Home Selling in Atlanta>Question Details

Dog, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

Can't reduce price anymore (REALLY can't) - don't qualify for a short sale. Got married, house is vacant & listed for over a year.

Asked by Dog, Atlanta, GA Thu Dec 30, 2010

What to do? Okay, the house is overpriced, but there is only so much money to write a check and that is where the price is. There is no financial hardship, so can't do a short sale, etc. Are there any options?

Help the community by answering this question:


What's the exit strategy for the rental? On some level, you have to expect that the market will appreciate to the point of letting him get close to even - is that a reasonable expectation? I can count on one hand the areas in the metro Atlanta area that MIGHT see some stability in '11. And stability does not mean appreciation - it means maybe the erosion of value stops and you can sell - real estate has changed and it's a new animal.

The talking points from the NAR are a waste of time - the economy is a disaster and will be for another 2-3 years. The banking industry does not want property and has no desire to modify anything - they do so only under force and that's infrequent. We're far from out of the woods and when we do exit, it's not going to be business as it was in '00 - real estate and ownership has changed. Agents can toss out all the standard answers but in reality, there is going to be significant blood spilled and many are going to take financial blows. Banks don't care and while the math on renting might work, he still has a depreciating asset, a continuous headache and a money pit.

Homes are becoming consumable entities, not appreciating assets. The idea of ownership as an investment vehicle is becoming obsolete - there are benefits of course but the financial ones are all but gone. It's stupid to say homes are a "great investment" and drop nonsensical stats - I can make anything a "great investment" by manipulating numbers. Dog isn't in business to rent homes - he wants puppies and to move on. He's already wasted a year and plenty of money and is sitting on a double yellow line with trucks coming in both directions.

Dog - get with someone who can legitimately offer options, and it starts with ascertaining a TRUE value on that house. Get your account (or hire one) to advise you on the financial end and move this thing. Try everything but be pragmatic - you need to find money if you're going to preserve your credit.

I'm not down on this business but I am tired of the bobble head agents that just spit back senseless talking points. Out job is to ADVISE and COUNSEL, we need to do that.
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 1, 2011

Lets not waste time pulling each others chains. Mrs. Dog moved on 3 mon's ago... I agree, that most of these answers starting about 75 ago are simply replays because most of these agents refuse to read and maybe learn. -thinking their answer is somehow different then the last 99.

There are TOO many things that I could say in regards to a viable rent or Lease/option. I will not waste my time trying to convince you of something you are not even a part of or opposed to. But, one quick example is; in EVERY market, a Rental is a TAX WRITE OFF, it can be "depreciated" and the monthly Loss or a portion of it can probably be written off as well. (for those who don't know, the Gov. says our rentals are "Depreciating" every year. -EVEN IN A BETTER MARKET WHEN THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOING UP IN VALUE HAND OVER FIST...)

Rent could work and work well, even if your area is sliding into the Big Blk. hole of despair you have repeatedly eluded to. Unless, maybe if your population is decreasing rapidly and this Home is "The waaay overpriced Cherry" right in the middle of the worst part of town, then it might not work out too well... IMHO, a Lease/Option would be a much better option.

How foolish is letting a House sit on the market empty for 1 yr.+? Doing the same thing, hoping for different results! Paying a property management Co. (if needed) would be a heck of a lot cheaper then unassisted PITI. Not to mention that in the long run, a clean credit History is kept intact...

Mrs. Dog freely (willfully) elected to get married and take on this burden of two homes. In an earlier post, you have suggested to just walk away and "let the chips fall where they may"... Now you have stated; "Owners becoming reluctant landlords usually ends messy - often worse than if you just deal with the issue up front and move on".

I'm sorry but, willfully bringing unfortunate financial circumstances into ones life is NOT a Free pass to simply "Move on" and walk away from ones obligation & Responsibility. I agree, that if she wants to "walk" it is absolutely their choice and it's their credit to choose what's best for them...

But, that does end a bit "Messy" too!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
This isn't all that complicated and it's certainly not unusual. The options are obvious and you likely know them:

1. properly price the home, sell it and bring a check
2. rent it and supplement the rent with a monthly check, pay for management, deal with non payment, rehab it when they leave and still lose money when it's time to sell
3. stop payments now and let the chips fall where they may, let the house fall into disrepair and leave it to the lender to handle
4. mail the keys to the lender and give them notice that the home is vacant and they should expidite the process

What you're doing now is pointless, you know it won't sell so figure out the exit. Unless you honor the contract you signed to pay back the money, your credit will take a hit so ensure that you understand the ramifications.

The lender is not going to talk to you about any short sale if you don't qualify, this is business. Lenders are combative in that arena as it makes more sense for them to foreclose than deal with mods or shorts -

http://hankmillerteam.com/category/foreclosure/ numerous articles have been written - that link offers a few.

