Recently a client hired me to help her with selling her home as a short sale and in our discussions she revealed to me that several other agents were unwilling (or unable) to help her. I wrote a blog expressing my dismay that instead of referring her to someone who would help, they simply said "I don't do short sales".
This was frustrating for this client, but it brought to my attention the fact that most real estate agents either do not understand the short sale process or are completely negative about working on them. I was stunned enough to write this short sale help blog.
I won't fluff on this: short sales ARE hard.
That being said, they are also a reality of this real estate market and working with homeowners to successfully close a short sale makes me feel fulfilled in helping the economic recovery, even if it is just one Western Massachusetts house at a time.
If you are in a situation that you think a short sale is the best option to solve there are a few things to keep in mind:
#1- Sadly most lenders will not start a short sale packet until you are behind in at least one payment.
#2- You MUST be open and upfront with your real estate agent about the situation and the status of your mortgage. If you are days away from foreclosure it will be a much different job than when you are behind one or two months mortgage payments.
#3- Communicate with your lender. Answer their calls (I know that is one of hardest things) and keep them up to date with what you are doing.
#4- Hire an agent with the experience, empathy and determination required to work a successful short sale.
#5- Remember that all short sales are different. There is no rule book or standard: each home is handled on a case by case basis.
There are many reasons that people in Western Massachusetts land in a distressed home sale position. Not the least of these are divorce, death or changes in income. There is no reason for home owners to feel that they are alone, there is help out there. For the full story on why I am empathetic with homeowners in a distressed sale position read my blog about my own home selling experience.
If you are a buyer then there is a different set of issues. The appeal of a short sale or foreclosure property is usually price. The buyer needs to remember that there is a different cost involved in buying these types of home: time. It will often take double the time to close a short sale or foreclosure that it does a traditional home sale. There are also many agents out there that don't want the homebuyer to look at short sales or foreclosures because they don't want to take on the extra work and risk involved in these sales. I look at these sales as a perfect facilitation and another way that real estate agents can help the economy.
Sometimes the biggest concern for buyers is the fact that these homes are listed in "as is" condition. For more information on whether "as-is" really means "as-is" in a foreclosure purchase see this blog I wrote for people buying a foreclosure home.
If you are looking at a short sale home as a buyer, things may be getting a bit easier in the future. We real estate professionals are hopeful that the government and lenders are able to come up with a way to make it easier to buy a short sale home.
My point is that there is a place for short sales as both sellers and buyers and that there are realtors out there that are willing and able to help. If you are looking to sell your Western Massachusetts home and need short sales advice please do not hesitate to contact me for a confidential and totally obligation free consultation. I will review your situation and try to help you organize a game plan to solve your situation.
If you are a buyer looking at foreclosures and short sales as a way to get into a home for less money then I would love to do a free home buyer consultation with you to discuss your goals and how we can best approach buying your new home.