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Don’t let short sales sell you short

4 checkups for when the going gets tough

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This has been the year of the real estate short sale: Too many agents are selling themselves short. The horror stories are everywhere. Who hasn't heard the one about the real estate agent's commission being reduced, then reduced a second and third during negotiations? Or the seller deciding not to sell at the last minute. Short sales are taking a toll on buyers, sellers, lenders, and attorneys, but the one who gets hit in the pocketbook the hardest and the fastest is the real estate agent who has worked months for nothing. There are no stats to prove it, but broker-owners will tell you that many agents are leaving the business because, as one 10-year real estate agent put it, "We didn't come into the business to sell short sales." Some agents are doing fine with short sales, but this group does well with whatever comes along. They adjust, they train, and they keep moving forward. It is that other 80 percent or so that this column addresses. This group needs escrows ...