In short, you either preserve your credit and cover the short or walk away and take the credit hit. Sitting in neutral as you are is doing nothing.

Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
this is in response to Peter's POST:
Except for part of Peters post:
Quote; "Also, call the realtor who told you this home was a great investment and see if he/she will donate the 3% commission, thousands of dollars, back to you for the lack of foresight they had when encouraging you to buy a home"...

Peter, are you serious, or are you self-loathing a practicing Realtor Sales Associate? You are UNREAL!! I've never heard such an obnoxious response from a fellow real estate agent. We as Realtors are not investment advisors. Our responsibility is to put a WILLING buyer and seller together for the purpose of conducting a sale.
By the way, should the attorney that did the work also give back his fee? Should the Title Company? Should the Mortgage Broker? Should everybody else that got paid in this complex transaction give back their money, which their salary in fact? Nobody could have predicted the market turing sour the way it did , nobody. It's nobody's fault. You are somehow suggesting in your remarks that somebody misled somebody or practiced disceptive tactics.

Nobody puts a gun to anyone's head and tells them to go buy a house, get a mortgage, and so forth. Also, I don't see the banks sharing interest income with us Realtors, do you? For example in the insurance industry, the insurance agent create a policy that , over the life of the person, will amount to thousands of dollars of income. The same thing is true in real estate, except we only get paid once, but the bank gets money over 30 years!! Think about this; a $300,000 house will be $650,000 in payments over a 30 year time frame. For the first 22 years out of that 30 years, it mostly goes toward interest, and it's only in the last 8 years or so, that the principal is signicantly reduced. Do you get paid a percentage of the earnings that the bank made over a 30 year time frame? I sure don't, and we are in effect, the "procurring cause" of how the bank made income over a 30 year time frame. In the insurance sales business, the sales person is indeed getting residual income for a sale made perhaps 15 or 20 years ago, because they were the "procurring cause' of that insurance sale. Why is that not true for a mortgage?

Isn't it the banks that are not allowed to practice Real Estate, but it is not the banks that ultimately profit from the transaction, 2 or 2.5 times over the amount originally borrowed? Last time I check, 3% of a transaction is negligible as opposed to 100% over 30 years. Why all of a sudden is it somehow the agent's fault? Nobody decieved anybody.

Frankly, I find your remarks unprofessional and unworthy of a our profession. There are good and bad practitioners in every field, but I am proud of what I do and I refuse to apologize to anybody what I and many like me do: you put a dirty name on our profession. We are not responsible for the Goldman Sacks and Lehman Brothers of the world, or the Financial Crisis. We are merely sales people fascilitate and able and willing buyer and seller getting a closing table. We did not cause this financial credit crunch and your remarks somehow imply that we had anything to do with it.

Your remarks are pure and absolute nonsense.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
72 answers and really starting to OVER L;AP!!!

Except for part of Peters post:
Quote; "Also, call the realtor who told you this home was a great investment and see if he/she will donate the 3% commission, thousands of dollars, back to you for the lack of foresight they had when encouraging you to buy a home"...

Are you kidding or what?!?! -Lack of foresight? -What?!?! Did Dog and her Husband have No say in their personal affairs? Were they Not 2 consenting Adults who made the best decisions that they could @ the time based on the available info????

Man, Agents are NOT fortune tellers and are Not paid to tell fortunes. Simply put, Realtors are paid to bring together a Seller and a WILLING and ABLE Buyer. and in doing so represent their client with the clients best interest in mind.

Duties of an Agent to Client include: Obey all Lawful instructions, Resonable skill, Disclose adverse facts, Honesty and good faith, Disclose requested Public info., Trust Fund deposits, Personal interest (no self dealing or compensated refereals )
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Sharon -

I didn't think I needed an editorial on my post - where exactly did I call renters scumbags that trash homes? I think my point was clear on renting, but since you didn't get it let me spell it out again.

Renting might be an option IF there's a way out at the end of the rental. This market isn't coming back anytime soon - she still needs to sell the home. Renting it is like carving a turkey with a platic butter knife - a waste of time and effort. Ghandi could live in the house, but after a year she still needs to freshen the place and get it market ready. Since Ghandi won't be living in it, she will likely need to paint, carpet, etc etc IF she is going to compete and sell. She is tossing good money after bad and SHE STILL HAS TO SELL.

Now, you can read "scumbags" into that as YOU see fit - I didn't say that.

Since you like that word though, I will call these lenders, banks and others in charge of helping folks like Dog and the thousands of others scumbags - quote me on that.
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Since bailing out could ruin your chances of "moving up" for quite some time...

1. A Lease option would be my 1st choice. It makes your payments and gets someone in your home that also has a vested interest in the property. This can be structured many, many different ways...

2. Even renting to the Right people (not just anybody) could get you some monthly income and provide free furniture for staging. A Lightly staged Home will usually show better (sell easier) then an empty home.

