Hi There AutoMartUSA,
Glad you asked! I wish. Well anything is possible. However, the sale price will depend on what the Lien holders are willing to take. Not the home owners. I just sold a home in Oxnard that had an outstanding loan balance of approximately 600K, and the bank (one lien holder) took 400K for it.
So, will the lien holder(s) take less than is owed - good news - yes. Will they take 300K? That remains to be seen. Is the house in good shape? Is there a reason it's worth substancially less than the surrounding homes?
What will have to happen first is, the owner of the house will have to agree to short sale it - period. Then your offer must be submitted to the bank for consideration (I can do that for you). If there is more than one lien holder, then the process is more complicated - but not impossible. I've done plenty of short sales with 2+ lien holders.
The homeowners themselves do not have much control at this stage because they are upside down in value. Does that make sense?
The other thing that could happen is, the home could be foreclosed upon, which would turn it back up on the market as an "REO" (acronym for "real estate owned"), or otherwise known as "bank owned." Usually takes anywhere from 4 months to 2 years (depending upon how many payments the owners have missed, etc.) At that point, the bank who took the property back as a non-performing asset will sell it at market value on the MLS. When a property comes on as an REO, it is more competitive to get it - usually a teeny bit cheaper which attracts the crowds.
Are you working with a strong, aggressive Realtor? I'd love the chance to help you if you are not already committed. I have lots of great past-clients who will vouch for my excellent service and tenacity. You'll be very glad you contacted me. Call me when you're ready to talk.
Temple Schneider Callahan
Real Estate Broker / Owner
Connect Real Estate Services