Being faced with selecting a professional in a less that positive situation can be stressful. I strongly suggest that you consider several things, with “RESPECT” for your difficult situation being the most important. Leaving a home is never an easy thing and someone sensitive to your situation can make all the difference in the world.
In years past I had a friend who went thought some hard times that were not of his making. He struggled as hard as he could to keep his home but he lost it in foreclosure. He was not only able to get back on his feet he was able to buy a better home than the one he had just a few years later.
Today in this down economic cycle he is doing fine. No one should judge you a failure in these hard times, transitions happen in life there can be no highs with out the lows to compare them to. Our human feeling for one another build hope and lead us to succeed once again. I guess what I am trying to say is find someone with true compassion for your situation and it will be easier.
Communication is important in a short sale transaction, there is an additional branch of communication so to speak, normally the bank is not involved, but in a “Short Sale” the bank is very involved. For that reason I would strongly suggest that if possible you find a Realtor with prior banking experience. This is not mandatory but it is a real good idea. Bankers use a special “Jargon” they have their own language and they will test you to see if your up to speed. If the Realtor you like does not have this experience I say go with your intuitive feelings, your gut will not lie to you.
In the market today you will find Realtors form teams to support each other. The demands on a good agent can remove any private or family life and that is not good for the agent or the client. If your going with a team, look at who the leader of the team is. Ask about the team leaders level of professional experience, that can be a good guide. I for one am always happy to talk to or meet with a client if I could be called upon to help.
This is the same thing that is frequently done for me when I am talking to lender clients. It is not unusual for the Corporate Vice President of our national company to come to a lender meeting with me. This instills confidence and provides a link in the case of an emergency situation. No one in real estate is better than the support that is provided to them. More frequently than not information about both the Realtor and his support staff can be found on their web sites.
Know who to call if you have a problem. Even thou I am a Broker with 19 years of experience I still tell my clients that there is someone else they can talk to if there is a communication problem.
Be cautious of anyone that is more focused on claiming they are an expert or specialist Chest pounding about how good they are and how worthless their competition is will not help anyone. Look for the person that has an understanding of your situation and takes the time to listen to you and your concerns. No two short sales are the same, you want an expert, an expert who will listen to you and try to accommodate your needs.