There are plenty of Great opportunities available to you within our current market w/o "Bailing out". The trick is finding the right fit for you and your personal situation....

Good Luck!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 3, 2011
What a pickle to be in- I would suggest to look at all your options- renting- but then you need to think about 2 major points- 1. Will you get the same as a mortgage payment a month- and 2. most renters will not take care of your home like you do- so in time you will need to put $$ back into maintance just to sell down the road- that is a HUGE Gamble, but may be worth doing so-? Your in a difficult position- BUT I would really look over all of the items that could be a hardship to do a short sale- you only mentioned financial- what about medical- divorce- job loss- I have a list of about 50 items that qualify with most lenders- if you fall under NONE of them then you really need to do some serious pros and cons list- good luck-
Web Reference: http://www.DarrenAhearn.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Bob Wiser: You are certainly an agent I would not want to use. Wow... did you actually say REWARD your agent? LOL!! I'm sorry but as sellers, the agents work FOR us. I have had my home on the market for 10 months with very litte activity due to the slow market. I have reduced my price and I am going to OWE at closing--and not owe a little we are going to pay thousands to get out of our house because we have no other choice, we are relocating as my husband has a job promotion several hours away. Our agent has done what she can and in fact I've told her that i know it has nothing to do with her, that is just is THE market and my area. You are not alone, there are many sellers in the same position. Now if you feel your agent is not marketing the home well, or does not provide good feedback then I would suggest finding another agent because they are here to work for us. To be fair, if you are overpriced and you know this, have a few realtors over to see what they think you should list at. I would ask around, get references and see who actually has been selling homes in this difficult market. If all else fails, you can rent it out as some suggested. And as a seller....I don't understand how some agents can not take the time to provide us with feedback after a showing? Seriously, you can fill out a questionnaire online that takes what....2 minutes tops? We had one agent who pulls up in his fancy BMW but couldn't take 5 minutes out of his day to provide any kind of feedback? And we recently had an agent who brought a buyer through for a third time and failed to provide feedback. I bet if your home was on the market you would like some feedback???? I just do not understand why some agents feel if there was no interest in the property why they do not have to take 5 minutes and provide feedback...especially when the market is slow and we get so few showings---so each showing we do get we would like to hear good or bad what they have to say. I'm so glad not all agents are like this, but other agents act as though common courtesy doesn't apply to them.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hello Dog,

I see that you have a lot os suggestions to rent the property and spend money staging it. Have you contacted your lender and tried to do a loan modification?

I would suggest that you contact them, speak to the loss mitigation department and see what the criterias are for a loan modification. If you lower your mortgage you may be able to rent the property and still make a profit every month, until the market improves and you can sell it for the amount you owe.

Some banks also offer a short refinance, where they refinance your home for the current market value. You should ask your lender if they offer such program.

If you don't qualify for a short sale, and you can't sell, I would suggest trying to modify your loan, to lower your monthly payment, and renting it until you can sell it.

Best of luck to you!
Noemi Souza.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
So you got married, moved into one of the two houses you and your fiance had, and left over priced and vacant that house. Or you bought a house together after getting married and after closing decided to bail on the original house. That is called strategic default, buy and bail and banks are going after that as a matter of mortgage fraud. Pay what you owe.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 2, 2011
Many answers here, (82!) but none ask what is your listing agent's opinion and what is his/her recommendation.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Has the bank told you that you don't qualify for a short sale because you don't have a financial hardship?

I am often surprised at how many times I meet with clients who have told me other agents told them they could not qualify for a Short Sale because (in that agents' opinion) they did not have a financial hardship.

Talk to the bank. I have not had a single bank turn down a client yet for a short sale based upon the reason ...after they explained their story of why they needed to sell and were upside down. I have sold all kinds of short sales for all kinds of reasons.

Did you move in with your husband? Did you have to relocate because of the marriage? Are you behind in payments? This could all be expained. If you and your spouse have 2 homes then obviously that is causing a financial hardship? Simply put the fact that you need to sell the home and it is upside down could be a financial hardship if you don't have the extra funds to bring to the table.

Bottom line, talk to the bank.... your only options is to rent it, sell it (via short sale) or have the bank foreclose on it. (There might be a few more options but i am keeping it simple.) If you can rent it for the payments....then rent it. If you can't keep it then sell it ....the bank does not want to foreclose on you and you may be surprised that they will do a Short Sale even if you do not have what others may consider to be a financial hardship.

Tammy Deitz
REALTOR, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert)

Tammy Deitz
Realtor, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Experty)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 24, 2011
I agree with the home owner, this has gotten off topic. This forum is designed to help home owners with good answers to their questions, and instead has turned into a topic of other tangential topics. John Walin's remarks attacked the home owner, and are not in place, in what I think is a self-policing and civilized forumn. I think they were angry remarks where the anger should be directed elsewhere. Peter T's remarks, from Baltimore, seemed to attack his own fellow agents! I think at the end of the day, we can all act professional, and cool headed, and give the best and most logical advise that is possible.

