I'm in the Army, and bought a home in Oct of 07'. I'm being sent to a new duty station in Portland, Or.

Asked by Ira, Puyallup, WA Mon Aug 25, 2008

My realtor says, because I don't have equity in the home, I'm unable to sale. Does anybody know if I have any options of getting out of this home, so when I do move to my new Duty Station, I'm able to buy a house.

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Dp2, , Virginia
Tue Mar 24, 2009
Besides renting or selling your property with seller financing (lease-option, subject-to mortgage, etc) to normal buyers, you could sell your property to investors. if you opt to do the third option, then you might be able to sell your property for more if you find a tenant first, and then flip it to the investor (aka an 'investor flip') with seller financing.

You might also consider contacting an agent who specializes in 1031 exchanges, because they specialize in handling both the buy and sell side transactions within a relatively short period of time.
1 vote
Gavin Shnied…, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Mon Aug 25, 2014
Hi Ira, I'm a former Army Captain, and a Real Estate Broker who lives in Puyallup. If you still own the home, I can help you with Rental Management, or selling the property. I understand the unique circumstances that your up against.
0 votes
Lorian Maddox, Agent, Auburn, WA
Mon Mar 23, 2009
Hi Ira,

Here are some ideas to discuss with your realtor:

If you have enough money in the bank, you can sell your home for a loss, then buy a new one at your new duty station. If you used your VA benefits to buy this home, you could use them again for a new one.

If you don't have enough to cover paying off your current loan and associated closing costs, you could try to rent your current home.

A lease/option may be an option, depending upon much difference there is between what you owe and what you could sell it for. If your loan amount and market value are close, this might give you some breathing room. However, usually you have to have had your home rented for 24 consecutive months for it not to be a liability when seeking financing for a new home.

Leasing/renting may save you from the fourth option, which is a short sale. In a short sale, the lender(s) agree to accept less for the home than is owed. This can get you out from under the home but is a tough solution--it is long and arduous process, your credit will take a huge hit, there may be tax issues, and it could affect your eligibility for a/another VA loan.

Allowing your home to go to foreclosure is the worst option of all. This hits your credit even harder than a bankruptcy.

A short sale/foreclosure may also have ramifications for your career (ie security clearance).

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Good luck with your PCS.
0 votes
Julie O'Brien, Agent, Tacoma, WA
Tue Aug 26, 2008

I couldn't have said it better. The implication is there with "My realtor says".

It isn't that I don't want to help Ira. I do. But what you have to remember is that we have these laws and ethics for good reason. This may be different, but we still can't address that unless he wasn't represented.

Also, I know that I take a lot of pride in this industry and uphold to the best practices, including ethics; for myself and my family. I couldn't sleep at night unless I was. It makes me feel good that other realtors are doing that as well.

To put myself at risk without further specifics on Ira's agency agreements could be detrimental to my career which also supports my family. Respectfully, I'm just not willing to budge on these issues no matter how much I may "want" to.

With that said, I truly want Ira to get his situation figured out. I want him to have all the specific details down to the last dollar that he is risking. I cannot do that "to the best of my abilities" from two sentances. More information is needed for sure.

Good Luck to all!


Julie O'Brien
0 votes
Jason Mook, , Pierce County, ND
Tue Aug 26, 2008

I respect your opinion but I respectfully disagree with you. This is not a matter of hand sitting for myself, Julie or any other Realtor that may comment. With state licensing and participation in the National Association of Realtors come a set of laws and rules, as well as meaningful penalties for willfully or negligently ignoring those rules. To say that erring on the side of caution is hand sitting, I guess, is a matter of interpretation, especially when my reputation and my ability to practice are at stake.

It's my belief that your comment is slightly out of context. Let's look at the entire paragraph that you quote: "Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes
the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge
exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair
advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making
unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their
opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is
necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner,
uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain."

The focus of this paragraph, in my opinion, is in regards to Realtors cooperating amongst one another and encouraging consumers to contract with their Realtor of choice. In the paragraph prior to the one I quoted, it also states, "...REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others." If we were to take this Preamble statement out of context, apply it to this and countless other Trulia questions and situations in public, we would still be ignoring Article 16: REALTORS® shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients.

When Ira stated, "My realtor says...", the implication is that Ira is represented. If Ira were to return to this Q&A and state that there is no Agency Agreement or Contract that binds Ira to this Realtor, then I would find no more pleasure than attempting to help Ira. Why would I possibly want to sit on my hands and not help Ira, being that I make a living representing buyers and sellers?

So, Ira, the ball is in your court. Gene's comment required clarification of our actions, and to help you, we would require a clarification of your relationship with your Realtor.

Also Gene, although it has no bearing in this situation, another useful document is the Washington State Law of Agency, which you can find here: http://www.jasonmook.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=about.ContentF…
0 votes
NonRealtor, , 23456
Tue Aug 26, 2008
Rent. It's safe. If you can't sell your house, maybe try to rent it out.
0 votes
Julie O'Brien, Agent, Tacoma, WA
Tue Aug 26, 2008
Jason is correct. There are certain laws and lines that Realtors cannot and should not cross while the clients are under representation with another agent.

I'm hoping your agent will sit down with you and go over every detail of your current situation AND all options that you have with it. If you trust your agent, get a line of communication open and sit down until you are completely clear on every option that you have. If you do not have that trust, then Jason is correct in saying that you need to find another. Interview a few different agents.

Good Luck and THANK YOU for supporting our Country!!


Julie O'Brien
RE/MAX Masters
0 votes
Jason Mook, , Pierce County, ND
Mon Aug 25, 2008
Ira, by Code, Realtors have to respect the representation that other Realtors have with their clients. Because you state that you have a Realtor you're working with, my recommendation would be to continue the conversation with your Realtor, or let them know you won't be working with them any longer and seek other representation.
0 votes
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