What is a Short Sale??
A sale of a house in which the proceeds fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and forgive the rest of what is owed on the mortgage when the owner cannot make the mortgage payments. By accepting a short sale, the lender can avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure, and the owner is able to pay off the loan for less than what he owes.
What is a short sale?
A short sale occurs when the net proceeds from the sale of a home are not enough to cover the sellers’ mortgage obligations and closing costs, such as property taxes, transfer taxes, and the real estate practitioner’s commission. The seller is unwilling or unable to cover the difference.
Some — although by no means all — short sellers may also be in default on their mortgage loans and be headed for foreclosure. However, home owners who bought at the top of the market or who took out large amounts of equity with a refinance and who now need to sell because of divorce or job transfer may also find themselves upside down, owing more than the home is currently worth when closing costs are factored in.
How long does it take to complete a short sale?
Although response times vary from lender to lender, it can take two weeks or as long as 6 months to receive an approval of a short sale from a lender. That’s why it’s critical that buyers and their representative understand and accept that time frame before they make an offer.
What information will the bank need to decide whether to accept a short sale?
The sellers’ submission package should include:
W-2 forms from employers (or a letter explaining the seller is unemployed)
Two recent bank statements
Two recent pay subs
Two years of tax returns and other financial documents outlining income and debt obligations
Comparables or a broker’s price opinion showing the estimated of value.
A “hardship letter,” explaining the circumstances that make it impossible for them to pay the full amount of the loan. The seller needs to be able to show true financial hardship.
A real estate agent experience in short sales can assist you in preparing the package.
What are the options besides a short sale?
Thanks to programs such as those proposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to assist subprime borrowers, many lenders are more willing to offer loan modification options. This option can extend the term of the loan, add on delinquent payments to the loan principal, and/or reduce the interest rate to make the loan more manageable for the home owner.
Another option is a repayment plan that requires home owners to increase their monthly payments until the loan is current. It may be possible to refinance an adjustable rate loan with a Federal Housing Authority or conventional fixed loan. Note that lenders will not postpone a foreclosure just because a property is listed, although they may postpone if you have a reasonable offer in the works.
If you have any further questions regarding short sales…. Feel free to call or email me.