So, getting back to the QUESTION being asked, and not getting off topic, I say, Dog, Sir, you are in a pickle. You have not defaulted on either mortgage, and I find that commendable. You don't wish to do a short sale and ruin your credit, and I applaud you for that. You have not done a strategic default, and I applaud you for that as well. You are honoring your obligations to your lender and simply came here seeking honest advise of what is a difficult personal financial situation. So in the end, after you have already read 75 posts as answers to your question and as alot of tangential conversation as well, I think this topic is a "hot button" topic for all the right reasons: alot of home owners have negative equity these days, and can't sell and don't wish to default.

My answer and advise, and the advise of others as well here, is the same; rent it out and break-even, and wait until things improve and positive equity comes back. I firmly believe that real estate is tied to banking and the banking has shown itself to move in 8 to 12 year cycles of "bust" and "boom". I will not repeat my earlier answer.

So assume inflation is 3% per year, and get a CMA or better yet and appraisal, of what is today's selling price. Assume 3% growth for 5 years. So, in 5 years, you will recover today's sale price plus 15%. If inflation is higher, at say 5%, it will improve things. But I don't think the market will stay flat. I think jobs are rebounding, and the economy is recovering. I think in 5 to 12 years from now we will see stabilization of the market. We have to have a "correction" or a crash in order to have a boom. So this is the corretion phase. It will last from 2007-2012 in my opinion. We then will follow a "trend upward" phase, which I believe,based on past history, is 2012-2019.

The other option you may have not considered, and I think it's a worthwhile idea, is the biweekly mortgage program. Here's a link: http://www.toweradmin.com/. This will put you a method of paying down the principal faster. Statistics show that less than 3% of home owners have the discipline to get into paying one extra principal only payment per year, and if you are not on a program, it's very hard to do that. It will help you reduce your principal faster and faster. So, you can't control when the market comes back to normal, and I can't control that either, and none of us on this forumn can either. I can give my honest opinion, but, in reality, it's just an opinion and nothing else. So the only thing which is indeed in your own control, is not what the market does but what YOU do. So, if you can't control price appreciation, you can indeed control how fast you pay down the principal and thus, in effect, recoup your equity.

So I take my earlier advise: of renting out the home on a rent-to-own basis, coupled with a faster pay down of the principal due to a biweekly mortgage program. This way, the income to pay down the mortgage is not form your own pocket and to make it really count, you enter into a biweekly program to get the principal reduced faster. This way, whether your rent out the home for 2 years, or 5 years, between inflation taking place, and paying down the principal faster, you are regaining your lost equity , which is lost due to market conditions. Here's another link to a biweekly provider: http://www.aaafinancial.com/

I think this topic has been exhausted to death and I think that the home owner got all the answers he's probably looking for.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
Hey Dog,


1. Rent it out and send the money to the bank every month. It may not be 100% but it may hold them off for a long time.
2. Rent it out and keep the money and let it get foreclosed.
3. Tell the bank you are giving the house to them as a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
4. Foreclosure
5. Sell it to someone who does not qualify for a mortgage to come in and take over the payments. This is called a hostile assumption. The deed change actually violate the covenants of your mortgage but if they get a check every month, they might not care.
6. Ask the Air Force if they want target practice (just kidding, of course).

Not good solutions, but maybe one of these will make the bank take the short sale. You never know!

Web Reference: http://fglick.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Well Mrs Dog, it's obvious that you guys are running the scenarios - including making good on the debt. While I used to be a staunch ally of the "you own it so figure it out", over the last several months I've seen too many folks trying to do the right thing only to be squashed by combative lenders. The camp for "do what's best for you" is growing....not sure if you saw this post http://hankmillerteam.com/strategic-default-2/ but it's worth a read. The WSJ has been following the strategic default strategy for a good 18 months now and has posted many provocative articles.

There are more folks like you than you know – I talk to many sellers that have literally given up trying to deal with the process and know what the future holds. I also see many just starting that call me in for an appraisal after having been spoon fed nonsense by agents that refuse to acknowledge or understand the depth of this issue or just want to take a listing.

Read that article, it takes a very analytical and methodical approach to working through this situation. I don’t know that I agree with it but I do know that good faith and effort by an owner that’s met with a “screw you” attitude by the lenders can get me into that camp. And speaking from personal experience with professionals in this situation (including attorneys) I have seen owners make any and every effort to work things out only to be jerked around to the point of tossing up their hands.

It might be time for Mr & Mrs Dog to do what’s best for Mr & Mrs Dog……
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 2, 2011
The first thing to try is renting the property out. Others here, for some peculiar reason, say that won't work if it won't cover the mortgage.

Of course it will.

