Foreclosure on a home has consequences for the family, the community, the housing market, and the economy. However, the option for a short sale provides a way for troubled homeowners to prevent foreclosure and many of the dire penalties involved.
A short sale is an agreement in which your mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff on the loan for less than the balance. Many lenders agree to a short sale because they receive more of the loan balance in comparison to the amount they would gain from selling the property following a foreclosure. This process also aids in maintaining home values in the community the property is located and helps the homeowner maintain a better level of credit compared to a foreclosure. In most instances, homeowners considering a short sale must meet specific criteria to qualify: you must be behind in your mortgage payments, provide evidence of economic hardship, and have little or no equity in the property.
A short sale is not a typical real estate transaction. Most real estate transactions involve the home seller and their real estate agent, the buyer and their lender, and their real estate agent. In a short sale situation, all of those parties in addition to the seller's loan servicer, a housing counselor, any junior lien holders, mortgage investors, and insurers may be involved too.
With so many parties involved in a short sale, the process can be difficult to complete without a qualified REALTOR® to help guide you and act as a liaison between all of the parties involved. You will want the advice and expertise of a REALTOR® who has your best interests in mind and will expedite the short sale transaction. It is essential to have a REALTOR® who won't allow you to miss a detail that could delay closing the transaction in a timely manner and to the specifics required by all parties involved. A qualified REALTOR® with experience in short sales will also be able to find a buyer to complete the transaction. Homeowners agreeing to a short sale should also consult a tax expert and obtain the services of an attorney to help protect themselves from any future claims by the lender.