Short Sales, Foreclosure
What Is A Short Sale?
Home sellers should consider a Short Sale when the value of their home is LESS than the amount of their outstanding loans. For example, if your home is worth $250,000 but you have a loan of $260,000 then a short sale is a consideration. Obviously, if you do not have to sell your home, you could wait out the market and hope for a turnaround in real estate values. However, if you do have to sell your home you basically have three options. First, you can bring cash to the table. In the example above you would sell your home for $250,000 and pay another $10,000 to the lender out of your pocket to pay off the loan on your property. Second, you could let the home go into foreclosure. The lender will go through the foreclosure process, force you out of your home and then auction it off to the highest bidder at a foreclosure or Trustee's auction. The third option is to pursue a short sale. You contact the lender, explain the circumstances and convince them to take less than full value of their loan. In the case above you may tell them you have a buyer for $250,000 and it's very unlikely there will be a buyer at a higher price. If they will accept $250,000 for their $260,000 loan then you can proceed with a short sale. Sometimes the lender will consider a short sale before you have a buyer and you can market your property and, if you find a buyer, take their offer to the lender for consideration. The lender may or may not accept the offer.
Steps In A Short Sale
- Figure out the true value of your property. Many times a real estate agent can provide a 'market analysis' and give you a good idea of what your home might sell for. You can also use Zillow or other real estate related sites to determine the rough value of your home. If the market is moving down keep in mind that your homes value may be moving down as well and estimated valuations may be valid for only a short time.
- You also need to calculate your estimated closing costs. Items such as a title report, escrow, appraisal, attorney fees, agent commissions, unpaid property taxes etc. may add up to a substantial amount of money.
- You'll need to know how much you owe on your property. Include all loans on the property in your calculation.
- Calculate your equity. Normally the value of your home is more than the total of the loans and closing costs. If your closing cost estimate plus your loan amounts are higher than the value of your property then a short sale is a possibility