Example: Let's say your mortgage if $1,500 a month. Let's say the most you could rent your home for is $1,200. That would leave you with a $300 negative cash flow. Right now, with the house vacant, you've got a $1,500 a month negative cash flow. Which would YOU prefer--to lose $1,500 a month (situation today) or $300 a month (situation rented)?

Further, renting it preserves your credit, unlike a short sale, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or something else. Figure you're paying $300 a month to avoid the credit hit, the problem with creditors, etc. Except, of course, it's not really costing you $300. There's some mortgage paydown. Further--and I'm not an accountant so this isn't accounting advice--your losses may be tax deductible. For instance, if you're in the 30% tax bracket, you might be able to deduct $90 of your losses every month, bringing your true net loss to $210 a month. So which is better: A $210 monthly expense (with mortgage paydown) or a $1,500 a month loss? Easy answer there.

If you can't afford the $210 a month loss, try to cut that some more with a lease-option or contract for deed. (You seemed to say below that you recently made it available as a lease-option.) Would-be buyers are willing to pay a bit more for a lease-option than for a straight rental. Not a lot, but some. Make sure you have a nice monthly credit (at least 20% of the rent) for the tenant-buyer. And market the heck out of it. You need to do a lot more than just put it on the MLS. Most of your potential buyers aren't even thinking of the MLS when they're looking for a lease option. (Don't believe me? Just do a search here for "lease option" and see what people are asking about finding them.)

Here's a link to a blog I wrote about finding a lease-option: http://www.trulia.com/blog/don_tepper/2010/03/how_you_can_fi… All you have to do is reverse-engineer it. I've explained where to find them; that's where people will look.

I agree with your assumption that there's no basis for you to claim financial hardship--if the only issue is that you got married, consolidated your households, and now want to sell one of your properties. Hardship generally is something like job loss, death of a spouse, illness, etc. You could always try it, but the odds aren't great. Besides, if there's a better solution (renting or lease-option or contract for deed), why not go with the better option?

Hope that helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 1, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Hi Dog - Interest rate high? Did you speak to your bank about a loan modification?

I know of some people that were in the same situation and worked it out, not hardship either, but the discussion of possible default got the antenna up from the bank. Try talking to the lender.

Last resort, look into getting it it rented.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
Between a rock and a hard place - there is really no magic answer for you. If your bank will not consider you a hardship for short sale your only options are to remain the owner of this property and honor your obligation or go into foreclosure. Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
It's pretty simple and I think you know the answer because you sound like an intelligent person...

There are basically only 3 options (and some variations of each option):

1) Pay your obligated mortgage debt and enjoy the use of the home or let it sit empty.

2) Rent the property while you continue to pay your obligated mortgage debt (variations include: lease purchase or lease).

3) Foreclosure/Short Sale/Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure - fail to pay your obligated mortgage debt and return the home to your lender through a foreclosure proceeding, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
You've basically got two options:
1) Find a Buyer that can't qualify for a traditional or FHA loan under the new and stricter guidlines. There are a hundred reasons why people can't qualify in this economy - but it doesn't mean that there aren't some excellent individuals out there that would be a very safe bet to assume your loan. And don't feel that this can't be done just because it is not stipulated in your loan or there is a due on sale clause. Call me and I'll explain.
2) Lease the property and hold on for the long haul. Leasing will lessen the financial drain and provide an opportunity for you to hold your property untill the market turns back in a positive direction. Hire an experienced Property Manager to handle the lease/tenant and the ongoing management of your property - hold on for the long haul - and move on with your life. (Condo open lease issues? No problem)
I have been a licensed Realtor for 20 years and own a property management company here in Atlanta. Let me know if I may be of assistance in any way.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Sounds like renting is your best option....

Bottom line is that overpriced properties do not sell. I'd try to get it rented so you have some coverage. I'm hoping that things firm up soon and renting will buy you some time.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
There are many different kinds of hardships.
Obviously, if you got married, you want to live with your new husband. If renting the home won't cover the house payment, and the property is sitting vacant, you might be able to convince your lender that it is in their best interest to approve a short sale.
If the company that insures the property finds out it is sitting vacant, they may cancel your homeowner's insurance. If your homeowner's insurance is canceled, then the lender is at risk of losing their collateral. Not to mention the fact that a vacant house is at risk of vandalism, which will bring down the value of their collateral.
Talk to your lender.
Sometimes it is all about how you ask. I hate to say it but you are probably going to have to beg and plead if you want them to consider your request. Trying to get a short sale approved when the hardship is not financial is a challenge. You should probably emphasize the emotional toll this is taking on you and the afore mentioned risk to their collateral.
This is not the time for pride; you need to say whatever you can in an effort to get them to feel sorry for you. Be creative. Good Luck
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Dog. I like you - I like your name and your attitude.

