Short Sale Seller Tips
Short Sale Seller Tips
If you have a short sale in today's market you have to be at the top of your game. You have a dual role to not only find a buyer for your home, but you have to convince your lender to accept a lower payoff of your mortgage than you owe. On top of that, the short sale process can be long, will try your patience, and still has no guarantee of success.
But now that you are prepared for the worst, here are some tips to help your short sale be a success:
Hire a REALTOR(R) - Having a licensed real estate agent with successful experience in completing both sales and purchases of short sale transactions is invaluable! There will be plenty of pitfalls and technicalities along the way that the typical buyer would never expect...but your real estate agent does, and they know which resources to access quickly if issues arise.
Be Proactive - It is understandable that you are likely upset and overwhelmed by facing the reality of having to endure the short sale process. It may seem like an unending nightmare, but with some time, commitment, and focus you can help yourself get past the nightmare as quickly as possible. You'll have to be proactive in your approach to this issue...without effort on your part it can only potentially get worse (ie, foreclosure).
Knowledge is your friend - Research, know the pros and cons of a short sale, learn what to expect from the process...it is NOT like a traditional home sale. You could wait for weeks to hear back from the lender, and then the answer might be "no" to your offer. For more information on the Short Sale Process, read here.
Do your homework - Right off the bat you should figure out what your lender's short sale requirements are. If you have multiple loans, you will need to get short sale approval from each of the lenders, and every lender is different. Requirements can change over time, and it is likely that your lender(s) will require documentation from you documenting a true financial hardship (job loss, illness, death, disability, etc). Your lender(s) can respond to your short sale request in multiple ways including forgiving the debt, refusing to forgive the debt, requiring you to pay the debt, or not saying anything about it at all. This is a time when it is very helpful to have a real estate agent experienced with short sales to help you navigate the potentially rough waters with your lender(s).
Get a good price for your home - The better the offer you can get on your home from a buyer, the smaller the shortfall between what you owe the lender and the payoff amount, so it is important you aim to have the most qualified buyer as possible when you present a short sale request to your lender. You'll have a better chance of the short sale request being approved if the lender feels the offer is at or close to fair market value. When preparing your home for sale, listen to the advice of your agent and prepare a clean home, put away clutter and personal items, make as many repairs as you can, and take pride in ownership of the property. The better your home shows to prospective buyers, the more likely you will get buyers with quality financing and offers.
Get a good buyer - Due to the often long, somewhat unreliable timeframe of selling a short sale, a buyer will have to be patient while waiting for approval on their offer, and eager to move quickly to close the deal once that approval is given. That is, of course, your ideal buyer. It is hard to determine if a buyer is that person, but you can help increase the chances of success by asking to verify their ability to buy such as loan pre-qualification or approval letter, credit report, and source of down payment and closing costs. Don't be surprised later in the process to find out that your buyer is unable to perform as they promised! It's much better to find those details out up front.
Submit a complete short sale package - Make sure the short sale package you submit to your lender for short sale approval includes all of the required information and documentation by the deadlines they set. Sending paperwork piecemeal or late is likely to cause delays in your short sale process.
Be patient but persistent - Ever heard the phrase "hurry up and wait"? You'll likely know what it means once you submit your short sale package to your lender. You will have to wait for their response, which can take multiple weeks into months. You or your agent can check in on the process at appropriate points; patience and persistence will be key to getting through the process.
Avoid scam artists - When you are under pressure and distressed, it is easy to trust the wrong people. Be careful and wary of scam artists preying on owners of distressed properties. If anyone asks you for money up front, pressures you to make immediate decisions, or makes promises which seem unrealistic, walk away and seek the advice of qualified, licensed professionals.
Contact us at RSJensen Homes so we can help you get your short sale process started! We have been successful in many short sale transactions and would love to help you be successful too.
Click here to download the PDF "Tips for a Short Sale Seller"