Question about RE Agent's role in a short sale

Here’s the synopsis:

Through public records in Florida, we found a woman in foreclosure. I drove past her house and found that it is for sale through a Real Estate agent.

I talked to the agent who indicated that the bank was willing to do a short sale. However, the seller had a bad experience with another RE investor, so the seller was not willing to meet with me.

I submitted a Purchase Offer to the RE Agent with TBD for price and a “Short Sale Addendum” indicating (among other things) that (1) only the buyer (me) would negotiate with the bank and (2) the contract is contingent on a buyer acceptable price.

The RE Agent seemed OK with that, but her office manager is not. According to him, only he was authorized to talk to the bank. I must submit my numbers to him. The RE Agent also indicated that the office manager had already negotiated the RE commission % for the deal.

I’m not even sure that they have told the seller that a buyer is interested in helping her avoid foreclosure. It seems like the office manager has placed himself in a position where his interests are no longer directly aligned with his client (the seller). Negotiating his fee with the bank seems to create a conflict of interest.

Q1: In Florida, isn’t the RE Agent required to present all written offers to the seller? The RE Agent told me that she didn’t have to submit the offer since it there was no price (just TBD) and since there was no earnest money.

Q2: Does this seem like a conflict of interest for the RE office?

Q3: Any suggestions on how to proceed next?


If anyone is interested, here’s the latest:

We decided to play this through for the experience, so I submitted an offer with numbers:

Comps: $249k (ARV)
Offer: $154.9k

We’ll see what happens next.

I’m still interested if anyone has any info on the original questions.


I am a real estate agent that does short sales as well. As far as a conflict of interests, it’s quite the opposite. All banks allow a commission on the HUD-1 you present them, and it typically doesn’t affect the amount in which they are willing to take. If the BPO comes back at $100k, they will take $100k, minus sellers costs & commissions or just $100k minus sellers costs.

I am trying to expand my short sale negotiations to not just here, locally, listing, selling, and buying the occasional one, but nationwide in which I can negotiate everywhere on behalf of sellers, RE agents, and RE investors.

Agents doing the short sales is definitely a growing trend and you will see more and more of it as the need is growing since more sellers are upside down. I read somewhere of there being around 240 listings on the MLS that were short sales by agents somewhere in CA. I know when I began playing with short sales 3 years ago, my brokerage hated me doing them and now it is mentioned in our state mandated “Listing Practices” class as a good way to get listings.

Thanks for the info RDR.

I’m a broker in Southern California, and I am seeing alot of Short Sale deals. My problem is finding a money partner to keep up with demand because we cannot do a double closing (or I don’t know how to do a double closing) so I have to buy the property first, then re-sell it. I’m thinking I should list it and make 2-3% off the deal.


Hi, I find that if you can’t control the BPO, you got to cross your fingers and hope the lender will accept your offer.

Also, approach the seller directly. You’re not licensed so there is no repramand. Another option is to state that you’ll only present the offer in person and arrange a time for you, the seller and the seller’s agent. I personally don’t want to deal with any seller’s agents because that’s 2-3% of the price that could have been mine. You might want to pay the real estate agent to go away and walk away from this listing. Seeing how if it goes into foreclosure, the listing agent will not make any money and the reputation of the agent will be on the line.