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Title Searches for Short Sales

With the renewed interest in Short Sales, Wendy Haisley and Attorney Jeff Zweifel have participated in a number of Zoom meetings.  On one of these recent meetings, they discussed the importance of knowing what is on title when an agent is listing a short sale.  The posture of foreclosure and other liens and judgments could impact whether a short sale is possible for that property.

We recommend that agents obtain a title search, so the property can be evaluated for short sale suitability.  If your seller is represented by our office in the short sale we will obtain the title search.

If your agent’s seller is not represented by our office and the agent is obtaining a title search, we want to caution agents that if they receive a title search from a title office at no charge this may be a violation of RESPA.  Title offices generally charge a fee for a title search, so if the agent receives the title search at no charge that is a thing of value. The receipt of a thing of value by the real estate agent from a title office may be a RESPA violation (if the agent refers customers to close at the title office).