Is there a way to find out what a seller owes on their mortgage?

Asked by Marcia Klein, Naperville, IL Fri Apr 16, 2010

How does one go about finding out how much a seller owes on their mortgage? I'm wondering if our offer is less than the sellers mortgage, and we might be proposing a short sale. How could I find out. And if so, then what?

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Luis E. Loza…, Agent, Weston, FL
Sun Feb 27, 2011
A short sale, the realtor is disclosed by law
I think you should wait for the day of closing
0 votes
, ,
Fri Apr 16, 2010
NCHome, I don't agree with you, it is the buyers business, because if the purchase is going to be a short sale, there are all sorts of issues. Sometimes the home is priced above what is owed, but by the time other things are figured in, and they accept an offer, it becomes a short sale.
I am sure that the agents wouldn't be too happy if a person accepted a bid that was just what they owed on the home, then there was no money to pay them. Not to mention the fact that if it is a short sale, the buyer would have to pay any transfer taxes that are due.
0 votes
FSBOsuccess, Home Seller, 28590
Fri Apr 16, 2010
Quite frankly, it is absolutely none of your business what a seller owes on the mortgage. Especially if you are going to low ball them! Greedy!
0 votes
Anita Wilcox, Agent, Aventura, FL
Fri Apr 16, 2010
If you are currently working with a Realtor they can check that for you and explain the process.
You can also check the public records. However, I think working with a professional is your best bet.
Let's say the property is priced right - at the current market value. If you decide to offer less that the seller's current mortgage balance, the seller may not accept the offer. If the property is priced way above market value and and you offer less but the mortgage balance is higher than your offer, then it is up to the seller what he/she decides to do.There could be many different scenarios in this case. Everything depends on the motivation to sell. If the seller really needs to move out of the property they may consider a short sale in that situation. Your Realtor can negotiate that for you. Short sales can be very complicated at times, so it might take a long time to close that deal. Every case is different.
I hope that answers your question to some point. Let me know if you need more details.
Good luck


If the property is in Miami-Dade, I included web reference to Miami Dade public records.
0 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Fri Apr 16, 2010
You can try the county recorders office and see if a mortgage was recorded and for how much. Also, if you have an agent, they can check on the MLS and see about any mortgages.

This should be noted in the listing if it is a possible short sale. If it ends up being a short sale, then the bank will have to approve your offer. It could be months before you get an approval.
0 votes
Leo Santos, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Fri Apr 16, 2010
As Realtors, we have access to multiple databases that can cross reference this info. Feel free to contact me, I'd be happy to help.
0 votes
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