You should absolutely hire an attorney, you do not want to make any legal mistakes that will cost you much more in the long run. Real estate attorneys don't cost much. My advise: have a realtor and an attorney on your side to have a smooth process.
The Campins Co.
The Realtor merely "sells" the real estate. The attorney will give you legal advice. The CPA will give you tax advice.
There are so many things that can go awry with a short sale and to best protect your interests you need to engage the services of all 3 professionals.
Tax consequences can be extremely expensive if you short sale a non-primary residence. Tax forgiveness on a non-owner occupied property can also result in significant IRS bill!
Then if you don't have an attorney protect your interests you may end up with a large deficiency that you will ultimately owe. Florida is a deficiency judgement state and you are liable for the loss on Real Estate whether it goes through foreclosure, short sale. It's crucial that you hire an attorney to ensure the final paperwork actually forgives you of the loss so they cannot go and attach your wages in the future!
This is such a great question. The correct answer would be maybe. Very often in the short sale process, we are able to get the bank approval and keep the seller satisfied with the results. Sometimes, however, there are problems with the second mortgage holder or the mortgage insurance company. If it is an investment property that we are dealing with, they will often ask for a note to be signed by the seller to make a reimbursement to the bank, or a 1099 form making the difference in the sale (the short amount) taxable. This is not allways OK with the seller. As realtors, we have reached the wall in our negotiation. We can deal with the contract offer and nothing else. We are not licensed to practice law and go into the further negotiation on behalf of the seller. An attorney is.
I hope this helps you understand that "maybe" a seller will need both a realtor for the sale, marketing and contract specifics AND an attorney to deal with the bank.
Debbie Albert, PA
Coldwell Banker Residential
There are situations in which you will need an attorney's guidance. These days, it is common to be faced with a short sale gone bad or a loan modification that needs more time. In the short sale gone bad, you may need to hire an attorney to have your debt discharged in bankruptcy where the bank refuses to actually release you from liability on one or more notes. Loan modifications may call for an attorney to file bankruptcy to obtain an automatic stay against foreclosure. I have been stunned to discover that the bank loan mod departments are not coordinating with their legal departments, and homeowners are being foreclosed on during the loan modification negotiation period. So, these are just some examples of when you might wish to have an attorney look at your situation.
I highly recommend you visit an attorney if you are considering a short sale. Attorneys offer free consultations because they have strict anti-solicitation rules (under their Rules of Professional Responsibility). So, they offer free consultations to meet people, and they want to meet you even if you are not going to retain them now. You may have a friend, relative, or later case for them. In short, you can get some good analysis for free.
-David Turturici, Attorney/Broker
Foreclosure prohibits you from buying a home with conventional financing for at least 5 years, a short sale may have you buying again in as little as two. Your situation will be different from Mcc's and anyone else, that is why you need experienced professional assistance dealing with you and all of your specifics.
These sites are interesting and entertaining to visit, but if you are considering a short sale the only advice to take from here is to get good professional help.
There are a number of specialists in your area, if you need a referral let me know and I can put you in touch with someone with the experience you need.
If you are the buyer, and you are just looking around for short sales, the best way to do that is with a realtor because they will have the inside story on a property and can provide you with lots of choices.
In Georgia where I lived prior to moving to Sarasota, FL, all transactions were closed by attorneys but in Florida I usually have my closings with a title company. However, if I'm helping a client buy a short sale we do close with an attorney.
Some buyers think they can save money bypassing the realtor and negotiate a purchase with a seller by themselves. Aside from risking all kinds of legal pitfalls and contractual problems by simply not knowing the contracts, and time restraints, research has shown that you will end up with a better price if you let a realtor do the negotiations.
Good question. While an attorney is not required per se to sell as a short sale, as with any real estate transaction it is highly recommended that one employs the services of an attorney, for many reasons.
As for using a Realtor, the lender will require that the property in question be listed for sale and a listing agreement must be provided as part of the short sale application package. Plus, your Realtor will bear most of the brunt of this demanding and time consuming process. One huge caveat, be certain that the Realtor is well-versed in working short sales, as that will considerably facilitate the process, decrease the time required to work the deal through, and help ensure a successful completion. Better yet, choosing a Realtor with a distressed property certification (such as Certified Distressed Property Expert or Certified REO Specialist), such as myself, will go miles in ensuring success throughout the entire short sale process.
Feel free to contact me for more information on this process and how my experience could assist you.
Keller Williams Miami Beach
1680 Merdian Ave, Suite 101
Miami Beach, FL 33139