Globella Blog San Diego Real Estate Blog written by Exclusive Buyer's Broker, Justin Gramm.

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How to Buy a Short Sale or Foreclosure in San Diego

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If you are planning to buy a home in the San Diego area in the next couple months, you may be interested in finding a buyer's agent who knows a lot about short sales and foreclosures. While it's important that you are educated about how these types of listings differ from traditional listings, it's also crucial that you hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent who is up-to-date and knowledgeable about buying distressed properties.

Just as I wouldn't recommend you learn to speak German from someone who doesn't speak the language, I wouldn't recommend that you hire a buyer's agent who doesn't fully understand how you may be affected by short sale and foreclosure properties during your San Diego home search.

How to Find a San Diego REALTOR® Who Specializes in Buying Foreclosures or Short Sales

If you want to buy a distressed property in San Diego, then I recommend that you hire a San Diego real estate agent with expert knowledge about foreclosures and short sales. The National Association of REALTORS® has a specialty certification program (called the SFR designation - "SFR" stands for Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource).

Hiring a Buyer's Agent with the SFR certification ensures that your agent has received professional training about buying distressed properties. Which is great (and less than 5% of San Diego REALTORS® have this training). But you also want to hire a buyer's broker with lots of experience helping homebuyers actually purchase foreclosures and short sales.



How an Agent Gets Certified as a Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource

To earn the certification, a real estate agent must:

  1. Be a member in good standing of the National Association of REALTORS®
  2. Attend a one-day (all day) short sale and foreclosure seminar
  3. Complete three one-hour short sale and foreclosure webinars online
  4. Submit an application to REBAC (a division of the National Association of REALTORS® - REBAC stands for Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council).


Becoming SFR Certified

I decided to apply for this certification way back in December 2009, and so the first thing I did was sign-up for an all-day seminar in Phoenix, AZ. This worked out well for me, because I grew up in Phoenix. Many of my friends and family still live in Phoenix, and my wife and I were planning to be there for a few days before the Christmas holiday (that was way back before we even started having kids... we have three now... wow, time flies).

I was able to take the all-day course in Gilbert, AZ the Friday before Christmas. The class was taught by the Hogan School of Real Estate. Since then, I have helped countless San Diego home buyer clients (over the years) understand the pros and cons of buying San Diego foreclosures and short sales.

SFR Application - Approved!

There is a Lot to Learn about Buying Foreclosures and Short Sales in San Diego

During the all-day class (entitled, "Short Sales and Foreclosures: What Real Estate Professionals Need to Know"), we went through a 73-page manual that covered just about everything you would ever want to know about short sales and foreclosures. Many of the topics we discussed were "review" for me (because I had already represented many San Diego buyers on short sale and foreclosure purchases by that point, and I had already learned a lot just by going through that process multiple times).

However, there were many great topics that came up, and I definitely learned a substantial amount.  I wouldn't want to bore you with everything we discussed in the all-day class (or every topic covered in the three hours of webinars I listened to), but I will say that if there is something to be known about short sales and foreclosures, I should probably know it by now!



Pros and Cons of Buying Short Sales and Foreclosures

I am always happy to discuss the pros and cons of buying short sales and foreclosures with each new client who hires me (sometimes we even discuss this topic before we even begin to look at properties together See my other post regarding the Globella Buyer Strategy Session.). Depending on the state of the market, we may find many short sale and foreclosure opportunities OR very few during your home search.

Read Also: 4 Things You Need to Know About Buying Foreclosures in San Diego 

If you are planning to purchase a home in San Diego this year, I recommend that you decide if you are going to be open to looking at short sales and/or foreclosures. An SFR-certified agent can help walk you through the positives and negatives of each scenario, which will save a you a lot of time and frustration.

 SFR Application - Choice of Webinars 


Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home. If you would like an agent who will work exclusively for you. Make sure you hire an E B A...

If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home within 90 days in San Diego County, contact Justin Gramm and Globella Buyers Realty to hire an agent on your side of the transaction, the buyer's side.


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