I would not put much weight into the real estate valuation websites. They tent to be very inaccurate. I would contact a local Realtor to first get a market analysis of your property. The market has recently bounced back because the housing inventory is extremely low and there are a ton of buyers.
You appear to have a financial hardship because of your employment relocation. It should not affect you being approved for a short sale. You could potentially have tax consequences and your lender may still come after you with a deficiency judgement. Also your credit will be wrecked. I wouldn't be so quick to jump into a short sale. You may have other and better options.
Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have.
Sales Associate / Property Manager
Keller Williams Realty
as mentioned, get a strategy. if the tenant is moving out to help cover costs while you are thinking, find a property manager to oversee the transition from one tenant to another. try and secure another tenant, on a month to month basis or with clear terms in the lease that the property will be sold, the tenant will cooperate with showing requests and that it will be sold as a short sale. this will take some financial pressure off of you.
next, gather as much information as you can regarding a short sale and your particular situation. contact your lender and ask for help. if none forthcoming, you have received a number of excellent suggestions from agents responding to your question in this forum. pick one of them.
check with your accountant. true, that at the end of 2012 the debt forgiveness program expires. there is so much negotiation in washington and the desire to encourage economic growth that the program maybe presented as a bargaining chip to be extended. the national association of realtors is working towards this goal.
hopefully, you will be able to sit down, sketch out your options and figure out a plan.
Brock Realty Inc.
If you'd like to search the MLS like an agent in real time, you can visit our website and sign up for a free Listing Book account. You will be able to change the search criteria to suit yourself and received morning reports regarding new listings, price changes and recent pendings.
Bahia Realty Group
You may need to bite the bullet and hire a local Realtor to manage your rental for you--unless you're okay with paying the extra "ordinary income" tax (not the lower capital gains rate like smart taxpayers, ie Romney) on the $40k you may be forgiven.
Hope this helps.
If your CPA/Tax adviser says it's okay to proceed with a Short Sale just be careful who you list it with because some short sale agents will charge the buyer an extra $3k "'negotiation" fee or offer less commission to the Buyer's Realtor so it will take longer to sell and could risk foreclosure. In Florida if you get foreclosed upon the lender may get a judgment and go after you (including attaching your wages and auctioning off your vehicles, etc.) so you need to sell it quickly and have an agent working towards your best interests and not their own!
All the best,
Alma Rose Kee PA
Future Home Realty
For the shortsale, I've included a link to the FHA site: basically, start by talking to your lender before talking with anyone else. Once your lender has given you some guidance, there will be some items you will need to get prepared. The short sale negotiator I use has a list.In general it includes two years of tax documents, bank information, employment and pay information and such. Most importantly, there is a personal statement from you explaining why the bank should consider that there is a hardship, what that hardship is, and what you have done to stave off the bank's eventual loss.
While it seems like a lot, once things are together, that aspect is complete. Based on the bank's guidance, they may recommend bringing a realtor on, and there may be some requirements for the listing. The Realtor will ensure the listing has the disclosures to potential buyers about the short sale. Some people hire attorneys to represent their interests before the bank and to facilitate a transaction, others either hire a negotiator or use a realtor who has a negotiator available for the sale: in some cases this can be done without additional direct expense to the transaction, so shopping around is wise.
There is some legislation that removes from taxable income the cancellation of debt of the primary residence of a tax payer. Naturally, there are rules to follow and exceptions to those rules which may allow for the exclusion. The legislation I speak of is set to expire at the end of 2012: unless it extends beyond, this provision of the tax code is a mote point. That leaves you with the potential strategy of claiming insolvency when faced with the tax consequences. For this, I recommend reviewing all the information with either a CPA, an Enrolled Agent (allows representation before the IRS), or a lawyer familiar with tax and real estate issues. I recommend that this be your starting point before even contacting your bank: get the right advice from an attorney and they can guide all aspects: once again, shopping for the right one is important.
Here is the link to the FHA site:
Feel free to contact me on this to begin the process.
Tom Scaglione, ePRO, SFR, REALTOR(r)
Future Home Realty, REALTORS(r)
Cell: (813) 310-8200 - Fax: (813) 909-2915
~ Tampa Bank Owned Team ~
Certified Bank Owned Sales Specialist
Certified Short Sale Specialist