It seems the real estate market has once again changed focus. Most properties on the market today are listed as a short sale. What has caused the change? I believe a couple of things occurred which redirected the market. The first was the moratorium on foreclosures. In an effort to slow the "free fall" of prices due to an unprecedented number of properties being foreclosed the government place a foreclosure moratorium on banks that received "bail-out" money. Second, the Treasury Department has set aside funds for the Making Homes Affordable program whereby the same banks who had the moratoriums are now asked to modify the mortgage loan for qualified home owners. The key is "qualified" as not all do or will qualify as you must have an income in order to get a modification yet have no additional funds available and going in the hole by trying to continue to pay the mortgage. Every month they find they are "robbing Peter to pay Paul". I have met homeowners who tell me the banks have told them to stop making their mortgage payment in order to apply for a modification.
When a owner becomes unemployed, has a job transfer or they are just looking to move from one area to another they must consider their options. One option would be to sell the home, however they may find their home is "under water" or "up-side-down". If you are facing a situation like this you may have found you owe more for the house than today's market value. Now the question you should be asking yourself is how will I know if the agent I hire will be one that knows the ins and outs of a short sale process. So the first thing you need to do is to understand the short sale process as a seller. Do some Internet research? You may not find a lot of information that as a homeowner that will be helpful - in fact you may be totally confused by the time you finish. Don't feel bad many agents are the same way. Not only are the agents, but the bank personnel does not always know how to expedite the transaction. Why because so much of it is new to the agent and the banks have been so overwhelmed by the volume that most of their staff are under trained or they are severely understaffed.
Stay tuned...my next blog I will go into some of the steps that will help expedite your transaction and update you on some new guidelines that are coming out.