Seattle Residential: I Do That: Washington Short Sale Law: Normal or Not

Washington Short Sale Law: Normal or Not

Washington Short Sale Law: Unusual or Normal

I'm asking, what are you finding in your state regarding this situation? In Washington, anyone who negotiates on behalf of someone doing a short sale has to be a licensed real estate agent, AND, " compensation paid to the listing broker has to be "usual and customary" compensation for real estate brokerage services." That from the Washington Association of Realtor's attorney.

Unfortunately the state law seems to want us to have a standard fee rather than a negotiated fee. Annie Fitzsimmons, the WAR attorney, goes on to say: "Accordingly, the compensation paid needs to be that which the seller agreed to pay the listing broker(s) for the real estate services of selling the home. Additional compensation for short sale negotiations may not be taken by the broker."

So it seems that a short sale adviser or agent a) Must be licensed as an agent in the state; and b) Must not charge more for the additional service of working a short sale than they generally charge for working a normal listing.

Is the state making some kind of forked tongue regulation here? You can't change your (not fixed) pricing for a listing because you have months more work to do a with short sale? You must fix it to your not fixed fee.

Just asking.





Glenn Roberts



Comment balloon 6 commentsGlenn Roberts • January 04 2011 08:38PM


Glenn, I am not sure I understand. When we are listing agents on Short Sale, we offer 50% of total commission to the Selling broker. Our fee, however, is contingent upon the Lender and some lenders would allow 6% (and I am not breaking any laws here by discussing it as it is fixed nyt the Lender, and is not negotiable at least most of the time), or would cut it to 5%, or even to 4%.

The Seller pays 0, so, I am not sure what extra compensation you are talking about?

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) about 10 years ago

Jon - What the new law is saying is that to negotiate and help a seller with a short sale, you must be the listing agent, and you cannont charge more than you normally charge for taking a listing. But that goes against the law that says we can't have a set lsiting fee. It is confusing. Attorneys and lenders are exempt from the new law. Would an agent charge 7% for a short sale listing if they have in the past only charge 6%?

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Hmm.... I see trouble on the horizon and attorneys who will be battling this one out for awhile.  Keep us posted. 

By the way, my trip to Seattle was wonderful!

Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 10 years ago

Paula - Washington has made a lot of laws in the past few years and then said "Whoops" and corrected them. Glad to see you didn't break any bones on the slope here.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Glenn--I read this post twice & read the comments.  I agree with you & Paula that the attorneys, judges & the court will be battling this issue for a long time.  Keep us informed.  In the menatime, good luck as the agent who might just want to list or sell  ahort sale property.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Mary - We don't have many in this part of Seattle and I've never listed any, but I've tried to sell some and the buyers evetually give up.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago