Home Selling in 94513>Question Details

Dan  C., Home Seller in 94513

Have a question about short selling a house in Disco Bay and paying property taxes.... any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!?

Asked by Dan C., 94513 Thu Mar 29, 2012

Bought house in Discovery Bay for 680k now worth 480k. Considering Short Selling soon... Should I pay my property taxes as they are due now...I plan on selling the house within the next year and could potentially save about 6k in property taxes... just not sure what the consequences are in the long run if I don't pay the county taxes. Any advice would be most helpful! Thank you much in advance!

Help the community by answering this question:


I completely agree with Bill from Encinitas. We are in competition for business, but professionalism and customer service will get you much farther than having a nice office. I have a great office, yet rarely go there. Email and fax has made our lives so much easier.

Dan C. who originally posed the question, was asking from behind a computer screen. It doesn't make me want to help him less.

Back to the original question, Dan C., keep moving forward with your questions. Short sales have become much easier than in the past. I have seen many investors with rental properties that have short sold homes for 900,000+ in Discovery Bay. It is possible. Good luck to you!

Jana Korner
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Hi Dan,

I would be scared to death being a homeowner and reading through some of these answers. You definitely have received some good info in the answers, it's a matter of weeding through them. Neil is right in that agents won't give you tax advice. We can't. We are not tax advisors and that's who should answer those questions. The ones saying the tax relief is going to run out are also correct. It's good that you are looking for answers now in case that relief date isn't extended.

In my opinion, it doesn't matter if someone works at home or in a huge upscale office. Talk to agents and see who you think will work best with you. You are doing a good job doing research about this topic. I wish you luck! It's not an easy decision or one that should be taken lightly.

Jana Korner
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Thanks Bill.

Actually I am a little embarrassed. I have not updated my profile here. I really need to do that.

Those are old sites linked here. I have a new one I am working on that blows the others away.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
There was a time in which Doctors did make house calls, but with the advances in medicine and technology, it became impractical. That is not the case in real estate. I am not sure why there is a need to be critical of respective agent's business models. Looking at Gene's website, it looks pretty darn helpful.

Interestingly, I just came from a mastermind group in which a number of top performing agents said they were looking for ways to downscale and get out of the traditional brick and mortar model - because it cost too much to support and having a large team meant too many headaches. So I have to respectfully disagree that the idea of not having brick and mortar is a HUGE red flag. I think there are many other more important factors to consider if one is looking for red flags, One that comes to mind is agent vanity. An agent's salt worth is demonstrated by getting the deal done in a manner that is satisfactory to their client.

As far as teams, escrow, title, inspectors, contractors, and the like are on my team, but they will not appear on my broker's license at the DRE because they are not supposed to. Getting into back in forth about mine is better and/or bigger than yours serves no purpose. And a reason the industry has lost respect of the consumer is because too often people don't get what they thought they paid for. 7 out of 10 agents screw up short sales. Professionalism does not automatically come with the license or the bus stop bench ad.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Nick I meet sellers at their home. I meet buyers in comfortable public places near where we will view houses. The only brick and mortar that I think is important is the ones I am working a sale on.

Dan I think accountant is consistent with stuff I have heard from others.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
I find Nick's response some what humorous. He has obviously looked me up and did a little research. I do work out of my home, however, I am full time. As a mater of fact working at home allows me to work more. I spent 10 years running 7 offices and a dozen employees in another business; I like working alone now.

A team is more than a collection of agents. Sometimes a collection of agents is the last thing you want. It is Title and Escrow, it is Escrow assistants, and they are all things I can out source as do many agents. But when a client wants service I am the one they call - not another team member for this or that.

Which agent style works best for you is your choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. If you have an agent already great. If not and you want to give me or Nick some consideration great. I really do not know him, he may be a fine agent.

I would suggest you do one thing right now - Go to google and do a number of searches on hyper local terms, If you search Short Sales in Discovery Bay I see me twice on page one - not one of my best search results but not bad. Do other hyper local searches. You will find me all over page one. Do you want your house on Page 1? Go to ActiveRain.com - the leading blog platform for Real Estate - you will see me at # 6 in the state and the best locally - of thousands of agents.

Have a great day.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
No agent is going to advise you not to pay your taxes - that is a legal landmine. I can refer you to a good accountant/tax guy if you want an answer from him. If you do not pay the property tax they become a primary lien against the property that would have to be resolved before a Short Sale. The bank may let them be paid out of escrow.

No Hype. Here is my Short Sale Web site. I am a local broker and answer my own phone. If for some reason I do not answer I will get back to you generally within an hour. I work with a great Short Sale team that has a high success rate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
The answer to your question is up to you. Could the value go from 480 to 680 we don't know but anything is possible. Go to the Contra Costa County Tax assessors web site and read up on the rules on paying property late and redemption rules also I am assuming that you have no tax impound account. Marsello Conde Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2014
Hello Dan,

I have a great portfolio program designed specifically for folks who have had a foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu. No seasoning involved. 660 credit score 20% down up to $1MM in California.

If this is your primary residence and you would like to buy once the short sale closes I would be happy to talk to you about looking at purchase right after it closes. Our bank also has all of the traditional products as well. Feel free to give me a call if you want to talk. My number is listed in my profile along with my website and recommendation.

Paul Watkins
Web Reference: http://pwatkins.mhmb.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
Dan -

I've called the County tax collector about this very issue for other clients. I've been told on more than one occasion by their employees that it takes the County several years to foreclose due to non-payment of property taxes. Their candid advice has been that if a short sale or foreclosure is looming, then they don't expect the homeowner to pay the property taxes, because the lender usually pays it. That has been borne out in my experience, too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 6, 2013
All great answers by my esteemed colleagues.
I just would like to refer you to http://www.lawguru.com, here you can post questions which will be answered by attorneys at no cost.

