Nora, Home Seller in Sterling Heights, MI

Condo for sale for 2 years, considering foreclosure as an option, need attorney.

Asked by Nora, Sterling Heights, MI Wed Mar 5, 2008

I have had my condo for sale for 2 years. During that time, I've had 3 buyer offers fall through each 1 week before the closing date. I have 2 homes because I was married about 1 year ago. I can technically afford both mortgages while sacrificing vacations, savings, etc. At this point, I've sunk about $35,000 in mortgage payments, insurance, and association fees into a place I'm not living in. I've tried lowering the price for sale and renting with no success yet. I figured I would try one more season of spring/summer before giving up.

I'm looking for a reputable attorney to review my options with.

Help the community by answering this question:


New life breathed into an older post. What is the latest on this, Nora? Hopefully things worked out. Please let us know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
Hi Nora,

Speak with a realtor first who specializes in short sales. The rules differ by state, but a short sale is a better alternative to a foreclosure. At no cost a realtor can at least guide you in the proper direction.

I would assume heading to the attorney would be an immediate cost to you. Most realtors who specials in short sales usually work with a team of attornies who's fees are also paid by the bank in the case of a short sale.

A short sale stays for two years on your credit, and foreclosure is 10 years. Call a short sale specialist, get some guidance. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
The date on the question is as old as the response. You pay what you can afford.
When you don't pay eventually it will be foreclosed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 4, 2010
Why have the sales fallen through? What does your agent say?
Without knowing the details, I can't say for sure.
I do know that sometimes the seller has to take a loss to get out of the mortgage. If you can afford to make the payments, I don't see how an attorney can help you. Call 3 and see what they say.
If you have to take a loss, that can be taken into consideration on your income taxes.
If you've already spent $35,000 in maintaining a non-income producing property, I say sell it and deduct the loss on your taxes. $17,500/year should net you a nice vacation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
Hi Nora,
I'm not a real estate agent, but I have been in a very similar experience. We had a home sit on the market for a year and a half. Developers had come in and built lots of brand new, price-caped homes all around the area and the competition was to great. This may sound trivial but what finally worked for us was to paint the entire house and put some focus on our curb appeal while dropping the price again. (Just dropping the price never seamed to be enough) I don't know what your home looks like, but if there is anything you can do to make it stand out against the competition (curb appeal) it's worth it. I wish we had done this from the get-go! I also wish we had lowered the price much more and much earlier than we did. Two mortgages for almost two years is hard to swallow and we would have actually saved money if we'd lowered the price much more drastically early on. I'm not an agent or expert by any means, but I thought I would share with you my experience. :) Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
Nora, Glad you were able to find someone and stop the bleeding. You are correct, home prices are artifically low due in part to the glut of foreclosures on the market. You'd think in an election year the government would step in and resolve this issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
Thanks again for all the feedback. I just got an offer from someone to rent for a year. So I'm going to rent it out, deduct the losses on my taxes and see if the market improves.

I thought the last response was interesting. In Michigan there are a lot of homes that are taking 2 years to sell and it doesn't mean they are priced "too high." There are simply to many homes and condos on the market for the amount of buyers. I was not a seller that had the illusion that my home was worth a certain amount.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
I am sorry that you have not had better advice up to now.
First, there is no way a home takes two years to sell, unless it is overpriced. How many homes, like yours, have sold during the past two years?
Buyers and their Realtors have found that others homes offered more value.
As the market has declined, you've been "chasing the market", which, as you can see, it not a road you want to travel.

Options ( like do like what has been posted)
1. Rent it out - Talk with a CPA about the tax consequences. being an accidental real estate investor may be a good option.
2. If you already live in a new home, then you might just let them foreclose. I have written a blog on the short sale foreclosure process that might be of help to you:
3. Most lenders to not want to foreclose, they prefer a short will ding your credit.
4. Time is not on your side. Your need an accurate estimate of value by a Realtor ASAP to hit spring market. Again, if this is a move that meets certain criteria you may be able to write off some of these carrying costs.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Thanks for the feedback. I have not yet pursued a short sale option with my lender. From everything I read, I would not be considered due to my income but it is certainly worth pursuing.

As for dropping the price, I guess I could lower it further and then take out an additional loan to have money for closing. If it sold today, I would have to bring about $8,000 to closing.

I would love to get someone to lease it and we have lowered that price as well. Even though it would be rented at a loss of $500 /month it would allow us additional tax deductions on the rental property.

Thanks again for the responses---hoping to come up with some way to get out from under this stressful burden.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
Nora, I am so sorry to hear about this situation. I realize it is tough. Our Michigan market is with out question brutal.

As Gary stated your options maybe limited because you do have the ability to pay for both of these mortgages. However, I have seen some sellers who will go for a short sale and will agree to pay back the bank the difference of the loss. I really encourage you to speak with your bank as well.

You are putting a ton of money into this each month that you own it so maybe getting even more aggressive in price will be necessary as a last ditch effort. It is better than continuing to pay each month. I am not sure what other option an attorney maybe able to offer. But they may have some.

The other thing is seeing if you can get the bank to hold off on having you make payments for 2 or 3 months as you continue to have a professional market the condo.

I hope this information helps! Best Wishes!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
Nora, I am not an expert and you should seek professional assistance on this issue. I feel for the position you're in. Based on your statement that you can afford both payments, your options may be limited. Have you contacted your lender and asked about a short sale?

While you're in the process of investigating your options, I would like to throw out a couple of suggestions:

1. Leasing your home, if allowed by your lender, would stop the monthly bleeding and there may be positive tax consequences. Speak with your agent, a financial advisor, CPA, or tax professional and your lender about pursuing this option.

2. Auction: Your real estate professional should have an auction company they work with. You may be able to place a reserve sale price on the home to guard against low offers. Your agent or an auction professional would be able to assist you in this step.

3. Decreasing the asking price of your home. You already know how much you're loosing each month by not selling. Decreasing the asking price of your home by 3-6 months worth of losses may actually bring you a more qualified buyer. Speak with your real estate professional before taking this step. It sounds like the home is appraising because offers are falling apart after the appraisal.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
Hello, Nora! I recommend you contact Lori Paese at

Hope that helps! I have notified Lori you may be emailing. Best of luck to you!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
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