I have 2 pieces of advice:

1. Remember that we are in a declining market, so wouldn't you rather sell now and preserve some measure of capital vs. sell in April or May?

2. Hire Julie
Web Reference: http://intowninsider.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
You people crack me up. Oh, the talking points and trying to sell yourselves to stage a property, etc. Obviously you haven't read all of the posts before you went off, but could you not at least read mine? After all, I am the one who asked the original question. I have posted responses to your comments. So what, I shouldn't have gotten married because it is a crappy economy? Everyone is making these comments as if I have been unethical - I have been paying for and maintaining a vacant property for a year plus when hardly anyone is doing that anymore!! What exactly have I done that is unethical? My credit score is 760, I have no intention of changing that if I can help it. THAT IS WHY I ASKED THE QUESTION. It is my choice to not stage or not rent - why are you guys going off on some tangential diatribes about these things? Perhaps my question wasn't clear? So I will restate it: I was wondering if there was anything I hadn't thought of, that I did not mention, to SELL the house. And yes, I have asked my realtor (and yes I have one). As it happens, there was something else I could do, and I came to it myself, We got a Personal Line of Credit and are lowering the price. If it still doesn't sell once we lower the price, then I will consider how I want to handle it. That is when renting will become relevant. By the way - We have another house to sell - and then we are buying another. We will think of calling the people who at least tried to answer the question and not people who tried to use it for their own agenda or who tried to sell us a service. Oh, and don't go off about living in the one for sale and selling the other. Ther are reasons why we aren't and that isn't the question either.

just a little fuel for the fire.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Great answer Jeff Saxor-----NOT! That makes a whole heck of a lot of sense....yeah we can't sell it or reduce our price but we will most certainly agree to give our realtor a raise, for them "sticking with us"!! PLLLLEAASSSEE! Last time I checked, you could walk away as well and tell them you did your best and they're asking too much, but no, you would actually ask for a raise?? NICE!! Seriously I don't know where you come up with this stuff....

That would be like me going to my boss and saying I couldn't get the job done for you, but can I have a raise?? You know what they would say? So long....I'll find someone else.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Of course an agent will only agree with bob. Ok so let's see. They don't have anymore room to go to drop the price but they have room to pay more comission? Who's smart idea is that? So their advice is increase your agents comission. That will get him to work harder and sell your house. Too funny
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
I'm in the same boat. I need to lower my price and I can't go much lower as well. I bought in height of market as well. 2006. I do not want to bring thousands to the table as well. It's actually sad this has to happen. Thought a house was your best investment. Now, I feel stuck. Stuck in this house and can't go anywhere. I'm going to give it one more week and drop it one last time.

Smithfamily- You are to funny about Bob Wiser's comment. I agree with you. Is he serious in saying we should thank them for sticking with us. What??? They need to thank us for sticking with them. You are right they are working for us. I do thank them for working for me and showing me houses and marketing my house as well. Also some agents aren't marketing the house very well. I'm not thanking nobody for not doing what they should be done. I left my agent for a new one. Actually he overpriced my home. It wasn't until I went with another agent to know that I was not priced right after it sat on the market for months. I'm with you. Bob needs to change his attitude if he wants to get houses sold. Especially in this market. I'm better off without an agent then someone who thinks like that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Dog, if "YOU" know your home is overpriced in this down market and your listing Realtor know's it, as well, then it's your decision to continue to market it at a higher than expected list price. Your Realtor has probably advised you to lower the price, yet you want to hang on to a hope and a prayer that you will get an offer you like - and if you do, it probably won't appraise for that price. Here's one piece of advice - don't change Realtors when your listing expires - your Realtor is probably doing all the right things and should be rewarded for sticking with you - not thrown under the bus because your not getting showings or offers on a home YOU have set a high price on and will not budge on. In fact, you should THANK your Realtor for sticking with you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 10, 2011
If you qualified for the mortgage and you have no financial hardship, you just have to do what everyone else does in this situation. Pay your debt. There is no magic bullet for making bad decisions. Back in the 80s people were paying 16% interest on home loans. I was one of them. Let me give you an example of how that would influence your payment: For a 100k loan at 5%, your Principal & Interest payment would be $536.82. For a 100k loan at 16%, your Principal & Interest payment would be $1344.76. You didn't hear much about people vacating their homes and trying to get out of their debt during that time period. They just waited until the rates went down and re-financed. If you think about it, even it you lost $100k in equity, you would stilll not have the financial committment as someone who had purchased a home with 16% interest on the same loan amount. Homeowners need to understand that a financial committment is just that...a committment. Rent the home out. Hold onto it for 5-10 years, then sell, when the market is up again. Think of it as a long-term investment.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
2 things I would suggest, 1-change brokers, 2-rent the home. The rental market is a strong & great option. Be very discerning about who you rent to.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 4, 2011
Rental is definately your best answer in this situation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 4, 2011
I don't think Trulia is recycling, these questions crank up once an answer is posted.

