Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Trulia Seatt…, Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

What is the best way to sell a house that is worth less than what you owe?

Asked by Trulia Seattle, Seattle, WA Mon Apr 22, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Before you sell, have a tax professional determine the tax consequences.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
I have two suggestions;

1) Locate a Realtor that has experience with short sales. Short sales require a uniquely-qualified agent.


2) Wait to sell. Property values increased 13% to 19% in 2012. The greater-Seattle area may see that much appreciation again in 2013. Rising values rebuild your home's equity. You may find your home is worth much more by the end of this year.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
A short sale is one obvious answer, but as stated in one response, is truly tedious.

One option many agents don't think to ask about is: can you come in with the difference between the amount the home can be sold for and what is owed on the mortgage itself + sales costs (including commissions and excise tax)? If you can, you may walk away with little or nothing in your pocket, but with your credit intact, and you will not have to endure the short sale process and the stumbling blocks that are sure to come up.

Also, with a short sale you can be held liable for the difference between the mortgage owed and the amount garnered from the short sale unless the lender is willing to sign away their rights to collect that balance. You could be 20 years down the road and have the lender or someone who bought the debt come after you when you least expect it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Yeah that's a short sale situation. Unfortunately thats not uncommon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
You have options available to you through creative real estate solutions that enable you to sell a house for at the minimum, what you owe, up to 10 to 15 percent above the comparable value without any problems going forward. for more information please get in touch with me.

-Randy Miller
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
The homeowners who are experience upside down mortgage (a house is worth less than what the owner owes) should seriously consider SHORT SALES.

Short sale is a tedious process where a typical transaction between the seller (the current homeowner) and the buyer (the perspective homeowner) needs the seller's bank approval. The seller's bank is commonly known as "LIEN HOLDER." When a home owner borrows money to pay for their purchase transaction, they indeed give the house title to the LIEN HOLDER in return for purchase money, aka mortgage. When the fair market price of the homeowner's house is less than the owned amount to the LIEN HOLDER, technically the seller's bank is the one impacted the most since the LIEN HOLDER is the real property owner. As a result, any purchase transaction of a upside down mortgage needs the LIEN HOLDER APPROVAL.

Short sale transactions are difficult and both the selling and purchasing parties need professional help. Good news is that f=if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Feddie Mac, the newest rule specifies that you do not need hardship letter to obtain a short sale approval. If you own a upside down mortgage, act now. Call (206) 604-2755 for the help you need.

To purchase a short sale property, go to
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
Options include:

1. Be prepared to pay the difference between what is owed and what a buyer is willing to pay.
2. Negotiate a short sale if all requirements can be met.

Options if selling the house is not a requirement...
1. Stay in it.
2. Work out a loan modification if the seller wants to stay in the house and can't afford the payments.
3. Use the property as a rental property and wait out the market.

Jen and Mark Bowman
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
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