Short Sale: a situation in which the seller’s proceeds of a sale are insufficient to pay outstanding liens. Each lien holder’s authorization of reduced or otherwise negotiated payoffs is necessary to approve the sale.
Short Sale approvals take time – the seller must be approved providing they can justify a hardship, the selling price must be approved including all attached liens, and the buyer must be approved based on the terms and conditions of their offer. Various parties are involved throughout the process. Our approach to short sales differs from other agents in the fact that we understand the value of involving the Title Company in the short sale negotiations right away and using a cross verification process to make sure all documents are in right away and are accounted for.
Just recently, we were dealing with a short sale file where we had several close calls where we thought we lost the deal. However, through hard work and determination, we were able to revive the file and eventually we did close on it. Sellers need to understand that the banks will not delay the foreclosure process just because they are trying to short sale their property. It’s important to realize that foreclosure proceedings are not halted or delayed in any way once a short sale begins; the banks consider the short sale and the foreclosure of a property to be two separate files, whereas both are processed simultaneously. Even if a short sale approval is granted, the foreclosure process will not end until the lien is satisfied. Therefore, it is possible for the property to be foreclosed upon at any point throughout the short sale process. Furthermore, the short sale process needs a minimum of 6 months to complete, and if one document is missing/or is received late, the bank will void the sellers request to sell.
In our particular case, upon listing the property, the sellers were already behind on their mortgage, as well as the Homeowner Association dues and taxes. As we assisted the sellers with preparing the short sale package, the title company completed the title search right away and discovered a second mortgage lien that the seller had failed to disclose to us. Still, the title company was able to negotiate the payoffs down for each mortgage and back maintenance fees, however, the seller waited too long to get a Realtor involved and just before we were able to work out the final terms of the negotiations, the bank foreclosed on the property. By being expert negotiators, working diligently and with a little luck, we were still able to salvage the deal.
If you are under water with your property and considering doing a short sale, please contact us to discuss your options. The sooner a seller reaches the decision to proceed with a short sale, the better their options. Our involvement offers our client with the additional assistance and knowhow required to ensure these difficult transactions are able to close.