Do You Qualify for a Short Sale?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Steele Group Realty BRE# 01474222

Do You Qualify for a Short Sale?


marti kilby short sale realtor san diego 


A short sale is an attractive alternative to foreclosure, mainly because the impact on your credit is less severe.  However, just because you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth doesn’t necessarily mean that a short sale is a viable option.


In a short sale, the lender agrees to accept a pay-off on your mortgage for less than the amount owed.  In most cases, the lender is not going to agree to receive less money if there is evidence that you can continue to pay your mortgage as promised.  Thus, a homeowner hoping to sell their home in a short sale must usually demonstrate that they can no longer afford the mortgage payments. 


The first question the lender will ask is “What happened?”  At the time of loan origination you were able to make your payments….why not now?  You will be asked to identify one or more recent hardship factors that have negatively impacted your ability to pay.  Examples of hardship factors include:


  • Illness/Disability                                             
  • Death of a Spouse
  • Unemployment                                               
  • Reduced Income
  • Medical Bills                                                   
  • Too much Debt
  • Divorce/Separation                                        
  • Military Service
  • Incarceration                                                  
  • Business Failure


The lender will also request that you complete a financial worksheet that lists all of your monthly expenses and income.  You will need to provide bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns to document the information on the financial worksheet.  Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to have a small amount of money in savings and lenders do not expect you to drain your 401K to pay your bills.


So the bottom line is that if you have experienced an event(s) that triggered a financial hardship and your monthly expenses are greater than your monthly income, and you owe more than your home is worth, you probably qualify for a short sale.  And even if you don’t qualify according to the guidelines above, you may have other circumstances that would make a short sale an option, such as an adjustable rate loan that will adjust in the future, making the payments too high to handle.


But before you call your local Realtor and list your home as a short sale, make sure that your agent has pre-qualified you according to the guidelines of your particular lender.  While not every short sale is accepted by lenders, your chances for a successful sale are improved by a thorough pre-qualification.


For a confidential consultation, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.







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Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Very good article Marti - I never knew that hardship factors affected the short sale process

May 29, 2012 07:37 AM #1
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

good to pass on to sellers, especially up front so they can set their own expectations on if they might be approved!

May 29, 2012 07:38 AM #2
Marti Steele Kilby
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Thanks Will and Mark.  These are points I alwasy discuss with sellers before taking a short sale listing....can really save everyone a lot of time and effort!

May 29, 2012 08:00 AM #3
Wes Neal
Wes & Company - Tumwater, WA
The expertise you expect and attention you deserve

Good morning Marti, I like the article... simple and to the point!

May 29, 2012 08:10 AM #4
Marti Steele Kilby
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Thanks Wes!

May 29, 2012 08:16 AM #5
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

It's nice when the banks can tell you up front that you qualify, but a good number of them still want to see a full package, including a contract.  

May 29, 2012 10:59 AM #6
Marti Steele Kilby
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

I know.  It makes so much more sense to be able to submit prior to an offer!

May 29, 2012 11:54 AM #7
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