“Short-sale” Real estate stategy

“Short-sale” Real estate stategy

In real estate, a short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale fall short of the balance owed on a loan secured by the property sold. In a short sale, the bank, or mortgage lender agrees to discount a loan balance due to an economic or financial hardship on the part of the mortgagor. This negotiation is all done through communication with a bank’s loss mitigation or workout department. The home owner/debtor sells the mortgaged property for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, and turns over the proceeds of the sale to the lender, sometimes (but not always) in full satisfaction of the debt. In such instances, the lender would have the right to approve or disapprove of a proposed sale. Extenuating circumstances influence whether or not banks will discount a loan balance. These circumstances are usually related to the current real estate market and the borrower’s financial situation.
A short sale typically is executed to prevent a home foreclosure, but the decision to proceed with a short sale is predicated on the most economic way for the bank to recover the amount owed on the property. Often a bank will allow a short sale if they believe that it will result in a smaller financial loss than foreclosing as there are carrying costs that are associated with a foreclosure. A bank will typically determine the amount of equity (or lack of), by determining the probable selling price from a Broker Price Opinion, BPO or through a valuation of an appraisal. For the home owner, advantages include avoidance of a foreclosure on their credit history and partial control of the monetary deficiency. A short sale is typically faster and less expensive than a foreclosure. In short, a short sale is nothing more than negotiating with lien holders a payoff for less than what they are owed, or rather a sale of a debt, generally on a piece of real estate, short of the full debt amount. It does not extinguish the remaining balance unless settlement is clearly indicated on the acceptance of offer.
Short sales are common in standard business transactions in recognition that creditors are not doing debtors a favor but, rather, engaging in a business transaction when extending credit. When it makes no business sense or is economically not feasible to retain an asset, businesses default on their loans (called bonds). It is not uncommon for business bonds to trade on the after-market for a small fraction of their face value in realization of the likelihood of these future defaults.
Lenders have a department (typically called “loss mitigation”) that processes potential short sale transactions. Today, lenders may accept short sale offers or requests for short sales even if a notice of default has not been issued or recorded with the locality where the property is located. Given the unprecedented and overwhelming number of losses that mortgage lenders have suffered from the current foreclosure crisis, they are now more willing to accept short sales than ever before. This is great news for borrowers who are “under-water” or in other words those who owe more on their mortgage than their property is worth and are having trouble selling to avoid foreclosure because of this. They are type of distressed borrower who needs a short sale the most.
Lenders have a varying tolerance for short sales and mitigated losses. The majority of lenders have a pre-determined criteria for such transactions. Other distressed lenders may allow any reasonable offer subject to a loss mitigator’s approval. Multiple levels of approvals and conditions are very common with short sales. Junior liens – such as second mortgages, HELOC, private lenders, and HOA (special assessment liens) – may need to approve the short sale. Frequent objectors to short sales include tax lien holders (income, estate or corporate franchise tax – as opposed to real property taxes, which have priority even when unrecorded) and mechanic’s lien holders. It is possible for junior lien holders to prevent the short sale. If the lender required mortgage insurance on the loan, the insurer will likely also be party to negotiations as they may be asked to pay out a claim to offset the lender’s loss in the short sale. The wide array of parties, parameters and processes involved in a short sale makes it a relatively complex and highly specialized type of real estate transaction which is why unfortunately short sale deals have a high failure rate and often do not close on time to save homeowners from foreclosure when they are not handled by a knowledgeable and experienced professional.
Credit reporting
A short sale does adversely affect a person’s credit report, though the negative impact is typically less than a foreclosure. Short sales are a type of settlement. Like all entries except for bankruptcy, short sales remain on a credit report for seven years. Depending upon other credit information it is typically possible to obtain another mortgage 1-3 years after a short sale.
While it is frequent if not common for a lender to forgive the balance of the loan in question, it is unlikely that a lien holder that is not a mortgagee will forgive any of their balance. Further, it is common for a lender to omit updating mortgage balances to reflect a zero balance after a short sale. However, willfully misrepresenting information on a credit report can constitute libel in some jurisdictions, and lenders may be sued in civil court for engaging in this behavior.
As Investors
We understand the process of a short sale. Understand the role of each party in a short sale transaction. Evaluate short sale deals and determine how much to offer. Understand why and how to influence the Broker’s Price Opinion. Examine the documents used in a short sale transaction. Discuss how to communicate effectively and work with the seller. Know how to deal with banks, liens, judgments, and other title issues. Are able to create win win situations for the parties involved.

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Thanks for posting this. There are many alternatives to a foreclosure out there. The key for home owners is taking action and doing something. Short sales are usually the best option in my experience.

I appreciate you taking the time to write this. I’m an agent myself and things are definitely a MESS out there right now. Good news is that prices are extremely affordable around here for a change.

Excellent info. Short sales are the majority of our market right now, and most of us agents are moving to work more of them. We do Sacramento area short sales and keep VERY busy around here as well.

What a mess of a housing market this has turned out to be! Thanks for posting this, I’m bookmarking it for future needs!

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Interesting article. I’m a real estate agent in Arizona myself, and things are pretty difficult around here. I’m grateful I have also been able to find a way to stay in the business

I appreciate you taking the time to write this. I’m an agent myself and things are definitely a MESS out there right now. Good news is that prices are extremely affordable around here for a change.

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Engaging thoughts here. Thank you!

Thank you! It is so much better than the unoriginal stuff you generally encounter in this particular field.

The leader of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York addressed the ongoing saga of mortgage foreclosures, saying “the Federal Reserve actively encourages efforts to find viable alternatives to foreclosure, like loan modifications, or deeds in lieu.” But he added, “we also support due process and access to legal counsel for homeowners facing foreclosure, for instance through legal aid programs.”The central banker offered a positive note on the darkest side of the housing market debacle, saying “our data indicate that, in recent quarters, borrowers are becoming less likely to fall behind on their mortgages, so fewer households are now entering the foreclosure process.”

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Bo Pereiro says:

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