Regarding how to report the short sale of a rental for the IRS, you might want to google "form 982" which is the IRS form "Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness (and Section 1082 Basis Adjustment)". This is where you would report the forgiveness of debt associated with a short sale. According to my CPA, since this discharge causes a reduction in your cost basis, you might end up with a "profit" and hence may be liable for taxes. Please contact your cpa for further information.

Check out also http://www.taxalmanac.org, this is a great resource which is used by tax professionals. You may be able to find some useful information there. If you need a great CPA, let me know, I can give you some names.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
I forgot to mention that this is a rental property...I was able to purchase a new home and rent this out but i am in the hole 400 dollars a month.... i have a first and a second on it as well...the second was used to purchase the home.

Was told by my tax person that since it has been claimed on schedule E and is a rental the difference in the amount of the short sale would count as a loss for me not a gain..... does that sound right....

Thanks again for your help!

Dan C.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Hello Dan,

All great answers to your question but you mention you are planning on short saling next year....are you aware that the Debt Relief law will expire in Jan. 2013? That means whatever you short sale your house for, you may have to pay taxes on the difference of what your purchased at. That could mean paying taxes on over $200K.

I have a lot of experience with short sales and while I can not tell you to stop paying your taxes, there have been many clients that have simply because they could not afford to but we were still able to close the short sale.

I would be happy to discuss this situation with you further and also give you referrals from past short sale and loan modification clients.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
My comment isn’t a knock against an agent here, but simply giving things to watch for. There is way too much short sale fraud, way to many unlicensed sales people, way to many part time agents (only 33% polled say they are full time nationally) and folks that don’t treat this industry with the respect and professionalism it deserves.

When was the last time you went to your see your Dentist or Lawyer at their house for an appointment. There are always exceptions to the rule but this is generally a HUGE red flag. Most Agents wouldn’t hold themselves in that high of esteem because they know that they don’t bring much value to the table.

My team and I consist of my partner and I who are both licensed brokers, and we have NMLS licenses for lending advice and origination. Its imperative that you explore loan work out programs first as most banks will require that to happen before approving a short sale. This is because there are laws in place and they don’t want to worry that someone railroaded you without giving you options to stay in your home. Don’t get me wrong we won’t do loan modifications for a client but we will tell you how to contact your lender or a non profit like NACA that can help you. We also both live within minutes of our office so we are here 7 days a week for anyone in need.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012

As you can see, you won't find an agent (me included) who will advise you to not make your mortgage or property tax payments because that could open that agent up to a lawsuit or complaint.

I can tell you what I've seen in the vast majority of the 200 plus short sales I have completed. In all cases except for one, the bank absorbed and paid the delinquent property taxes in order to complete the short sale and liquidate the property via short sale rather than foreclosure.

The question as to whether or not the bank would then have any recourse to pursue you to recover that money is best answered by a tax adviser. I have not had any past short sellers tell me that a bank has or is pursuing them. But that does not mean it could not happen. I have an attorney in Walnut Creek who will give you a free 30 minute consult. Just email me and I'll put you in touch with her.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Neil, I would be interested in speaking with your attorney friend....
Flag Thu Mar 29, 2012
Probably good to look at the agents you talk to as well, If they say they have a team who should go to CA dept. of Real Estate website and confirm that every member of their team is fully licensed. They will all show up under that broker’s license.

Secondly far too many agents don’t have a real office and work from their "home office" that’s great for part time agents but how can they handle the demand of this job while being in the comfort of their own home with distractions everywhere? If they are worth their salt why wouldn’t they have invested in an office so their clients have a choice of them coming to you or you going to their office? A think tank of agents working towards a common goal always helps to when looking at strategy to help move your home. I would think as a client, it would be a bit weird having to meet them at a different place each time or at their house... some choose a nice shiny car over an office.

Also be very aware of discount brokers, this is a service your are buying and you always get what you do or don’t pay for.

This is a very detailed process and having the ability to simply pull info from the web, their online FAQ forum or server etc in your presence is key. When there are forms to be signed, I guess an agent could preprint them, but that wouldn’t that pigeon hole you as the client if you wanted to make changes on the go while meeting with your agent?

Lots of things to consider when choosing a agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
You seem like a smart guy and appear to have a good understanding of short sales. With that said, your question is more appropriately directed to your tax attorney. Secondly, the debt forgiveness act is set to run out by the end of this year meaning that, unless amended, you will be subject to income tax on the debt the bank settles with you if you don't close escrow by the end of the year, which is probably more of an issue than $6k in property taxes.

If you are going to sell, make sure you retain a very good short sale agent....one who undoubtedly knows what they are doing - because the right agent makes all the difference - and short sales are not the same animal as equity (traditional) sales. If you can find that agent, they can help you put together a plan for how you will approach the short sale.

I can refer you to a group that has done over 2000 short sales and knows what they are doing if you like.

Best regards,

CA DRE 01775528
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Dan, there are many factors when looking to get out of a distressed property. This info really needs to be personalized for you and your family. Its important to look at your exact situation, time frames, loan type and financial details . I would hate for someone to give you bad infomation.

We are located in Brentwood and would be happy to sit with you and look into your situation in detail. We have extensive Real Estate and Mortgage experiance so we can consult your from both sides.

We have 3 programs to help take the stress out of your situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer