Laurel MD Short Sale Agents
Author: Steve Queen
A short sale occurs when a homeowner with a hardship sells a home for less than the amount due on the mortgage, with all the proceeds going to the lender. They offer an appealing alternative to foreclosures, but that doesn't mean that it's an easier process to endure. Here's an overview of what a homeowner should do when considering selling in a short sale.
1. Talk to people
After enduring a financial hardship and finding out that your home is underwater, your first steps should be to talk to one or more of three key parties: a CPA, a real estate attorney and or most importantly a qualified real estate agent.
"Each state has its own laws regarding the lender's ability to come after the borrower for a deficiency after the sale or foreclosure, so it is highly recommended that homeowners discuss their situation with all three of these people," says Steve Queen, a real estate broker with Exit Bennett Realty in Greenbelt, Maryland. He adds that in some cases, it might be better to just go with a foreclosure or bankruptcy filing. Consulting with these three parties will help you to confidently go forward with the short sale, or to learn early on whether or not you should go another route altogether.
2. Find the right agent
If your discussions lead to a decision that a short sale is the way to go, it's time to choose the best real estate agent available. While many agents will tout themselves as short-sale experts and tag on fancy titles and certifications to their names, many times these are nothing more than titles granted after completion of a course.
It's important to ask questions like, "How many short sale listings do you currently have? How many short-sale listings have you lost to foreclosure? Can I have the names and addresses of your last five short-sale listing clients?" "The short-sale process lives and dies with the listing agent," says John Makarewicz, a real estate agent in Atlanta who specializes in short sales. Also, be wary of scammers who offer things that sound too good to be true.
3. Find the true value of your home
Before embarking on the long process of a short sale, homeowners should verify the value of their home. This can be done in several ways. If you're trying to do as much work on your own, you can use tools like Real Estate's home value generator to approximate the value of your property by comparing it with the values of similar, neighboring houses. You can also look to your real estate broker to give you an estimate. A third option is to get an estimate from an independent appraiser. One way to do this is to search the Appraisal Institute website to find an appraiser in your area. "Too often I will see homes listed way below market value marketed as a short sale," says Makarewicz. "The banks are not dumb and they are looking for as close to market value as possible."
4. List the home at the right price
The price that the home is listed at is a key step in the short sale process. It should be slightly above market value, and the price should be lowered at pre-determined intervals until an offer is received. This will appease your bank by showing them that you tried to do your best to get them the most for your home.
"Not only do you need an attractive sales price to entice a buyer to go through the shenanigans inherent in a short sale, but you need to satisfy the bank's appetite for profit," says Elizabeth Weintraub, a broker-associate at Lyon Real Estate and writer of the homebuying/selling guide at About.com. "If you can't give the bank a decent sales price, the bank might reject the short sale."
5. Get your package together
Once an offer is received, it's time to start building your short-sale package. Your lender will require a number of documents, including a hardship letter, your tax returns from the last two years and your last two pay stubs, among other things. When all is said and done, the whole package could be 60 to 80 pages long, according to Hertzog. It's essential that all required documents are included in the package, as banks will look for any and every reason to put off your short sale.
Now it's all about patience, a key part of the short-sale process. It could take about 30 to 45 days for the lender to get your short-sale package, put all the information on their system and assign the sale to a negotiator -- in some cases, it could take up to three months.
The negotiator from the lender will offer a broker-price opinion (BPO), or an appraisal, of your home. Typically, if the offer you've received is within 5 percent of the BPO and if all necessary information is given to the lender, the short sale will be approved. If the offer is too low, the lender could counter with a higher sale price. This may lead to some back-and-forth negotiating, and buyers may come and go, but keep your agent close and don't get discouraged. This is all part of the game. The entire short-sale process could take six weeks, while others may take a year or longer.
A short sale is not for the faint of heart and having a Realtor such as Steve Queen to work with that's well versed in the art of short selling is a necessary.
Steve Queen has sold countless Bowie, Maryland short sales. Some properties were accepted into The Homes Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program (HAFA) which allows up to $3,000 for relocation expensives for the seller and releases them from any delinquency. Others were accpeted into the Pre Approved Cooperative Short Sale Program by the bank. This program allowed this seller to receive over $10,000 in relocation funds and released this seller from any delinquency that occurred from the short sale transaction.
Laurel MD Short Sale Agents
Attention: Maryland and Washington DC Homeowners.
Has your mortgage debt overwhelmed you and you need a solution?
Are you experiencing:
There Are Alternatives To Foreclosure!
A qualified short sale agent will analyze your information and situation, and will explain your options available to you under recent changes to Federal guidelines and regulations.