First I need to do a disclosure. I am not a CPA, I am not a Tax Attorney and I am not a lender. That said, I just sold a home for clients who were pondering the same outcome. Should they do a short sale and try to negotiate the balance owed with the bank or should they just throw in the towel and stay in the house as long as possible.
As I understand it, no matter what you do, foreclosure or short sale, you will still owe the bank money. The difference between the two is on short sale, you have the best chance at getting a better price for the home reducing your overhead or balance owed the bank. You also have a chance to negotiate the balance owed to possibly whittle it down a bit. With a foreclosure there are several not good outcomes;
1) They can and will sue you for the balance owed, plus legal costs and you get a huge FORECLOSURE on your credit report permanently damaging your credit. 2) When the bank sells a house they want to do it quickly and get it over with. They do not necessarily hire the best negotiators to get you the best possible price, they just want it sold. You are still left holding the bag.
I need to close with... you need to get sound legal and financial advice from professionals in those fields. I have given you the outcome of a situation I was directly involved in.... more
doing a short sale means you must demonstrate hardship, e.g. a current financial statement showing all your income, all your expenses, assets and liabilities. Then the lenders will want you to prove your hardship by getting copies of paystubs, tax returns, bank statements. You also need to write what is called a hardship letter. That is a paragraph or two detailing what led up to to this predicament.e.g. loss of job, illness, resetting of interest rate etc.
In my recent experience second lien holders will release the lien for say 5% to 10% but reserve the right to determine a deficiency after the short sale. That makes the lien an unsecured note after the short sale.
This advice assumes you are talking about your own personal residence, not an investment. You won't have a tax obligation from the forgiven debt on your personal residence which you might have in a foreclosure or investment property. Nevertheless it's always a good idea to run your situation by an attorney specializing in these matters as there are always new ideas floating around.... more
As- I'd be happy to help you find a real estate agent in Vallejo. But, if you want to do the research yourself, I'd go to Realtor.com and use their "find an agent" tool. Once you find a few agents, whose profile look attractive, you can do an internet search to see which have web sites. An agent without a web site, or "web presence" is not worth wasting your time with. YOUR HOME NEEDS TO BE ON THE INTERNET. If they have a professional web site invite them over for an interview.
At your interview, ask the following for each agent:
1) Are you a Realtor? (Realtors are members of the Natl. Assn of Realtors, not all agents are Realtors)
2) Do you have your license with you? All realtors need to be able to present their DRE issued license. If they do not you might be dealing with someone who has a loose interpretation of the rules. When they do give it to you, look at it and make sure it has not expired. Write the number down and to www.DRE.CA.gov and check their lic. status to make sure it has not been revoked and suspended.
3) How long have you been a "licensed sales associate (or broker)". Some agents have developed cute little ways of getting out of this question like "Oh, it seems like forever" or "I've been in sales for 20 years", or "I sold my first house 15 years ago" (well, they mean their own house, and another agent sold it , not them).
4) Do you live in the neighborhood? If they don't, are they going to be able to show your home when somebody calls them from the sign in your yard. If they aren't close by, a prospective buyer may leave... house unseen or call another agent who might show them other homes.
5) Do you represent more buyers or more sellers? An agent who likes buyers may only want your listing to attract more buyers whom he will then take out and show other homes. 90% of my business is representing sellers. When a buyer calls me, I want them to buy YOUR home.
6) Do you own your own home? Some agents don't. Why? I don't know. Maybe they aren't successful enough to buy a home. Do you want an agent helping you through the stresses of buying a home when he/she has never bought one himself? I don't want to buy a car from a car dealer who's never owned a car before, or have my web page designed by somebody who does not own a computer.
7) Can you show me (on paper or on the computer) all the homes you've bought or sold for clients during the past 12 months? Has this agent even sold anything this year? How many are Short Sales?
8) Can you show me one of your listings right now? See if there's a sign out front. Is the box out of fliers? Are the flier’s black and white or color. Are his business cards inside where an agent can grab one and call about the listing? Did he tell the owner how to make the home look better or does the house look like crap?
Go back and ask the homeowner if they are happy with this agent.
9) Ask to see examples of his marketing material. If he/she did not bring any, they are unprepared and should be penalized for such. When I go to a listing interview, I'm prepared to show you everything I have. I even bring my computer in case you don't have one so I can show you how I market my homes on the internet.
Good luck As!... more