Short Sales are called that for a reason: somebody is going to take it in the shorts! Just be darn careful it’s not you (the agent).
In California, the fiduciary duties create almost impossible barriers for risk avoidance. If you represent the seller, you have duties to present ALL offers to the seller – but not the bank. If the seller doesn’t present the alternate offers to the Bank, the Bank can have a claim against the seller — especially if the second offer was for more.
Then there are the duties owed to a buyer. If you represent the first buyer, do you use CAR’s, SSA (Short Sale Addendum) – which (arguably) gives the seller the right to back out if the Bank doesn’t waive any potential deficiency? That’s “bad” for your buyer.
What if you represent a second buyer who has an offer, which is for more money than the first? Do you push to bump the first buyer out of place? The SSA implies you can, if you can get the Bank’s attention. Do you force the listing agent to present? The seller?
What if you represent that first buyer, and there is a second buyer with a better offer? Do you try to keep them at bay?
Then – what if you are a dual agent? For the seller and first buyer? Or, even worse, for the seller and the second buyer with a better offer!
Real Estate today sure is FUN!