Nothing changes the math - the market will determine value. Staging is a waste of money, as are bonuses, trips, TVs, etc etc - PRICE is what buyers are looking at. If the home is upside down and there's truely no options, then prepare for the hit, get organized and tear the band aid off. This is a situation about PRICE and unless the staging includes a suitcase with 100K in cash on the table, don't waste the money!

Agents need to stop BS'ing folks, there are times where there are no good options and situations like this are an example of one. When we're aked a question, let's start giving the answers that we know are accurate. Put the dopey scripts and talking points down!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 2, 2011
Hi there Dog,

Well you posted this question back in December and agents are still answering as if it was posted yesterday...

So, what did you do? Rent the property? Redcue the sale price.. or maybe you sold it..

Let us know!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 1, 2011
Dear Dog,

Sounds like you have not yet hit the reality wall, so here it is. I am sure you have heard of quick sand well your in it and going down. The reality is if you don't reduce the list price your home will not get the attention it needs to sell. What kind of feedback are you getting from your listing agent, have you seen the recent comps of homes sold in your area, how many properties similar to yours are on the market. You have no choice, be aggressive, yes you will loose money but the home has now become a sponge wring it out and move on.

How many open houses have you had in this year, yes homes are sold that way??????

You could rent the home until things get better but the rental must produce at least the cost of expenses; in the meantime things happen, you need a new AC, hot water heater etc and now you have a "money pit".


Good Luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 1, 2011
Look into Deed in Lieu. You might be surprised. Perhaps it can be done in your case. I did one in N.C.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 1, 2011
Maybe you can sell the house "subject to existing financing". That means a new buyer simply takes over your payments. However, the lender may have a "due on sale" clause. There is a way to create a contract, that will protect against that: try this link: http://www.creonline.com/articles/art-071.html for some ideas.

Right now, the US has 115,000,000 households. Of that number, 59,000,000 have credit scores below 640, or what used to be called subprime financing, which is essentially dead these days. That means, you have 59 Million people, that want to get a loan, but can't these days. On top of which about 21 Million households are self-employed, and can't get what used to be called "stated-income" loans. So between the 59 Million people that can't get financing and the additional 21 Million that means that 80 million out of 115 Million households are not "loanable" or credit worthy as far as the banks are concerned. That means, the value of the house, is the VALUE OF THE MORTGAGE ITSELF, NOT THE REAL ESTATE. In other words, if a person can simply assume the payments on a perfectly good, low interest loan and pay per month, the same that they'd be paying anyhow if they COULD get a loan these days, why wouldn't they?

That makes your house MORE valuable, not less, because essentially you are selling the house with built-in financing in-place. Who says you have to get new financing to replace existing financing? Hogwash. The financing is merely a lien against the deed. You give the person the deed, or put into a trust, and they take over the mortgage payments in exchange. Voila, the house is sold!

Good luck and I hope these ideas will be helfpul to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 24, 2011
This is the unfortunate situation for many who have relocated for a job, or a better job. Their income is OK, but they cannot sell the house for more than the loan amount. When you say there is not a hardship, It sounds like I would have to disagree, if you are relocating, or have to relocate. There can be other hardships, such as having to take care financially for an ailing child, parent, or relative. These kinds of hardships also count. Some homeowners have just given up on dealing with the bank, because the banks just don't want to help. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in a homeowner just buying another home at their destination, renting the old one out for as much as they can get, and hanging on until they cannot do it anymore and letting it go to foreclosure.
Right now, the Real Estate market is being held back by the appraisers. Appraisers are not being allowed to accept the price a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on, if it is more than a recent sale. These rules the appraisers have to live by are just about guaranteeing that there is no price appreciation in some areas. Until appraisers can start looking forward instead of back, they will just be looking down. Until the powers that be release appraisers from their purgatory, owners like you will not be able to see enough appreciation to refinance or sell, and everyone, including the banks will suffer. FREE THE APPRAISERS! .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Alex Gonta has a good answer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
Unfortunately you are in the same boat as thousands of other home owners...Only 2 answers...go to closing with a check to pay the difference between net proceeds (if you can't do this, then the next answer is your only option) stay where you are until market prices improve or rent it out until the market prices return.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
You are not in a different position than many other home owners. You are "trapped" by your house, because you owe more than the house is worth, and yet you can't sell for any less. The thing to do is the figure out how to turn a negative into a positive. Since you can't sell as a short sale, and you want to sell, consider doing something else: renting out the house with an option to buy. Get your house to a qualified tenant-buyer who will put down a good faith option payment, equal to about 5% of the purchase price. The typical person you want has a FICO score of about 580-620 just a little below the minimum FHA guidelines, but not too far gone from being salvageable. Then make a portion of their monthly payment go toward the downpayment and the rest is rent. If the person, in 1 year from now, fails to qualify for a mortgage, you can then list the house all over again and evict. If the person needs more time, but has always paid very, very well and has been a good tenant, by no means kick them out and give them more time, in exchange for collecting an additional fee as an extension on the initial option.

