Short Sale Advice for Mortgage Holders

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is the sale of real estate where the owner owes more to the bank than the property is worth. Homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship often turn to a short sale to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy. On the other end of the spectrum many investors are anxious to buy short sale properties because they can be bargains. There are many advantages to selling property at a Short Sale, but there are disadvantages as well. Before you consider this option, meet with an attorney who can explain the legal issues, monetary issues, tax issues, etc. The Law Office of Bill Landsiedel wants to Represent you, call for my free consultation today.

The Buzz About Short Sales

Bookstores are full of books about “buying a short sale at discounted prices.” An equal number of websites promise bargains on short sale homes, or promote “foreclosure lists” for a fee. In reality, there are good buys on short sale homes, but there is also a high price to pay. The process of locating, buying a short sale, and working through the legal and emotional complications of a short sale is not for everyone. My office has the contacts to make sure you list your home with a competent Broker. Many Realtors say that they handle Short Sales, and they will attempt to do so. Most do not have the skills to complete the sale. I can refer you to competent Brokers who only handle Short Sales. The Law Office of Bill Landsiedel wants to represent you! Take advantage of my free consultation today!

Benefits of Selling a Home With a Short Sale

There are many benefits to selling your house as a short sale. We have outlined a few of the main benefits of selling your house as a short sale. Depending on your own specific situation, the benefits can be significant.

  • Working out an arrangement with the lender avoids any legal action by the lender later.
  • Often the property value is so far below what is owed, it becomes clear that value may never come back.
  • Selling at a short sale helps both homeowners and lenders get a fair price for the property and liquidate a declining asset.
  • Avoid foreclosure, stay out of public record filings.
  • Possibly avoid bankruptcy.
  • Wrap up a bad investment with no loose ends or lingering liability.

Benefits Of a Short Sale For A Home Buyer

Many investors assume that the very status of a property as a “short sale” home listing makes it a bargain, this is simply not true and a dangerous approach to real estate investing. The benefits of short sale for a buyer are determined by the particular transaction, not some formula or universal criteria.

If you are interested in buying a short sale home, it could prove to be a lucrative and rewarding experience. This is especially true when you hire a professional, to make sure that you avoid making the common mistakes that most investors make.

Challenges When Buying a Short Sale Home

  • A short sale usually means that the home has decreased in value since the last sale, and may be in a declining market.
  • Short sale homes are sold “as is” without any representations or warranties from the lender, so a thorough inspection is advisable.
  • It can take much longer to close a short sale transaction because the lender must approve all aspects of the deal.
  • When buying a short sale, or considering a short sale home, investors should be aware that lenders typically refuse to pay for common items such as:
  • Suggested repairs on a home inspection
  • Pest control (even if it is determined the home has such problems)
  • Roof certifications or roof repairs
  • Home protection plans
  • Deferred maintenance.

Real Estate Agents & Short Sales

If you think a short sale might be right for you, it is critical you work with the right professionals. Real Estate Agents are paid only on short sales that actually close, which can create a terrible conflict of interest if closing the short sale would not be in the homeowner’s best interest. Frequently lenders ask homeowners to sign a promissory note or specifically agree to liability after the transaction closes. Closing a short sale on these terms actually makes the homeowner worse off. Only a qualified real estate and short sale attorney can give you legal advice and fully represent your interests.

Tax Issues & Short Sales

It is important to talk to your tax advisor, or work with a short sale attorney, before selling your property due to potential tax repercussions. The IRS considers the difference between the value at which you sell your house, and the balance on the mortgage as “income,” unless directed otherwise. Most short sale sellers can close the transaction without owing any additional taxes, but the deal must be structured right. Again, only an attorney can give you legal advice and fully protect your interests.