Land - Residential - Commercial
What to Expect When Short Selling
A short sale often presents a good option for homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure or in default because of documented financial hardship.
The benefits of a short sale include:
1. A less severe hit to your credit history than what you'd experience with a foreclosure.
2. You continue to live in your house until the sale takes place.
3. In some cases, banks are offering homeowners cash incentives to do a short sale (to help with sales and moving expenses).
Because your credit history won't take as long to recover with a short sale as it would with a foreclosure – an average of two years versus seven years – the short sale option is great for sellers who want to own a home again in the near future.
Has your bank already contacted you?
Some banks have launched programs to prequalify homeowners for short sales. Through their records and housing data, they identify borrowers on their books who are in negative-equity situations. In this case, some are reaching out to borrowers in an attempt to further streamline the short sale process.
This makes it much easier for you, the seller, to proceed with a short sale.
Compiling your short sale package
Short sales require different paperwork than a normal home sale. In some instances, as mentioned above, your bank may have already qualified you for a short sale. In other cases, you and your agent will need to submit certain paperwork to your lender.
Each lender is different, but in general, you will need:
HUD-1 or preliminary net sheet
Completed financial statement
Letter of authorization to let your agent speak to the bank
Letter that explains your financial hardship
Two years of tax returns
Two years of W-2s
Last two months of bank statements
Recent payroll stubs or other proof of income
Comparative market analysis or list of recent comparable sales
Keep in mind that banks' processes vary, and the above list is a general representation of what many will want to see.graph here.
A short sale is a real estate transaction in which the bank or lender agrees to let the homeowners sell their home for less than their loan balance. In some cases, the sellers don't need to pay back the difference between what they owe and the proceeds of the sale.
Recent changes in the industry have streamlined the short sale process, making this transaction a popular alternative for both buyers and sellers. Additionally, banks are much more interested in facilitating short sales and avoiding foreclosures that result in placing the properties back on their books.
Who benefits in a short sale?
In many cases, short sales present a proverbial "win-win" situation. Here's how:
Sellers avoid foreclosure and protect their credit from the harder hit of foreclosure.
Buyers receive a good price on the home.
Lenders avoid a costly foreclosure. The potential loss from a foreclosure is typically higher than a loss from a short sale.
How it works
Say you owe $200,000 on your home and can no longer make the mortgage payments. One option is to refinance your home and secure a lower payment based on a longer term or better interest rates. But if your property has lost value due to local market conditions (say it would sell for only $150,000), refinancing isn't feasible. If the bank agrees to a sale at $150,000, it's called a short sale.
Although short sales have become more common in recent years, banks don't always grant them. In general, they approve short sales in theses situations:
However, different banks and lenders have different requirements. So sellers should discuss the short sale option with their lender.
Short sales can present a great deal for buyers. But the process is a bit more complicated than a normal home purchase, and it will take patience and help from an experienced agent.
The most common type of foreclosure property you'll encounter in your home search is a Real Estate Owned, or REO, property. REO's are properties that have been foreclosed and are now owned by the banks.
REO's may be vacant or in need of repair. But often they look and feel just like other homes for sale, and they're listed by a real estate agent. Although they're typically sold as-is, it's not uncommon for an REO to be in move-in condition. But the process of buying an REO is different than other home purchases.
With the help of a qualified real estate agent who knows the terrain of the REO market, your REO transaction will run more smoothly – and you'll likely get a great deal in the process.
Working with me, an agent experienced in REO transactions will make the difference between a successful purchase and a frustrating, confusing experience.
REO properties fall into two categories:
Where can you find REO's for sale?
Banks are eager to sell and get these properties off their books. In most cases, they'll enlist an agent to clean up the property and list it for sale in the MLS, which means you'll find these properties listed alongside homes in the neighborhood that are being sold traditionally.
If you're looking to buy an REO, it's important to work with an agent who has experience with foreclosures. Many times the bank will insist on an "as-is" sale, and an experienced agent can help you work through your decision whether to move forward with the purchase based on the property's refurbishing needs.
Pros of buying REOs
• Often, you'll pay a below-market price for the property.
• The process is similar to a "normal" home purchase in that you can secure financing using a traditional mortgage.
• You'll be able to do inspections, purchase title insurance and secure financing before completing the purchase.
Cons of buying REOs
• Many banks will require an "as-is" purchase, and if there are problems or necessary repairs, paying for them is your responsibility.
• Banks rarely accept anything less than the asking price. They've already done a lot of research to come to a price that makes sense for them. (Keep in mind that if most sales in your market are selling above asking price anyway, this point isn't necessarily a con for buying an REO property.)
• The process can take longer than a regular home sale.