Top 10 Short Sale Myths
1. Banks don't like doing short sales
The fact is that all banks do short sales, some are easier to work with than others and some banks approve more short sales than others but regardless of how easy or hard they are to deal with banks have large departments set up to do nothing but handle short sales. So why do banks like doing short sales? Because of one reason only… it makes financial sense for their balance sheet and their shareholders. Banks are not in the business of owning property, there are in the business of lending money. Banks are required to set aside a loan loss reserve fund against their foreclosure assets. This is money that is not available to them to lend out to new borrowers. A short sale helps a bank to clean up its balance sheet and frees up money to lend.
2. A short sale will still hurt my credit so what's the point?
It's true that you will experience a drop in your credit rating following a short sale, however if you see yourself owning another home again in a couple of years then a short sale will definitely be beneficial. Under current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines you will have to wait between 5 and 7 years to qualify for another mortgage. Following a short sale that wait will be as little as two years and in some cases maybe less. Foreclosures are reported twice on your credit report, once by the lender and once in the public records section, a foreclosure on your credit report will be there for at least 7 years.
3. Nobody wants to buy short sales
Finding a buyer that will not only make an offer but will stick around and see the process through is the Achilles Heel of the short sale process, this is why it's an advantage to use a real estate investment company that specializes in short sale negotiations. Not only will you have your buyer right away but also they will still be there at the finish line.
4. You Must Be Behind On Your Mortgage To Negotiate A Short Sale
While this may have previously been the case, today's lenders are looking for verifiable hardship, monthly cash flow shortfall, or pending shortfall and insolvency. If you meet these requirements and believe that you soon may be unable to afford your mortgage, act immediately. Any delay could limit your options. Do not wait until you fall behind or receive a Notice Of Default before you take action.
5. I can't do a short sale because I have a second mortgage
A large percentage of the people we help have second mortgages or HELOCs. In this situation we have to negotiate with all parties. A second lien holder will only receive a small payoff but they realize that they will usually get nothing if the home goes to auction.
6. The auction date is in two weeks, there isn't enough time to negotiate
Once the bank sees a serious offer they will usually postpone the auction date, they know a short sale is there best chance to recover more of their losses. This is another advantage of working with an investor, an offer can be submitted right away, there's no waiting around trying to market the property and find a buyer before you can start talking to the bank.
7. By listing my home as a short sale everyone will know we are in default.
If you have received a Notice of Default from your lender it is already a matter of public record. It may be small comfort but just know you are not alone. Nationally as many as 1 in 5 homes are underwater and in some areas such as Las Vegas, NV that figure is as high as 64%. Short sales are predicted to increase by 50% in 2010. You have already taken the right step by educating yourself on the short sale process. The next step is to seek help in negotiating with your lender. Investment companies, such as ours, have helped many people in your situation put this behind them.
8. My home is worth half what I paid for it, banks won't accept that large a discounted payoff
This comes back to the reasons banks do short sales; the amount of discount on the payoff is based on the current market value not the original loan amount. The bank knows if the property goes to auction they will most likely end up taking the property into it's REO department, this will involve holding costs such as insurance, maintenance, HOA fees, in addition empty houses are a liability to the bank and are often vandalized or attract squatters.
9. I was told I can get money at closing
If anyone has offered to negotiate your short sale and told you they will be able to get you money at closing be very wary. Your lender is taking a large loss because there is negative equity; they require you do not get any proceeds from the sale.
10. If I short sale I will get a deficiency judgment
Most banks are now actively seeking deficiency judgments, in states that allow it, against "walk aways", this means if you do nothing and just let you home go to auction there is a strong possibility the lender will exercise their right to a deficiency and will pursue you for their loss. Often times this will lead to bankruptcy, if the homeowner could not afford the mortgage they will not be able to pay any deficiency. A short sale is your best chance to negotiate a no deficiency settlement. As long as the bank puts this in writing in their approval letter they will not be able to pursue you in the future.
Have a question about a home or want to talk about selling yours? Or, if you have any other questions or comments, then feel free to e-mail or call using any of the information below. You will get a response as quickly as possible.
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