Recent news stories have addressed the backlog of distressed properties about to hit the market. Banks have foreclosed on an alarming number of homes prompting Congressional action. Meanwhile, the primary means of alleviating the foreclosure problem, short sales, has run into some serious problems. According to NPR News, "Record numbers of Americans have lost their homes in the housing crisis, but one option that could help people avoid foreclosure is being snarled by the sheer volume of distressed properties nationwide, bank and real estate specialists say... [Short sales are] an attractive option, but it's also a tricky transaction that can involve lengthy delays and is prone to dying a slow death in the approval process."
A Short Sale is the sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed on the property's loan resulting in the lender forgiving debt in order to avoid foreclosure. As noted in the NPR story, a short sale transaction is tricky and prone to failure. The antidote to this problem is expertise. Banks are swamped with distressed properties. They don't have the time or patience to deal with buyers, sellers, or their real estate agents who don't understand the process.
For a short sale to succeed, you need people with short sale expertise who understand the process and can push the sale through to completion.
If you think a short sale might be right for you, here's what you need to do to get started:
First, find a reputable real estate agent with a track record of success in short sales. Short sales are not the same as standard (equity) sales and they require a knowledgeable person to see them through to the end. Don't rely on tag lines like "short sale expert." Paper certificates from a brief seminar aren't good enough. Ask to see proven results.
Second, make sure you have an attorney reviewing the terms of the sale. A good short sale attorney may be able to eliminate "recourse" language from the sale thereby stopping banks from trying to collect on your mortgage debt in the future.
Third, don't hide anything about the home. When you find an agent, tell them the full story so that nothing surprises either the agent or the bank. When negotiating a short sale, surprises put the success of the sale at risk.
Finally, be ready to wait. Unlike standard sales, short sales require negotiation and negotiations take time.
We recommend you work with Fitzpatrick and Prince Real Estate and Rasmussen Law Firm. They have a proven record of success having closed 95% of their short sales. Nationally, the average short sale closure rate is only 20%. Additionally, these companies have worked together on a number of short sales, they understand how the other operates, and can move quickly, together, to negotiate with the banks to close your short sale. Start the conversation today with Mark, Whitney, or Blake at Fitzpatrick and Prince Real Estate.
Give them a call at: 800.880.9962.