What is a Short Sale?
A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale fall short of the balance owed to the mortgage lender.
The short sale of a property is initiated through negotiations with the existing lender. The short sale occurs when the lending bank agrees to discount a loan balance due to an economic hardship on the part of the mortgagor, and accepts less than the full amount owed to satisfy the debt.
Why would my bank approve a short sale?
From your mortgage lender's standpoint, it's all about smart business. If the bank has to complete the entire foreclosure process, it could lose more money than it could recover by agreeing to a short sale. The lender will assess the profit and loss potential in both foreclosure and short sale scenarios, when deciding on approving your short sale.
Keep in mind all the costs of the foreclosure process, plus the bank's costs of owning a home while waiting for a buyer. Assuming a bank owns a property for an average of six months in today's market, costs can include Attorney Fees, Utilities, Maintenance and Repairs, Property Insurance, and Holding Costs.
Add those costs to the interest already lost on the mortgage, and the bank is looking at a loss potentially adding up to tens of thousands of dollars. The costs keep adding up in the event the bank is unable to find a buyer.
Do I qualify for a short sale?
If you are considering a short sale, you will need to meet some basic requirements.
Are you able to answer "yes" to the following requirements?
The House's Market Value has Dropped
The is no available equity in your home, and the current amount owed to the lender is greater than the fair market value for the home. A large number of homes fall into this category based on current market conditions, and the rapidly dropping values of homes across the country.
The Mortgage is in, or approaching, Default Status
In the past, lenders would not consider a short sale if your payments were current. That is no longer true today, based on current economic conditions. Because many factors can contribute to a potential default, many lenders are willing to find solutions to future problems before they arise.
The Homeowner has Fallen on Hard Times
The homeowner will be required to submit a letter of hardship to the bank, explaining why the homeowner has or will stop making monthly payments. Examples of hardship include Unemployment, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Medical Emergencies, and Death.
The Homeowner has No Assets
Most lenders will want to see that the homeowner does not have any assets that could be used to pay the shorted difference of the mortgage. Your lender will likely request copies of your bank statements and tax returns.
Is a short sale the best option for me?
If you have negative equity in your home, are behind on your payments, or may be unable to continue making payments, a short sale may work for you. If you are unable to sell your home for the amount you owe your mortgage lender on the balance of your loan, a short sale is one option to get your home sold.
Only you can decide what choice is the best for you regarding your home and financial future.
A short sale is one potential option in avoiding foreclosure. Other options include loan modification and bankruptcy, among others. Because we are not attorneys, we do not give advice on which option you should pursue.
We can, however, help you in the event you chose to short sale your home.
A short sale allows you to avoid foreclosure, and the hopelessness and anxiety involved.
Some of the benefits include:
- Retaining some digity in the situation because you sold your home
- Avoiding foreclosure and the social stigma associated with foreclosure
- Avoiding a foreclosure or bankruptcy on your credit report
- You may be eligible to buy another home much sooner than with a foreclosure
- You pay nothing to us for your short sale transaction
- A FRESH START
The short sale process is a WIN-WIN-WIN
situation for all parties involved.
Sellers: Benefit the most from a short sale by avoiding a stressful and costly forclosure process, and having the ability to move on with life without the long term effects of a foreclosure.
Lenders: Avoid the costs of a foreclosure and the negative consequences of holding an REO property. Remember, banks are in the business of lending, not owning properties.
Buyers: Benefit by purchasing a property at a discounted price.