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Arizona Real Estate Blog

Living and working in the Valley of the Sun

By Todd Hall | Agent in Gilbert, AZ

Arizona Short Sales

In part due to my education and experience as both a practicing real estate attorney, and an active real estate agent, I receive a fair number of calls from friends, clients, and friends of clients, who have questions about whether a short sale is right for them.  I am often surprised to find so much confusion over the relative benefits and risks of pursuing a short sale.  A large part of the confusion, I believe, results from self-promoting agents and attorneys (I can slam them both, because I qualify as both), muddying the waters, either accidentally or on purpose, through a series of poorly written blog posts and other marketing materials.  While there are some nuances and special circumstances relevant to the analysis, the law is relatively clear on the matter.  The misinformation out there, however, creates a great deal of anxiety among people who are already under a great deal of stress.

The bottom line is that a short sale is usually the least bad alternative to get out of a sticky situation.  While a short sale is not an ideal situation, and there are certainly reasons to be glad if you never have to engage in one, the other alternatives are significantly worse.  

Once homeowner has come to the conclusion that he or she can no longer make their mortgage payments, their first instinct is to call the bank and try to reason with them (i.e. modify the loan to a lower principal balance so that the homeowner can stay in the home, keep servicing the debt, and the bank is theoretically no worse than if they foreclosed and sold the house to a bargain shopper).  While this argument has merit and a fair bit of logic, in my experience, it almost never works, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post.  

After making several attempts to come to terms with the bank, and receiving empty promises
from the bank's representatives, the homeowner typically begins to consider whether a short sale is the right way to go.  While there are risks associated with a short sale, those risks can be largely mitigated by engaging an effective, and experienced real estate agent or attorney to negotiate the short sale, and to ensure that the homeowner's interests are protected in the process.  

For more information, or if you have any questions, give me a call at (602) 492-1565, or email me at thall@3jdgroup.com.

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