I've thought long and hard about this post! Wondering what to say to people who are considering a short sale of their home. The actual process and steps are rather simple,
1) list home
2) find buyer
3) negotiate with your lenders
4) close escrow
I realize that was a simplified list....but really it is about that simple. We need to make sure we put ourselves in the best position to have this be successful....correct pricing, solid buyer, complete information...but given all that, then the sale will close.
But you haven't made this decision yet. And most likely, you are struggling with this alone. No one wants to talk with a neighbor about a financial set back. But you do need to talk about it...and understand what makes your situation unique, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Real Estate is a funny business! It's an intensely personal business!
We are caretakers of people's homes. That's a huge responsibility. The home where you baked holiday cookies and celebrated children's birthdays. Where you hosted barbecues and wedding showers. And now you are considering a short sale on this special place. You need to talk!
I can tell you the obvious, that the memories have very little to do with the location of the events, but with the people that were there! Most of us have lived in many places over our lives, and I have great memories of my son's first steps which were taken in a small apartment (because that's what we could afford then). I don't have any memory of the dark alley I had to walk through to get there. But this perspective might not come until later....and that's ok.
What you need to determine is if this is the right decision for you. And speaking to a Realtor® is one step in that process. You might also speak to family members, CPAs, bankrupcy attorneys...and even (most especially) your lenders. There are steps to take before you put that lockbox on your front door.
I'd like you to know that we understand....and any solid real estate agent will gladly speak to you without pressuring you to list the home for a short sale. If you do call someone who offers you that as the ONLY solution, run!
When I meet with a potential short sale client, we discuss loan mods, family loans, property values and market trends. I bring comps with me so we can see exactly what the value of the home is right now...and where it might be going. What many people do not realize is that often a short sale happens because of a loss of income, and not necessarily because someone is seriously upside-down. That is a great opportunity for a loan modification....perhaps a short term rate reduction would be enough to allow you to stay in the home. We can talk about that. And I do NOT charge for my advice (maybe you might say I charge what it's worth....$0) but just talking things through can help.
So....since Realtors® are sales people.....why would anyone encourage someone to not list their home? Because we are community members. We thrive based on our reputation and character. A fast "wham bam, thank you ma'am" sale might put a bit of cash in the bank today, but over time, that becomes your sale model and the community will not reward you with referrals. That's how we create the name that endures for the long run.
Talk to a Realtor® and if you are not in my area....call/email me for a good referral in your area! Talk things through and then make the best decision you can. We are here to help....we are community members also and we do understand.