highly experienced professional. Most real estate agents simply do not understand short sales, though they may still volunteer to take yours on.
  • How many short sales have you personally closed on the listing side?Representing buyers in a short sale is a totally different ballgame than representing a seller in one. You are looking for someone who has closed multiple short sales on the seller side, and not just a few short sales here and there along the way. Tens, if not hundreds of closed short sales is preferable.
  • Out of short sales listed, how many have you closed? Listing short sales does not mean closing them. You are looking for someone with a good track record of actually closing their short sales. Less than half of listed short sales actually close, the number one reason being mismanagement.
  • Who  does your negotiating? Is the agent negotiating the short sale? Is negotiation being outsourced to a third party? Is the Realtor expecting YOU to negotiate your own short sale? Best to find out now.  Agents who are intimidated by shorts sales will always seek to bring someone else in to handle the short sale, and this may not be to your benefit.
  • Do you have experience with my lender? Ideally your agent will have closed many short sales with your specific lender(s). If your loan is with one of the big banks –you can definitely expect to find an agent experienced with those specific lenders. If you have a small unknown- this may be more difficult.
  • What kind of a timeline can I expect? Although no short sale timelines are set in stone, an experienced agent with a track record of success will be able to give you a general time frame as to how your short sale will go.
  • What will happen with my second mortgage?A second mortgage or other junior liens add some variables to the mix…if you have a second mortgage it is critical to find someone with experience working with multiple lien holders, and they will be able to prep you in advance for what to expect.

Can you short sell your house to an investor?

YES YOU CAN! You can short sell your home to anyone you like, but you will still need a short sale real estate agent to facilitate the transaction.

It is also in your best interest to have someone to represent your best interests through the process. The investor is working on his behalf, not yours.



Not only do you need a short sale Realtor for your Jacksonville short sale, you will also want to spend the time to make sure you are working with the right one for the best odds of success!

Need help with your Florida short sale?

We've been specializing in short sales since 2008! We've helped hundreds move on from their underwater homes and we can help you!

Absolutely seamless process from start to finish! Do NOT hesitate... simply call Minna! Our decision to short sell was heart-wrenching and daunting to consider. However, after initial contact with Minna, we felt reassured and confident that our judgment was sound. Both Minna's and her team's knowledge and experience in this area is clear: they are thorough experts.We can't imagine having a better experience. Thank you Minna Reid!


Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Minna Reid


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