The solution involves giving essentially "financing" to a tenant-buyer, who wil treat the house as an owner, not as s tenant. also, letting inflation take place at 3% per year, your price will come back to normal at 3% growth for 2 years. So with the tenant giving you rental income and a pre-builtin price that 2years from now will allow the house to appraise correctly, you have a built-in buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 17, 2011
Let's evaluate the situation. Your house has been vacant for a year. Have you been paying the mortgage the entire time? It's listed and you know it is overpriced. You believe that you don't qualify for a short sale. There is also a second home you and your husband have and may sell it as well.

What would be your ultimate goal? This will direct you where to go.

If your goal is to make money off of the house and you know that won't happen in today's market with a sale, then you can look at the possibility of a renter and will the rent off set the cost of ownership? Also, perhaps someone would be open to assuming the current loan (if allowed in your financing note). Depending on the location, deed restrictions, and size of the house, you may be able to rent out rooms and make more money from students than from one renter. This comes with additional considerations as well.

Are you two considering purchasing another property? If that is the case can you afford to purchase without selling one or both? Discuss this with a lender. If your goal is purchase another property in the near future a short sale or foreclosure would be a problem with qualifications.

If you want to start fresh without debt that is another scenario. Since your house is listed, has your agent given you some resources? If not ask for them and get suggestions from your agent, as they are closer to your specific situation and should be in a better position to advise you.

Best of luck to you.
Web Reference: http://terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 15, 2011
Dog and Fam,

As I stated below, A Lease or rent option is absolutely your Best option if you are W/O financial hardship as your ques. states and if you would like to keep your credit in Good standing.

There are Many. many ways to structure a Lease/rent or Lease option that could be beneficial to both you and the Tenant. Getting Good renters is NOT hard and it is certainly NOT Russian Roulette! "IF" you look at it with a win/win mentality and make proper Bus. decisions.

It is a Business and must be respected as such. Most "would be" LandLords make the Fatal mistakes of not treating it like a real Business (making poor emotional decisions) and they get TOO greety, trying to get absolute top dollar for their property. (if everyone wanted to pay top dollar for things, Wal Mart and Southwest Airlines would not be in Business!)

As a result, this creates a revolving door on their property and they cannot be as selective when it comes time to get a new tenant. Now add in the Lost income everytime a tenant is replaced and you've got an unprofitable pain in the neck Rental property Like the ones you've probably always heard about!

Think; "Win/Win"! -We stack our Contracts with incentives and we fully screen our perspective tenants. Our philosophy allows us to "Hand Pick" our tenants...

P.S. Empty Houses w/o Heat & Air Cond. can fall apart rapidly and be vandalized...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 7, 2011
Under the circumstances a good option would be to rent it out. But make sure the tenant is qualified , has good credit and can afford to pay the rent. You should get advice from a local real estate agent and be aware of association rules regarding renting if there is a home owner's association. Also know the local laws .
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 1, 2011
Rent it out for close to payment and slow the bleeding.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 1, 2011
Dog, listen to Hank Miller. He does know his stuff. If i was going to look at real estate in the Atlanta area he would be on the top of my list. I would try to contact him to see if he could give you more information although the basics are already laid out. I would not recommend many agents from here, but Hank has shown enough over time for me to say he really knows his stuff.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
Rent your home. List it with a realtor so that you can maximum exposure and that way you may at least have money to cover most of your mortgage payments each month.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
the problem is that "the market" doesn't really care that you can't reduce anymore. Or that you don't have enough money to bring to the table.

if you don't qualify for short sale, can't reduce low enough to sell, and you're sitting paying carrying costs for a vacant home listed for over a year, it's time to consider renting it out.

even if you have to rent it for less than it's costing you to hold... losing $100/month is better than losing $2,000/month, and it might get you a year or two further along... with a little more mortgage paid, and hopefully a slightly better market.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL

Good Afternoon.

Not sure of the rules and regs in GA, however, I think you may be able to short sale your home. Make sure
you have all of the current facts, your income, bills, the current property vaule etc and then ask a short sale professional for advise on the updated information.

Also, if you can not short sale and do not want to keep the property before you walk away, you may be able
to sell the property and pay the difference. You can have your agent, title, lawyer give you a pretty good idea
of what you would have to "come in with" at different sale prices.

I hope that helps.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
I am sorry to hear about this, but if your house is over priced its just not going to sell. There are to many options out there. Even if you do get an offer the is the issue of the appraisal.

I think your best option might be to rent it out and your next best option is to have your agent list the home with a lease purchase option. Are you currently working with an agent or not. If you are I am a bit suprised that your agent has not presented these options to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
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