Here’s an excerpt from a recent article on short sales in The New York Times:
WITH property values down by as much as 30 percent in New York City, some homeowners who bought at the height of the market are finding themselves underwater and are being forced to sell their homes in short sales.
Did you catch that? FORCED to carry out short sales? This may seem trivial, but here “short sales”—a dignified solution to foreclosure for struggling homeowners—has been connected to the term “forced,” a hefty verb that often carries a negative connotation. Here’s some context where that word might have fit more appropriately:
§ When the homeowner lost her home to foreclosure, the authorities FORCED her to vacate the property.
§ Due to all his missed mortgage payments, the homeowner was FORCED to pack his belongings when the locksmith arrived to change the locks.
§ After the homeowner declared bankruptcy because she could no longer afford her escalating mortgage, she was FORCED to surrender her assets.
Unfortunately, real estate agents deal with this every day. Their clients and potential clients read influential language in the media presented with a dual purpose: report and engage. The information is important—often otherwise unavailable to the public—but also written to grab attention. This exposes the danger in relying too heavily upon singular media sources for market data and perspectives.
Real estate agents and homeowners in today’s challenging market must seek multiple sources and viewpoints for their information. This is the only way to form an accurate opinion and make the best possible decision in any given circumstance and again shows why we need to educate the distressed homeowners and give them their options.
There were, however, some incredible positives in this article that bear mentioning. Here’s an awesome perspective from one of the nation’s leading lenders:
Short sales are a gentler alternative to foreclosure for both sellers and lenders. “Compared to a foreclosure, a short sale generally allows an easier transition for the borrower, less impact on their credit history, and larger net proceeds to the loan’s owner,” said Tom Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, adding that Chase encourages borrowers who are unable to keep their homes to consider short sales.
See, there are silver linings … you may just need to look for them seven paragraphs down.